In a small nation like Greece with its rich culture and stunning landscape it is no wonder
it manages to bring forth a true champion. That new and improved champion is the young Mike “ Mighty Mike” Arnaoutis. Mike has become one of Greece’s prime athletes to grace its shore in a long time. Yet he brought his well honed talents to another well known shore, the large nation of the United States.
Born in Zefyri, Athens, Mike has been involved with boxing since a child. His father was also a boxer in his native Greece. He basically was inspired by his father and took from him what he can and applied it to his goals. At twelve years old he took on the task of taking boxing seriously. After six months of intense training he entered into the Ethniki Team of Greece. For nine years he spent with the national team. In the nine years that he spent with the National Team he was in the Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta and Sydney in 2000. “My goal was as a child to one day represent Greece and became its champion. And I eventually accomplished that goal.” Besides his father one of Mike’s other inspirations was two time world champion, Meldrick Taylor. “I was inspired by his technique and what a phenomenon he was in the boxing world.”
Mike is one of the most intimidating fighters in the Jr. Welterweight division. He holds a record of 21-2-2, 10KO and ranked as the IBF #6, WBO #7, WBA #11, and WBC #11 ranked Jr. Welterweight in the world. He has been a champion boxer since 1993. In 2001 is when he decided to move to the US and pursue boxing on a pro level.
In 2004 Mike took on his first major fight with well ranked fighter Juan Urango in Florida. He was not favored to win and was up against mounting odds. Yet he proved too totally out box his opponent. But the officials did not see it that way. It was a painful loss but a stepping stone to better days. Eventually Mike would keep proving he is one to be reckoned with. For the next year and a half Arnaoutis won six bouts going 6-0 in KO’s. Mike kept up his performance without delay.
On March 6th, 2008 he did just that by defeating Dominican powerhouse Harrison Cuello with the scores (119-109, 119-109, 119-109). He then moved on to the USBA title against Larnardo Tyner (19-0 11 KO’s). It was the main event on FNF (Friday Night Fights). Mike went on to win with the scores 118-110, 118-110,116-112.
It did not stop there though on September 5th, 2008 at Bally’s in Atlantic City he clocked in a KO against Nasser Athumani. That match only led to another impressive performance against the African, Ben Ankrah. It was a long ten rounds in NYC’s Roseland Ball Room, with both sides drawing energy from each other. It ended with Mike being victors he improved his record to 21-2-2.
Mike is striving to move up to different category in the weight class eventually. “I would like to soon move up to the middle-weight class in the near future.” He hopes to eventually return to Greece and compete there as well. Boxing as a whole has changed a bit and not totally to Mike’s liking. “It has changed a lot since I started and it is not as edgy as it once was. There are more guidelines and stricter rules that did not apply back then. And there were more impressive boxers that loved the sport.”
Mike began his career in Philadelphia and has adapted it as his new home. Currently, Mike has an upcoming bout in January of 2009 at Bally’s in AC, which he hopes will propel him to newer horizons. He lives with his wife Eleni, his childhood sweetheart they have just recently had a new addition to the family. In August of 2008 Agapi-Michelle Arnaoutis was born a joy that Mike holds very dear. Mike was born to be a fighter, training hard and stopping at nothing to make his dreams come true. Building his reputation in Greece was one thing but to grow he needed to do what all Americans try to do, chase the American Dream. His positive spirit and style was merely a testament to the essence of his tradition. Every time he enters that ring he only re-establishes his unique performance.
His fan base is always strong, not only with his fellow Greeks but all ethnicities. Mike loves the sport and always strives to offer a good show for all to enjoy.
Arnaoutis: Boxing His Way to The Top
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