GABRIEL BRACERO INTERVIEW BY PATTEE MAK
Rematch! Rematch! Bracero vs. O’Connor
By Pattee Mak, Real Combat Media New England Boxing Correspondent
Welterweight and GOD fearing Gabriel “Tito” Bracero (23-2-0, 4 KO’s) from Brooklyn, New York will be battling it out for a second time against Danny O’Connor (26-2-0, 10 KO’s) from Framingham, Massachusetts in a 10 round main event of Premier Boxing Championship (PBC) at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts live on NBCSN on October 10, 2015. The original bout between these two fighters was at the Event Center, Laredo, Texas on April 8, 2011, Bracero walked away victorious with the UD after 8 rounds. The judges scored the bout 80-72; 79-73; and 80-72. Bracero is coming off a 10 round loss against Felix Diaz (16-0-0) on 4-11-2015. Judges scored the bout 97-91; 96-92 and 98-90. O’Connor won his last fight in the 5th of an 8 round TKO victory against Chris Gilbert (13-1-0) back on 5-23-2015.
Pattee Mak: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. You are currently in camp training for your rematch with O’Connor. This is going to be an exciting matchup. I can already see fireworks in the ring between the two of you. The first fight was back in 2011. It’s now 4 years later. How did this rematch fight come about?
Bracero: Danny O’Connor wanted a rematch for a while. But before I get into the rematch, I was supposed to get a chance at a world title or something bigger. Being that I lost to Diaz, plan B came into effect and O’Connor was our standby and we wanted a rematch also. Back when I fought O’Connor, he had a bleeding ulcer. He wasn’t 100% our first time around. I beat him and he wasn’t at his best. I got the call a couple of weeks ago and I was already back in the gym training hard. After the last fight he presented the idea.
O’Connor was supposed to fight Paulie Malignaggi (33-7-0) but Malignaggi got cut during sparring and the fight was a no go so I guess they got him [O’Connor] a tune up fight in Boston and then Paulie’s cut healed and they gave him Danny Garcia [30-0-0]. Since he was in line for a big fight they had him on stand by and Danny O’Connor choose me probably cause they are thinking I’m his easiest fight out there right now. At this point in my life, I’m just grateful for the opportunity and I’m ready to fight. We fought the last fight at 139, now 147 pounds. So I guess Danny O’Connor’s team is looking at jumping up in weight because Danny O’Connor is bigger and stronger now. I’ve been making mistakes in my last couple of fights and I’m assuming that they are thinking I’m the same fighter as my last fight and my fight before that so they assume that they have me figured out and O’Connor can beat me and if he beats me it’ll make him look good. I was his first loss. He has two losses. Mine and the other against Vivian Harris [30-92-2) but his by split decision.
Pattee Mak: Why 4 years for this rematch and not sooner?
Bracero: In boxing it is also a business. So maybe I feel that being that we fought on ShoBox: The Next Generation we were each building our careers. We each had great records. Right now he’s 26-2 and I’m 23-2 and promoting it right and we each can get a payday with a TV network and show our talents on TV.
Pattee Mak: You’ve been in the ring with him before but didn’t get the knockout. Do you feel comfortable enough now having been in the ring with him to drop him to the canvas or to his knees?
Bracero: Yes I feel comfortable enough to hurt him.
Pattee Mak: Back when you originally fought you were both 14-0-0 and as the old saying goes someone’s “O” has to go. Come a few years later on paper you both seem to have the same record, same amount of fights etc etc. Do you feel that you have more experience than him in the ring fighting tougher opponents?
Bracero: Yes absolutely. I know that for a fact. You can look at our records. I definitely fought tougher opponents than he is.
Pattee Mak: O’Connor is a southpaw. Has southpaws in the past given you trouble?
Bracero: I had a problem with my last southpaw cause I haven’t trained properly. My last fight I injured my knee during training and I wasn’t getting the proper training and sparing I was suppose to. Not to make excuses I don’t take anything away from O’Connor. He’s a good fighter. A tough kid. I see that he has improved. He’s been on the winning streak. He’s been knocking out his last couple of opponents. GOD Bless him. I guess he’s doing whatever he has to do and I’m doing whatever I have to do. It’s going to be a good fight and entertaining and the fans are going to get their monies worth.
Pattee Mak: O’Connor lives in Massachusetts. Has a large fan base. You’ll basically be fighting him and all his fans. Will this affect you at all and will any of your fans be traveling up to Lowell?
Bracero: I have fans traveling from Brooklyn. Family in Lowell and I think that by me going in his home town it’ll bring the best out of me. Hostile territory. I’ll be on defense mode. It’ll bring out the killer instinct in me because it’ll take me out of my comfort zone. I feel confident. I’m training well and making improvements. I’m going into this fight and doing everything I was supposed to do. I’m going in there and putting everything on the line.
Pattee Mak: What would you like to say to O’Connor?
Bracero: If I saw him right now, this is a business and I’d smile at him and I’d shake his hand. I have become a humble person inside and all that talking before the fight just isn’t me but on the day of fight night the beast will come out of me. I’d be on fight mode. My niceness will be out of the window. I get paid for what I do. I’m coming off of a loss so I’m going in there to make a statement. I’m looking forward to going in there now and putting on a performance of my life and showing the people how good and talented I am. I have many more years of boxing ahead of me.
Pattee Mak: In 2014 you didn’t have one bout. What happened?
Bracero: Because I was supposed to be fighting Danny Garcia when he fought Rod Salka [19-3-0] in the Barkley Center. At the last minute they gave the fight to Salka. I was ranked at #10 in the WBC and it put me in line to fight Garcia. I had another fight lined up also. Danny Garcia knocked Salka out in the 2nd round. So Salka took the fight instead of me and they had me inactive for a while. I was on a contract that I was in line for a big fight to be able to make some money which would excel me to the next level in the sport. I had bad luck in prior fights getting head butted and cuts. It made no sense to jeopardize myself and take lower money fights. It would stop me from making the $100,000.00 fight. If I had gotten a cut then I would get suspended. So instead I was in the gym training waiting for the right opportunity and GOD was directing me where I should go.
On the other hand I’m grateful and blessed GOD is great. I have overcome a lot in life to be where I am in life. It’s a blessing and I’m ready to capitalize this opportunity to make the best of it. At one point in my life I was in prison and knew that prison was not where I should be. I was blessed with opportunities once I left prison.
Come October 10th I’m bringing my A game and I’m confident that I’m going to be victorious. Not to make any excuses but my last fight I wasn’t 100% but October 10th, I will be 100% Tito Bracero in the ring. You’ll see the best of me.
Pattee Mak: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. GOD Bless.
Bracero: GOD bless you too Pattee and thank you.
(The above bout is subject to change)