Boxing: O’Connor, Bracero Brace for Inevitable Rematch

By Mike Sloan Oct 9, 2015
Danny O’Connor (26-2, 10 KOs) has waited four and a half years to get revenge on Gabriel Bracero. Back when the two welterweight contenders were fighting in a division seven pounds lighter, Bracero edged O’Connor over the course of eight rounds.

It was the first time O’Connor tasted defeat as a pro, and ever since that setback, he has been desirous of vengeance. But, when reflecting on the events that led up to the night of April 8, 2011, O’Connor is quick to point out that he wasn’t himself. He explains that he had multiple distractions before he climbed through the ropes in the Events Center in Laredo, Texas, in the main event of the Premier Boxing ChampionsPBC on NBCSN card Saturday night.

“This is all about me fighting the process,” O’Connor stated. “Gabriel Bracero beat me but I really beat myself. Just like training for this fight, we had a baby son. Two weeks before our first fight, my first son was born and I didn’t know how to separate sport from such life-changing events.

“I was 14-0 and fighting on Showtime,” he added. “We just had a baby boy two weeks before this fight. I want to prove to myself that I can beat this process. Bracero is my redemption!”

O’Connor admits that he was a “scared little kid” back then and that the rematch was offered to him several times over the years, but the time to battle Bracero a second time wasn’t right until now.

“I couldn’t handle the pressure, I didn’t even know it was there,” O’Connor said. “Now, I’m a mature man who is a husband and father. I’m a totally different person.”

Bracero (23-2, 4 KOs) knew a rematch was inevitable and acknowledges that O’Connor has improved over the years. Bracero points out he’s been through a lifetime of turmoil and that will greatly benefit him inside the ring Saturday night.

“I’m more experienced,” Bracero said. “I moved to train in Orlando and get away from distractions. I hit a few bumps and got incarcerated. [Trainer] Tommy Gallagher saved my life. He was there when I went to prison and there when I got out. I added a new trainer to our corner, Alexander Lopes, but Tommy and my father, Kiro, are still there. Tommy gives the orders and he likes what Lopez has done with me.

“I’m excited. I’ve trained for this fight like I’ve never fought Danny before,” Bracero continued. “I beat him but that was four years ago. I can’t overlook him. He has obviously made improvements and I did also to get where we are today.”

The O’Connor-Bracero rematch will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event will be held at Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Mass.


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