Broadway Boxing graduate and title aspirant Gabriel “Tito” Bracero was expected by many to be the one fighting Danny “Swift” Garcia at the Barclay’s Center this coming saturday night. Instead, we are being force-fed the baffling match-up between the undisputed king of the light-welterweight division against “Lightning” Rod Salka, a relatively unknown lightweight whose claim to fame is a match with Canelo’s much-less talented older brother Ricardo in the fall of last year.
“I don’t think Salka poses any kind of threat at all. He can hit Danny with his best shot and it wouldn’t faze him,” said Bracero in a recent interview with Tha Boxing Voice. “There are no easy fights once you get in the ring and [Mauricio] Herrera exposed that, but Salka is a couple of divisions below Danny so that takes the harm away.”
A native of Brooklyn, Bracero is a decent mid-tier draw in Kings County with supporters showing up in solid numbers to cheer him on in Brooklyn and across the East River, as well. Whether or not that can translate into national stardom remains to be seen but his brazen style in the ring and his passionate back-story, along with a nudge or two from Al Haymon, might help him land a decent fight on a major network in the near future.
In the meantime, Bracero remains cautiously hopeful. “It was a disappointment not getting the Garcia fight. It would have been a big fight here in Brooklyn. I was training for a long time for that fight and it was taken away from me but I had to suck it up and jump right back into the gym.”
Since suffering his only loss, against a weathered DeMarcus Corley in January of 2012, Bracero has been on a hot streak, defeating his last 5 opponents in convincing fashion. However, he can’t help but recognize that, in boxing, there’s always something more than fighting for the sake of the sport and competition. “Our camps had an agreement, along with Al Haymon and Lou Dibella… but his camp realized that I wasn’t going to be just a tune up fight. I wasn’t going to go in there and lay down so [in that sense] it might have been a smart move on their part. This [upcoming fight with Salka] will be like a sparring session for Danny. He’s the champion of the world so I guess he deserves an easy fight like this now.”
This writer tends to disagree with that sentiment and has decided that, rather than tuning in on Saturday, a late dinner, or maybe even some Seinfeld reruns, may be a better way to spend his time.