“I’m blessed to have a promoter like Lou DiBella,” beams 140 lb. contender Gabriel “Tito” Bracero. He says this confidently, during an exclusive interview with Tha Boxing Voice, despite the fact that he didn’t land the big fight against light welterweight kingpin Danny Garcia at the Barclay’s Center this past saturday night. “I was taken care of. I have been taken care of. [Lou], along with Al Haymon, have a signed agreement in place that puts me in a position to land a big fight in the near future. Al’s going to line me up with one of his top fighters at 140 or 147 by the end of the year.”
For as complimentary as he was while talking about DiBella, his tone subtly shifted when the topic of Haymon came up. The confidence in his voice was the same sort of confidence that Paulie Malignaggi showed after signing with Haymon (albeit paradoxically, after ripping him in post-fight interviews and social media) in the wake of losing a controversial decision to Adrien Broner last year. It was the same sort of confidence that Amir Khan also displayed after signing with the delphic advisor (promoter?) earlier this spring.
With blind faith, countless boxers have taken this proverbial vow despite the fact that, on paper, most of these “exclusive advisory agreements” offer nothing more than executive string-pulling (see Espinoza) and long-distance counsel via a third party (see Watson: the elder if you’re established enough or one of the twins if you’re still up and coming).
For a boxer, the sense of peace and comfort that comes with signing your name on an Al Haymon advisory agreement, is like that of a restless long-term girlfriend finally getting her engagement ring, or young child being held by a mother during a thunderstorm, assuring the young boy that “everything’s going to be alright.”
When asked about how he felt to get passed over for the Garcia fight, Bracero shared that, “It was a disappointment. It would have been a big fight right here in Brooklyn. I was training for a long time and it was taken away from me, but I had to suck it up and jump right back into the gym.”
Bracero’s a fan-friendly fighter and has a decent enough following at this stage in his career so we should all hope that, after getting the rug pulled up from under him and “sucking it up,” he really will be in the running for a big fight at 140.
Or should we? Four of the biggest draws at 140 lbs are under the Haymon banner (can we start saying that already?). But, let’s all agree that that these guys (Garcia, Matthysse, Peterson, and Broner) should only be fighting each other, leaving the likes of John Molina Jr., and Josesito Lopez, and Amir Khan (if the latter two end up not meeting each other in the ring this December).
For Bracero, any of these names will be a substantial step up in competition and exposure. What we can be sure of is that he and his camp will settle for nothing less. When pressed on the topic, Bracero expressed, “Now that I had the big fight lined up already, my team would really prefer if I just don’t take a tune-up fight.”
If only that sentiment would have been to last Saturday’s Showtime card.