The tale of Gabriel Bracero is one of redemption. A talented athlete, showing promise in his youth, Bracero’s life was sidetracked after he made some bad decisions, or as he would put it, “hanging with knuckleheads.”
Surrounded by boxing growing up, with his father and other family friends lacing up the gloves, Bracero had fistic aspirations since the age of nine. As an amateur, Bracero won the New York Golden Gloves tournament twice and became a Junior Olympics champion.
Bracero turned pro in 2001, at the age of 20, and within one year had won five four-round bouts via decision. It was at this point when the “hanging with knuckleheads” caught up to him, and he was sentenced to six years in prison on a weapons charge. Upon his release, Bracero, still dreaming of boxing glory, resumed his career in August 2009. He has since won 10 bouts in a row, and has become a fixture on DiBella Entertainment’s “Broadway Boxing” series. Seven of his last 10 bouts have been staged at BB King Blues Club in Times Square.
While Bracero is a pressure fighter, he has not yet shown much punching power, scoring only one knockout in 15 fights. Although lacking power, Bracero wears opponents down with his relentless style and volume of punches. Six fights into his comeback, Bracero finally scored his first knockout victory, vanquishing Raymond Betancourt inside four rounds on July 28, 2010. Betancourt was floored in rounds one, two, and twice in the fourth which persuaded the referee to call a halt to the bout at 2:53 of the round.
After winning his next three bouts by eight-round decisions, Bracero faced his toughest test yet as a professional, against fellow undefeated junior welterweight prospect Danny O’Connor. The bout was televised by Showtime. Staged in Laredo, TX, it was also the first time Bracero fought professionally outside of New York. Bracero was the busier fighter and outboxed O’Connor for eight rounds, earning a UD8 with scores of 80-72 twice, and 79-73.
Following the O’Connor victory, Bracero went on to score two consecutive knockouts. On June 11, 2011, at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, Bracero only needed two quick jabs and a powerful straight right to stop Guillermo Valdes after just 40 seconds into the opening frame. Seven weeks later, on July 30, at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, “Tito” demolished Danie van Staden via knockout at 1:08 of round three.
On October 21, in his second “ShoBox” appearance, Bracero picked up the vacant NABF title with an impressive unanimous 10-round decision, with scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91, over the capable Daniel Sostre, at Foxwoods Casino, in Connecticut.
Bracero started off 2012 facing former two-time world champion DeMarcus Corley, on January 21, at Roseland Ballroom. Having trouble with Corley’s southpaw style, Bracero had to overcome three knockdowns over the first five rounds. He began to turn the tide in the sixth stanza, able to stay on the outside and score with his jab and combinations while Corley was looking to land one big left hand. Bracero had another good round in the seventh and sent Corley to the canvas for a flash knockdown in round eight with a short straight right hand. The last two rounds saw Bracero continue to box from the outside while Corley pressed forward landing the heavier blows. In the end, the judges scored it 96-90, 94-92 twice, all for Corley.
Coming off the first loss of his professional career, Bracero won an impressive eight-round unanimous decision over Jermaine White. Bracero was cut almost immediately from an accidental head butt in the first round but he shook it off and went on to win the first round easily, boxing beautifully from the outside. Two more accidental head butts from White had Bracero's face a bloody mess by the third round, but Bracero kept his cool and dictated the pace working behind a piston-like jab. In the end, Bracero was awarded a well-deserved unanimous decision, winning by scores of 80-71, 79-72, 77-74.
On October 24, at Roseland, Bracero used his superior boxing ability and ring generalship to win a dominant eight-round unanimous decision over Puerto Rico's Eric Cruz. Bracero controlled the action throughout against the much heavier Cruz. Cruz showed up seven pounds overweight at the weigh-in, but it didn't seem to deter Bracero, who boxed beautifully. Bracero won by scores of 80-72 twice, and 79-73 on the third card.