Sunset Park, Brooklyn, product Gabriel Bracero is pulsing with desire. The welterweight is coming off his career best win, and it is quite clear he feels he is in a preordained position, his time has come and the spoils of his toil and combat are soon to be his.
It remains to be seen, however, who he can fight to claim that pot of gold he desires so fiercely, the one that will make the pain of being a pugilist, and the sacrifice and the 4:30 a.m. wake-up calls to do roadwork, and the time spent away from family pursuing the belts and compensation worth it.
But the 32-year-old with a 24-1 record who beat ex-title challenger Dmitriy Salita (via UD10) in a "Best of Brooklyn" showdown Nov. 9 at the Aviator Complex in Marine Park, has some ideas.
"Danny Garcia or the winner of Malignaggi-Judah, those are the two that I am looking at," said the Puerto-Rican born Bracero, who fights for promoter Lou DiBella and is trained by Tommy Gallagher.
"I have no problem fighting at 140 where I am world-rated or at 147 where my last fight took place and I am also world-rated. I feel great at either weight, I just want my shot. I want the biggest fights out there, and at 140, that is Danny Garcia. He is the best in the division right now in my eyes, and to be the best, you have to beat the best. I have nothing but respect for him and it would be an honor to fight him."
Bracero talked more about Garcia, the 25-year-old Philly-Rican with a 27-0 mark. "He has been putting on great performances, two of which recently took place in my hometown of Brooklyn. We both have similar aggressive styles. We are both Puerto Rican. We each have a huge fan base. Hands down, this is a great fight. It wasn't long ago that Danny was in the same position that I am in now, waiting for his big shot. I am hungry and I am ready to go."
Garcia is on a short list of viable foes to fight Floyd Mayweather, though, so if the story line arcs in that direction, Bracero has a Plan B, as any smart pugilist does.
"If the bout with Danny can't be made, why not fight the winner of Paulie versus Zab?" he said. "We are all Brooklynites. We all have big fan bases. It would be a perfect fight for Brooklyn and a perfect fight for the Barclays Center. I just want my shot. I want to prove to the world that I am one of the best fighters in my division and if given the opportunity, I know that I will not disappoint."