Bracero fed Salita a healthy dose of left hooks throughout the night (Photo by Ed Diller, DiBella Entertainment).
Ringside Report by Resolution Sports
What began as a battle for Brooklyn bragging rights on Saturday night at the Aviator Sports and Event Center turned into an absolute boxing clinic by Gabriel “Tito” Bracero (23-1, 4 KOs), who put on a dominant performance to defeat Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita (35-2-1, 18 KOs) via unanimous decision. The win earned Bracero the WBO Intercontinental Welterweight Championship, and most certainly has the Brooklyn native in line for some lucrative opportunities in the very near future.
“I don’t care who it is. I just want an opportunity!” Bracero emphatically stated after claiming his first significant belt at 147 pounds. “Put me on HBO. Put me on Showtime. I want to make money. I have a family to feed. Understand me? I’ll go down to 135 and fight anybody. I’ll go to 140 and fight anybody. Give me anybody. Give me King Kong in the jungle. I’ll go to training camp and get ready to fight him. Let’s go. I want to get paid!”
The support for Bracero overshadowed the opposition that was in favor of his fellow Brooklynite, with constant chants of “TITO” echoing off the walls of the venue during the fight. The Puerto Rican tactician did not disappoint those fans, either, getting off to a fast start immediately after the opening bell. He began working behind his jab and unloading a straight left hand that was backing up Salita, something that overwhelmed the former world title challenger and sent him back to his corner after the first frame with a shocked look on his face.
As the rounds progressed, Bracero started to throw in an abundance of numbers, using shifty head and body movement that made him virtually untouchable to Salita. Also, he continually found a home for the left hook, buckling his opposition on numerous occasions throughout the 10-frame bout. Bracero became increasingly more comfortable as this fight moved forward, while a frustrated Salita found himself becoming more desperate. At many times, Bracero became so dominant that he completely overwhelmed Salita, who constantly found himself swinging at open air because he had such problems finding his elusive opponent.
The effectiveness of Bracero’s left hook eventually led up to a pivotal moment in the eighth round. After popping in and out of confrontation well with his jab, the Brooklyn native unloaded a straight left hand, and Salita walked right into the crisply fired shot. Upon impact, he fell to the canvas for the lone knockdown of the bout, sending the Aviator Complex into an uproar. Salita did quickly return to his feet, but he was greeted by an onslaught from Bracero for the remainder of the frame.
Salita became rather desperate in the final two rounds of this contest, going for broke and more awkwardly finding himself out of position. Despite those efforts, Bracero stayed in the driver’s seat, leading his attack with the jab and doing a nice job of timing his counters. When all was said and done, it was the judges who would make everything official, but there was never any doubt after the final bell sounded.
When the three scorecards were finally revealed, Bracero put on the WBO Intercontinental Strap after earning counts of 100-89, 99-90 and 97-92 from the officials at ringside.
“I’m a success story,” Bracero proclaimed after the win. “When you think it’s impossible, I can show you it’s possible. You tell me no, I’ll tell you yeah. Nothing is impossible. Just believe in yourself. Believe in God and have a dream, man. Have a dream. Nothing is impossible. Make it happen.”
Bracero most certainly made it happen for himself on Saturday night, and the Brooklyn native should definitely receive some intriguing phone calls regarding his future in the coming weeks.
An emotional and exuberant Gabriel "Tito" Bracero (23-1, 4 KOs) speaks with the media, fans and even two-division world champion Paulie "Magic Man" Malignaggi after putting on a dominant win over Dmitriy Salita. The unanimous decision victory, which took place at the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, earned Bracero the WBO Intercontinental Championship.