Danny O'Connor Knows What He Must Do
Framingham, Massachusetts, native Danny O'Connor will have more than just his undefeated record on the line next time he enters the ring -- His brand-new family is counting on him.
"This fight is basically life or death. I have a child I need to support now and he has to eat and that's the way I look at it. I'll do anything to succeed."
The 14-0, 3 KOs junior welterweight, who recently became the proud father of a newborn baby boy named Liam, his first child, will face fellow undefeated prospect Gabriel Bracero in an eight-round showdown on the fantastic April 8 ShoBox broadcast from the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.
Speaking by telephone, stone sober on St. Patrick's Day, the clean-living 25-year-old Irish American says the Bracero fight will not only propel him to a level of fighting where he can fully provide for his common-law wife and son, it is also the platform he's been waiting on to show the world the real Danny O'Connor.
"I always knew that if I kept working hard, I would finally get my opportunity. I think that's what this is: my opportunity to let the world know who I am. I think a lot of times I've been overlooked and underrated, which is fine. It makes me work even harder. I am going to do what I have to do to make sure I have a great performance on TV and leave everybody in awe."
A tricky southpaw with often flawless technique, in the ring, O'Connor reminds many of his fistic idol - whom he claims he never intentionally set out to mirror, style wise. "I'm definitely a boxer. That's my strong point. I'm very smart in the ring. I am very fast and I have good angles like my favorite fighter, Paul Spadafora."
O'Connor professes to know little about Bracero. "I don't know much. I know he's a tough kid, and he's in good shape. And I hear he throws a lot of punches. It doesn't really matter what he brings because I think with my abilities as a fighter, I could hang with anyone in the world. I'm real confident with myself."
Interestingly, growing up in Framingham without any of the channels on television he is now going to be fighting on, O'Connor says his mother taught him a skill that has come in handy.
"I make all my own outfits. When I was a kid, I didn't have cable and there wasn't much to do, so my mother taught me how to sew. I make all my outfits from scratch. I go to the fabric store and sew them up myself. I'm making Irish headbands for my fight. I'm going to come out like Julio Cesar Chavez with the headband on and I'm wearing a Kilt I made too."
Having worked hard for many years, Danny O'Connor knows that another victory will mean a chance at increased financial security and the possibility of eventual boxing stardom. To a new father looking to give his son the best life possible, it is the chance of a lifetime.
Tickets for Rumble on the Rio are priced at $25, $35, $45, & $75 (facility fees not included) and are available at the LEA box office, various H.E.B. locations, charge by phone 1-800-745-3000, or visit www.ticketmaster.com. Doors at 7pm first bout at 8pm. All bouts subject to change.
For more information, visit learena.com, keeppunching.com