O'Connor's Health Spoiled Fight,
Hopefully Doesn't Delay Comeback
He doesn't want to make excuses. Gabriel Bracero fought well and Danny O'Connor commends him for being a gentleman in and out of the ring.
But when O'Connor says it wasn't really him in the ring in Laredo, losing by wide unanimous decision to Bracero on April 8, he does have a point.
“I felt fine until we got into the locker room,” he recounts, “but about ten minutes before it was time to go into the ring, my stomach got really upset and I started spitting up blood. I went out there and fought anyway, but obviously I wasn't myself. In between rounds when I tried to drink water, it made me feel like I was going to throw up.”
Unwilling to disappoint his army of fans in his hometown of Framingham, Massachusetts, and Showtime viewers around the world, O'Connor, now 14-1, 3 KOs, made the decision to fight despite the blood coming up from his stomach.
“I was still spitting it up after the fight. I went to the emergency room in Texas and they did a bunch of tests and told me my liver enzymes were really high, but they didn't know what was wrong. So I came home and, on Sunday, I went to the emergency room and they did an exam and found blood in my stool. From there I went to a special GI doctor in Boston. The blood work they got back said I'm anemic for some reason. They don't know why. When I go back, if my levels aren't back to normal it's a real problem.”
O'Connor's promoter, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, says he's too worried about the fighter to worry about the loss. “Danny is 26 and he's been bleeding internally since last Friday. My first concern is finding out what's wrong with him and getting it fixed.”
O'Connor who celebrated the birth of his first child a few weeks ago, says he's devastated by this turn of events that spoiled what was to have been his most triumphant night as a fighter.
“It is frustrating because you train so hard and you do everything in your power to do things right and then something happens and it's out of your control. I could have died. I don't take anything away from Gabriel Bracero, it was his night and I'm sure he worked hard too. I give him credit. But I feel shortchanged. I wanted nothing more than to impress the world on Showtime and the opposite of what I wanted happened. I don't want the world to remember me by that fight. I want everyone to know that wasn't me, but I'm in pain right now and I can't do anything about it.”
Margules says if O'Connor's anemia is brought under control the two will sit down and plot a comeback for the promising super lightweight.
“That wasn't Danny O'Connor who fought that night. I myself have had anemia, and it's unbelievable he made it through eight rounds in that condition. You can't even touch Danny when he's 100%. We all still believe in him and we wish him a speedy recovery so he can get back in the ring and show everyone what he's really all about.”