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Boxing Insider Fight Night — Nancy Franco has a world of experience on her side

Posted on 07/28/2023

Nancy Yesenia Franco de Alba, boxing under the ring name of Nancy Franco and sporting the nickname “Chatita,” has been just about everywhere and done just about anything there is to do in the sport of boxing, even going as far as winning a world title. She comes to Sony Hall on August 10 with a chance to revive her career if she can beat amateur legend Christina Cruz.

Franco is a native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and she comes from a family that is very familiar with boxing, as her father and brother both competed as amateur. For her, there was not a whole lot aside from boxing when she was a youngster, so she embarked on a career in the ring. She’s now been doing it for 14-1/2 years, and intends to be a professional until the age of forty.

She made her pro debut way back in November 2008, stopping Araneli Luna in three rounds. It didn’t take her long to get to the main event level, as she boxed a ten-rounder in only her fifth professional bout.

Opportunities came to her relatively early, as she fought for the WBC Youth minimumweight (105-pound) title in January 2011, losing on a sixth-round stoppage to Ibeth Zamora Silva. She failed again for the same title 17 months later when she lost to Anami Torres.

She reached the top of the mountain in November 2013, when she traveled to Japan and captured the IBF world minimumweight crown with a ten-round decision over Kayoko Ebeta. Unfortunately she lost that title to Victoria Argueta the following May, but was able to regain the belt in a rematch, taking a split decision in February 2015, making her a two-time world champion.

She then had a chance to unify the championship, chasing WBC 105-pound laurels. But on another trip to Japan, she lost a decision to Yuko Kuroki. Undaunted, she moved up in weight, to the light flyweight class, losing a ten-round verdict to Yesica Bopp. Just a few months later, she tackled Seniesa Estrada and lost an eight-round decision at the L.A. Forum. Estrada is currently a WBC and WBA champion and one of the brightest lights in women’s boxing.

Then there was a move back down in weight and yet another opportunity to fight for a world title, this time for the WBA 115-pound belt against Anabel Ortiz on July 2017. This resulted in another ten-round decision defeat. Franco has lost seven of her last nine bouts, and that includes a stoppage loss to Adelaida Ruiz, in which she was vying for a WBC “silver” title at 115.

But the truth is, Franco has faced almost nothing but world-class fighters, going back to the early part of her career. And she certainly intends to improve on her last outing, which was an eight-round decision loss to then-undefeated Tania Enriquez, which was last May in Tijuana. A lot of fighters say they will face anyone, anywhere, at any time. With Franco, those claims are not empty.

Currently she sports a record of 19-17-2 (with 5 KOs), but she has been beaten inside the distance in only three of those losses. She has gone eight rounds or longer 15 times. And that might mean a great deal against Cruz, who has only boxed 22 rounds as a pro.

What you can expect from Franco in the ring is a fighter who will try to consistently come forward, looking for opportunities to counter punch. She has a sturdy chin and shows a lot of stamina. At the very least, she has enough savvy to give world-class competitors a legitimate challenge.

And if that challenge were to result in a win, it would be oh so sweet for Nancy, who just so happens to be the daughter of a candy maker.

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