By: Sean Crose
Joshua Franco has but one loss on his record. Now the Texan has a chance to even the score. For the 14-1-1 Franco will be facing off against the 12-2-1 Emmanuel Fernandez (the man who bested him last March) at the Toyota Center in Houston for the NABF Bantamweight title on the 19th of this month. Winning the belt, of course, can lead to bigger things. Yet Franco makes it clear that the NABF title itself is nothing to sneeze at. “Even having that title itself,” he says, “that’s a big accomplishment in boxing.” Interestingly enough, Franco is interested in becoming top dog at Junior Bantamweight, where some very notable names reside.
“I don’t have a problem making 115,” he says, “115 is what I have my eyes on right now.” Some of Franco’s neighbors at Junior Bantamweight will be none other than Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, two of the biggest names in the entire sport of boxing. “I’m really just focusing on the champions at 115,” Franco claims. The man is clearly hungry. “Right now at 115, I want all the champions,” he says. “Whoever has the belts I feel I can compete and even dominate.” First, though, there’s the matter of Fernandez.
Even though Franco’s last fight ended up being a draw against Oscar Negrete, he’s a man willing to learn from his mistakes. “I learned the hard way,” he says of the first Fernandez throwdown. After dropping Fernandez, Joshua claims his corner told him to simply break his man down. He didn’t listen, and the results ended up speaking for themselves. “To be honest,” he claims, “I feel like I got a little bit winded.” Franco doesn’t intend to make the same mistakes twice. “Just training even harder,” says the fighter. “I’m pushing myself to the limit.”
Franco also wants to make a good impression. “The draws,” he says, “they don’t give me the excitement that a win does…I’m going to be more dominant.” A plus for Franco, who is backed by noted and powerful Golden Boy Promotions, is that he’ll be on a major card for the Fernandez rematch. For the main event that evening in Houston will be the Jaime Munguia-Takeshi Inoue WBO Super Welterweight title fight. “People will get to know me better,” he says of the opportunity to be on cards of note. “Right now,” he says, “being on big cards is probably what’s good for me.” Ultimately, however, Franco feels winning a title will be the best thing for him in the future. “Just get a world title,” he says for his plan for 2019.
Franco-Fernandez will be aired live on DAZN streaming service as part of the Munguia-Inoue card on January 19th at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.