Joshua Franco: “I Want All The Champions”
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.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: Negrete and Franco Battle to a Draw
By: Ken Hissner
On Thursday night Golden Boy Promotions put on a card from The Hangar, in Costa Mesa, CA, on ESPN2. The main event featured NABF Bantamweight Champion Colombia’s Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete, 18-1-1 (7), living in Rosemead, CAL, and San Antonio’s Joshua “El Professor” Franco, 14-1-1 (7), over 10 rounds.
In the first round both fighters were mixing it up quite well. Both fighters were skilled going to body and head. Negrete seemed to have a slight edge. In the second round Negrete was getting away with low blows. In the final minute Franco drove Negrete into the ropes with a flurry of punches. Negrete came right back with a solid right to the head of Franco.
In the third round Franco landed four punches to head and body. Negrete came back with half a dozen punches of his own. Negrete was warned by the referee about coming in with his head. It was another good round by both. In the fourth round Franco came out firing punches while Negrete came right back. Negrete comes in with his head again but no warning from the referee. Good round for Franco.
In the fifth round the fists were flying once again with Franco landing three or four punches and Negrete coming right back with his three or four punches. To say they were throwing close to 100 punches a round is no exaggeration. It’s been a torrid pace with Negrete landing a solid right to the head of Franco just prior to the bell.
In the seventh round Negrete was landing half a dozen punches with Franco coming back with a combination. Negrete had a mouse under his right eye. Negrete walked into a right hand getting rocked by Franco. At the end of the round they were still punching. In the eighth round Franco was still holding his own with Negrete comes back after a Franco rally. Franco landed three punches to the head then ended with a left hook to the ribs of Negrete. Franco ended the round rocking Negrete with a right to the chin.
In the ninth round Franco drove Negrete into the ropes. Negrete came back driving Franco into the middle of the ring. The action on both parts of the fighters is still action packed. Both fighters have surpassed the 1,000 punch mark. In the tenth and final round Franco landed a hard right to the chin buckling the right knee of Negrete. The fans have been hollering the entire fight.
Scores were DeLuca 96-94 Franco, Sandoval 96-94 Negrete and Viarial 95-95 as did this writer.
“One more round right now,” said Negrete. “I didn’t think he was going to be this tough. But look at his face,” said Franco. They both laughed after their comments.
In the co-feature Welterweight Danielito “El Zorro” Zorrilla, 9-0 (8), of Rio Piedras, PR, stopped Dakota “The Lone Wolf” Linger, 10-1-2 (6), of Buckhannon, W.V., 2:59 of the second round of a scheduled 8.
In the first round Linger landed three rights to the head of Zorrila who moved several steps away. Zorrilla landed several left hooks to the head of Linger. There was “no feeling out” in this round with both mixing it up.
Seconds later Zorrila rocked Linger with a right uppercut to the chin. Then drove Linger into the ropes with ten punches and what looked like he broke the nose of Linger who was about to collapse when the referee gave him the 8 count and asked him to come forward as Linger wiped his nose with blood gushing and the referee wisely halted the fight.
In the third round Gonzalez was leaning on Delgado and hitting him in the ribs without warning from the referee. Gonzalez landed four unanswered punches from Delgado. Delgado came back with a flurry of half a dozen punches. In the fourth round Gonzalez landed a double left hook to the head of Delgado who grabbed him. Gonzalez then while tied up hit Delgado behind the head with warning from the one sided referee favoring Gonzalez. Gonzales landed three punches than a fourth a right had to the head of Delgado in the punches he threw. In the sixth and final round Delgado landed a double left hook to the body of Gonzalez. The referee warned Delgado for hitting behind the head while in a clinch. Gonzalez was coming off knee surgery last month.
Scores were 58-56 Delgado, 57-57 twice. This writer had it 58-56 Gonzalez.
“I respect the judges but I haven’t fought in about six months and thought I won,” said Delgado. “I will fight anyone and thought I won,” said Gonzalez.
Joshua Franco Aims to Continue Along the Comeback Trail
By: Sean Crose
“I trained very hard for it,” Joshua Franco tells me. It’s a rainy Tuesday evening. In just over 48 hours, Franco will be stepping into the ring to face fellow bantamweight Oscar Negrede in a bout which will be the main attraction on an ESPN card. “I know,” he adds, “how it’s going to be.” That’s something all professional fighters want to be able to say – that they know how it’s going to be, even if there’s no way to prove it until they step inside the ring. It’s the kind of confidence that an carry an athlete through a career.
Photo Credit: Joshua Franco Twitter Account
Like Franco, Negrede has a single loss on his resume. Also like Franco, Negrede is looking to redeem himself in front of a live televised audience after a single successful comeback bout. In short, this is a big fight for both men. “I’m feeling good,” Franco, the 14-1 bantamweight says, adding that his camp has contained a “lot of sparing.” A pupil of famed cornerman Robert Garcia, Franco knows he’s in serious hands. “When I was first at Oxnard with Robert,” says Franco, “he says ‘you look like you could be a professor.’” Hence the nickname Franco has carried with him throughout his career to date – The Professor.
“He has a lot of knowledge,” Franco says of his trainer. Garcia’s gym in Oxnard, California is also a place where Franco feels comfortable training. “Everybody gets along,” he says. As for Negrede, the 18-1 fighter known as The Jaguar, Franco realizes he’s in with someone much like himself. Still, the native of San Antonio exudes self belief on this rainy Tuesday, while making it clear he’s no one trick pony. “I can box,” he says, “and I can move forward.” Should he emerge victorious on Thursday, the bantamweight division may be Franco’s oyster.
“I’m not looking past Oscar Negrede,” Franco says, adding he knows that “Robert has big plans,” should he walk out the ring the winner Thursday night. For his own part, though, Franco wants to stay on point. “That’s something we’ll talk about after the fight,” he says of the future. Enthralled with boxing from a young age, Franco shows a willingness to take the steps needed to get to the top. And Golden Boy Promotions is happy to guide him along the way. “They have confidence in me,” he says of his promotional team. “They’re moving me very well.”
Franco-Negrete will air at 10 PM eastern time Thursday night on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. It will be broadcast live from the Hangar at California’s OC Fair and Event Center.
Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete & Joshua “El Professor” Franco Battle Thursday on ESPN2
By: Ken Hissner
On Thursday night Golden Boy Promotions will put on a card from The Hangar, in Costa Mesa, CA, on ESPN2. Colombia’s Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete, 18-1 (7), living in Rosemead, CAL, will do battle with San Antonio’s Joshua “El Professor” Franco, 14-1 (7), over 10 rounds in the Bantamweight Main Event.
Negrete will be looking for his second victory of 2018 after stepping up in weight in December when he suffered his only loss by losing to WBC champion Mexico’s Rey Vargas, who was 32-0 at the time. He lost over 12 rounds by decision. He will be dropping back to bantamweight. The last twelve opponents Negrete has fought all had winning records. He’s made the bantamweight limit of 118 in eight of his nineteen fights.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
Franco’s last eleven opponents had winning records and his only loss was out of the country in Puerto Rico losing to Argentina’s Lucas Emmanuel Fernandez Leone, 11-1-1, in March of 2018. He bounced back in June knocking out Mexico’s Isao Gonzalo “Kato” Carranza, 15-11, in five rounds. Prior to the one loss he defeated Carlos “Mighty” Maldonado, 11-1.
In the co-feature unbeaten Puerto Rico’s Welterweight Danielito “El Zorro” Zorrilla, 8-0 (7), of Rio Piedras, PR, faces unbeaten Dakota Linger, 10-0-2 (6), of Buckhannon, W.V., over 8 rounds.
Unbeaten Super Featherweight Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez, 8-0 (8), of Glendora, CA, looks to keep his knockout streak going taking on Ivan “Striker” Delgado, 12-1-1 (5), of L.A., CA, over 6 rounds.
Another unbeaten knockout artists is Super Bantamweight Carlos “Purin” Caraballo, 8-0 (8), of Ponce, PR, who meets Mexico’s Felipe “Panterita” Rivas, 17-21-4 (11), of El Paso, TX, over 6 rounds.
Roc Nation’s “Unwavering Commitment To Humanitarianism” Stops At Daniel Franco
By: Sean Crose
“Roc Nation maintains an unwavering commitment to humanitarianism across its brand portfolio, working to advance social good globally and provide opportunities for vulnerable populations to succeed. Roc Nation supports the expansion of client’s philanthropic efforts through three key areas: full service management of their foundations, philanthropic advisement, and strategic, high-impact partnerships.” – Roc Nation’s web site.
Daniel Twitch Franco is now recovering from brain surgery. It says so on his Twitter page, for all the world to see. Has Roc Nation Sports, which promoted Franco when he was severely damaged while acting as one of companies’ boxers, done anything to help Franco aside from its most fundamental legal obligations? Nope. I reached out to Franco last week to ask if Roc Nation had suddenly and belatedly decided to show concern for its former fighter’s well-being. Franco assured me that Roc Nation has remained as indifferent to his plight as ever – at least on the surface of things – even though he and his family are in debt up to their eyeballs in medical expenses.
Make no mistake about it, what happened to Franco and his family is life changing stuff. And while Roc Nation has presumably done all it legally has to, it would be nice if the company, or if it’s founder, Jay-Z, would reach out to help a former fighter in need. Don’t expect that to happen. Whether Jay-Z is even aware of Daniel Franco’s existence, much less his plight, is legitimately up for debate. You can’t criticize a guy for not helping someone he’s never even heard of, after all.
You can criticize Roc Nation, however, for showcasing its “Philanthropy” on its home page while letting one of its own struggle without batting so much as an eye. Of course, Roc Nation may (“may” being the operative word here) be trying to help the Franco’s behind the scenes. If that were the case, however, it would be nice if the company would let the Francos know. Needless to say that, as of this writing, Roc Nation has yet to return my call for this article (I left a message around 10:30 AM Friday morning. It’s now around 12:30 PM Monday afternoon). This is no surprise, as the entity is famous in the boxing world for being less than easy to deal with.
This isn’t a question of boxing, however. This is a question of reaching out to someone – or to at least show empathy on a basic human level. No doubt there’s a team of lawyers tossing legitimate concerns Roc Nation’s way on this matter. That, however, doesn’t make the silence here any less deafening. While other companies might scramble to fix a situation like the one regarding the Francos, Roc Nation appears unmoved by criticism. That, however, doesn’t make its treatment of the Francos any less right.
Not that anyone who can do anything about it seems to care. Daniel Franco knew what he was getting into when he took up boxing, but one would hope a company cashing in on boxers would go the extra yard when boxers get hurt.
Does Roc Nation Sports Care About The Well Being Of It’s Clients?
By: Sean Crose
Back in 2014, the New York Post wrote that Roc Nation Sports’ “lack of media access has given it an air of mystery.” Former featherweight Daniel “Twitch” Franco certainly finds Roc Nation Sports mysterious. After receiving a serious brain injury during a June bout against Jose Haro in Iowa, Franco, a Roc Nation fighter, was subsequently induced into a coma for two weeks. Incredibly, Franco survived and is expected to make a full recovery. Still, getting healthy isn’t cheap. Or easy.
Franco is still in need of a large amount of medical care. The twenty-five year old Californian has another surgery this Friday. And how will Franco and his family pay the hundreds upon thousands of dollars in medical costs? Well, a GoFundMe page has been set up on the fighter’s behalf. One might think Roc Nation Sports, an entity Franco was a part of and under whose banner Franco was so badly harmed, would rise to the occasion in some way. If Roc Nation couldn’t go so far as to pay all of Franco’s bills, one would at least expect it to promote the charity built around supporting the fighter.
According to Franco that has been far from the case. “Roc Nation has not even contacted (me) since the fight,” Franco informed me on Tuesday. “Someone that used to work for Roc Nation sent me a photo of him holding up my shirt with another Roc Nation fighter, but that is all.” In fact, Franco stated that Roc Nation expressed it’s displeasure when he called company out in public. “Dino Duva called a few weeks ago,” Franco claimed, “but it was only to tell my family to take our posts ‘calling out’ Roc Nation down off of social media. Since they haven’t called, we put them back up.” Indeed, Franco has been posting his displeasure throughout social media. And yet he claims he has still heard nothing more from the entity he was once a part of.
I reached out to Roc Nation Sports twice, leaving messages both yesterday and today. Those calls, however, have yet to be returned. Founded by superstar Jay Z (Shawn Carter) in 2013, Roc Nation has repped some top level fighters, such as Andre Ward, Miguel Cotto and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Franco has reached out to Jay Z via video, yet it’s unclear if one of the most famous men on earth is even aware of his plight. Franco and his family, however, will happily accept donations from fans to help pay his medical bills. Anyone who wishes to help may do so through the link below:
Daniel Franco Interview “There is no way Derrick Murray is ready for me!”
Daniel Franco Interview “There is no way Derrick Murray is ready for me!”
By: Benny Henderson
The undefeated featherweight sensation Daniel Franco 14-0-3 (9 KO’s) looks to not only keep his unblemished record intact come November 10th when he takes on Derrick Murray 13-0-1 (5 KO’s) at the Washington Hilton in Washing DC, but the young gun aims to strap on the vacant USBA Featherweight belt in the process. In this exclusive interview, we get the thoughts from Franco on his upcoming bout, his career and more.