Joshua Franco (14-1, 7 KOs) may not be well known to the casual fan or even to the true diehards, but tonight he gets a chance to change that as he headlines an ESPN2 card from California against Oscar Negrete (18-1, 7 KOs).
Franco has suffered only one setback in his career against Lucas Emanuel Fernandez Leone earlier this year. He came back only three months later to defeat Isao Gonzalez Carranza via fifth round knockout. He now looks to keep the momentum going.
After a long training camp and buildup to the event Franco took a little bit of time to sit down with Round By Round Boxing to talk about his opponent and future plans.
Negrete presents not only the biggest test for him, but also the biggest name. Franco seemed to be excited to be receiving his opportunity on a big platform but as far as his opponent he seems both unafraid of him nor this big moment.
Franco watched Negrete’s fight against Junior Featherweight champion Rey Vargas and was left thoroughly unimpressed.
“It’s an awesome opportunity but you know in their fight, Vargas pretty much dominated,” said Franco. “Oscar didn’t do anything special. If anything he took a lot of shots.”
Although Franco believes he is the superior fighter he did concede that Negrete is the bigger man as he will be looking to move down to 115 (Junior Bantamweight) after this contest. He also admitted to feeling stronger at 118 then he does at 115, but the abundance of opportunities that present themselves at the lower weight makes it more appealing.
Additionally, he pointed out that just about every world title at the moment is currently tied up in the World Boxing Super Series and that he’s always wanted to capture a title at 115 first and then make his way back up to 118 to capture another title and become a multiple-weight world champion.
“After this fight, no matter what happens, I’m going down to 115. I want to get a title at 115 first and then get a title at 118,” said Franco. “There’s more opportunities and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to do at 115. So I’m just going to stick with that. I just want to get a title in multiple weight divisions. That’s the division I want to catch a title in first before 118.”
With the goal of becoming a multiple-weight world champion, Franco knows another loss would be devastating. Franco firmly believes Negrete will not derail the momentum that he has been able to pick up.
While he respects his opponent and his toughness he believes that he won’t present that many challenges for him come fight night.
“I mean you know he’s a tough fighter, he doesn’t stop coming and he throws a lot of punches,” said Franco. “That’s what I prepared for. I prepared for a tough 10 rounds. I just prepared for a tough Oscar Negrete but there’s nothing really special that he does.”
There has been a bit of jawing between the two fighters, but fight night is here. It’s sure to be action packed and filled with fireworks.
Who do you believe will win tonight? Leave a comment below.
Header photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions