Golden Boy Promotions

Oscar Negrete and Joshua Franco Battle to a Draw

12 rounds just wasn’t enough between Oscar Negrete (18-1-1, 7 KOs) and Joshua Franco (14-1-1, 7 KOs).

In a fight that was action packed from start to finish, all three judges had a hard time scoring this one. One judge had it 96-94 for Franco, while another had it 96-94 for Negrete. The final judge had it as a 95-95 draw.

Some draws in the sport of boxing are bogus, while others are warranted, but the demand for a rematch is not that high. This fight falls in neither category. This was a fight neither man could afford to lose and boy did they come out acting like it.

From the very first bell both fighters walked to the center of the ring and started throwing heavy leather. Each round was hard to differentiate who was taking more control of the fight. It was tit for tat in every sense of the word. Both men had there moments when it seemed as though they were going to take clear control of the fight.

Round 8 saw Joshua Franco land a four-punch combination that ended with a clean shot to the body. Negrete shook it off without showing any ill effects and continued to walk down his opponent and landed two shots of his own to the head of Franco along with a vicious body shot.

The action and pace of this fight never slowed down. When the final bell had sounded not only could the judges not decide who won the fight, but neither could the commentators.

Taking a close look at the CompuBox numbers it looked as though we were looking in a mirror.

Both fighters threw over 1,100 punches, while combining for almost 2,300, which was the second most punches thrown in the entire history of the Bantamweight division. Negrete outlanded Franco by one single punch–352 to 351. The total punch connect percentage was just as close as Negrete landed slightly higher at 32 percent compared to Franco’s 31 percent.

In the post-fight interviews both fighters clearly wanted one more round in order to settle the score. Who can blame them? This always had the makings of a fight that would be fan friendly, but it surpassed all expectations.

Before their bout both fighters spoke with Round By Round Boxing about what there plans would be. Negrete indicated that he had his eyes set on the WBC title, while Franco had let it be known that he wanted to move down to Junior Bantamweight regardless of the outcome. I think it’s fair to say that both of their plans were officially cancelled.

This was a sneaky good fight that ended without a true winner. I’m sure the rest of the world wants to see them run this one back. We could have ourselves a special rivalry on our hands. Hopefully these two will give us an immediate rematch after this thrilling matchup.

Do you agree with the decision? If not let us know who you think won the fight.

All photos by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

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