San Antonio has been producing world-class talent and blue-chip prospects at an alarming rate combine whatever is in the water in Alamo City with the tutelage and knowledge of Robert Garcia, who is perhaps the best trainer in the sweet science today and its no wonder he has our “Prospect of the Month” Joshua Franco on the verge of a world title shot. Franco bounced back nicely coming off of a rough 2018 that saw him suffer his first career loss a 9th round stoppage loss to rugged Argentinian fighter Lucas Emanuel Fernandez Leone early in the year and then a disputed draw with fellow Golden Boy Prospect Oscar Negrete in October. The Negrete fight was so close and so controversial it demanded an instant rematch and that’s exactly what we got. In the rematch “The Professor” removed all doubt and gave Negrete a 10 round schooling to put himself into the middle of the title discussion in the stacked bantamweight division.
In the first Negrete/Franco war there were more than 2,200 combined shots fired, it was a sleeper pick for fight of the year. In The sequel, the fighters were a bit more cautious with their punch output, but not much, still combining to unleash over 1600 total punches. Perhaps the slightly more conservative tempo was exactly what Franco needed. This time it was clear however as Franco landed the cleaner shots and was able to impose his will on Negrete landing crisp shots in the heated exchanges and keeping Negrete on the retreat and uncomfortable for all 10 rounds and this time at as the final bell rang it was obvious. El Professor had done more than enough to capture the decision.
Franco can fight at either the super fly or bantamweight division and would be a handful for any of the current champs. Being promoted by Golden Boy and having DAZN on his side to stream his fights, Franco is going to have a litany of lucrative options in the near future. Whoever wins the WBSS tournament, likely Naoya Inoue will be a lucrative opportunity at 118 as would. Fights with guys like Jason Maloney and Manny Rodriguez or Nonito Donaire could also be made and would have plenty of appeal. If he wanted to go back down to 115 he would have mega fights with other DAZN fighters like Juan Carlos Estrada or Srisaket Sor Rungvisai or the winner of Palicte vs Ioka are all very intriguing world title fights for the Texas prospect.