In recent years, Texas has been breeding some really good boxing talent like Errol Spence Jr, The Charlo Brothers, Vergil Ortiz Jr. and many others.
Add the San Antonio, TX super flyweight Joshua Franco (16-1-2) to the list.
Franco is signed with Golden Boy Promotions and is trained by the great trainer Robert Garcia (see below, photog Mario Rojas is a skilled shooter, see more on Franco’s IG) in the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy. Franco is a fighter that I have personally seen develop from the club shows in L.A, to the main cards on DAZN.
The 24 year old Franco has a high motor and can fight from the outside or get into a phone booth with a fighter and slug it out. He is a tough and there is no quit in him.
I recently had the opportunity to speak to the young Franco, and see what he has going on as boxing looks to get going in some capacity in the coming months.
AG: Joshua, thank you for taking the time to conduct this interview. For those that aren’t familiar with your story, tell us a little about growing up in the Franco household?
JF: Growing up in San Antonio, TX, me and my family were always close. We always did everything together, which included my uncles and aunts. We have a big family on both my mom and dad’s side. I grew up with three bothers, one is older than me and the other two are younger. I have always loved watching boxing as a kid and my family used to have cookouts so I was always around it. I have been boxing since I was thirteen but started before that with shadow boxing, without even knowing what it was.
AG: Let’s fast forward to your professional career as a fighter. You had a trilogy with stablemate Oscar Negrete that flew under the radar. I was at two out of three fights at ringside and witnessed you guys crush CompuBox numbers. Looking back at those three fights, what are some positive things that you were able to get out of it and were there some lessons learned throughout the thirty rounds?
JF: I gained a lot of experience through those three fights, knowing that I can go rounds and late in the fight, have that energy to perform well. I know Negrete fought against Rey Vargas and went the distance so being able to go the distance against him for all three fights help me gain confidence. I always leave a fight knowing there is something I can work on for the next one. I am always looking to improve and add on as I keep going.
AG: Your last fight was at the super flyweight division while your three fights prior to your last one were at bantamweight. Can you walk us through how that decision was made and why?
JF: I have always felt stronger at 115 as I had the advantage over the smaller fighters. Robert my coach agreed with me when I decided to move back to superFly. We both think that I have the size advantage at 115 so I will stay at the weight class until I win a world title.
AG: Speaking of your coach Robert Garcia, describe what it is like being part of the RGBA stable of fighters?
JF: Robert was a world champion himself so he has that experience as a fighter and he has trained other champions while his Dad, Eduardo, has all of the knowledge as a coach.
Being around Robert and all of the experience he has, you can’t ask for anything else. I am around world champions and fighters like his brother Mikey Garcia, Abner Mares, Jose Ramirez and Vergil Ortiz Jr. Being around those champions and seeing them train, watching them spar, you retain a lot, along with everything Robert tells me.
AG: Looking at the world champions at superfly, who do you think matches well with you in a fight and who would you like to challenge for the title?
JF: I think I match up best with Chocolatito because we both like to bang it out, we like to throw a lot of punches and I just feel like it would be an all at war. As far as whom I would like to challenge for the title, it would also be Chocolatito as he has a belt and I want his belt. Something inside of me tells me that if I face him, I will beat him.
AG: The current state of the country has us all quarantined in our homes. What are some of the things you are doing to stay sharp and have you picked up any hobbies?
JF: I have a treadmill in the house along with a punching bag in the garage. I’ve been staying busy with running and hitting the bag. I don’t hit the bag everyday but I do hit it three times a week. I run every morning to stay in shape. I haven’t really picked up any hobbies but I have been hiking a lot and when that gets old, I play PS4 to switch it up.
AG: With boxing possibly putting on events within the next sixty days, do you see yourself as a fighter that will be ready while having a condensed training camp?
JF: Yes sir, of course, I will be ready to go once boxing resumes. I am staying ready, I know what I want and I keep myself motivated. Once all of this clears, I’ll be ready once I get that phone call.
AG: With this year’s boxing schedule being shortened, how many times do you see yourself climbing in the ring this year?
JF: I wouldn’t mind fighting up to three times this year but come June or July, I will be ready to go and then whenever the next fight is scheduled, I’ll be ready for that one too.
AG: If it was up to you, when do you feel ready to climb into the ring with one of the superfly champions?
JF: I’m ready for any of them next fight! I know what I want and I am ready to go!
AG: In closing, what would you like to tell the fans that are reading about you for the first time or have been following your career up to this point? Also, where can they follow you on social media?
JF: Want to say thank you to all of the people that have supported me. Boxing fans can expect to see more from me in fights, as I am only getting better and stronger. I am going to keep striving until I am a world champion. You can follow me on twitter @JoshuaFranco_ and on Instagram @1professorfranco.
My three cents: Joshua Franco is the type of fan-friendly fighter you want to see each and every time. He is very ambitious and with his tireless work rate, I would not be surprised if he cracks the top ten rankings before the end of the year and works his way to a title shot in 2021. Keep an eye out on this fighter as he has the tools to become a champion in the future.
He is an immense credit to the sport; his work ethic, decency, humility and knowledge base put him on a very short list of the most exemplary people I have worked with in three decades of covering the savage and sweet science.
Read more of Abe’s takes on up ‘n coming prospects on this website.