An undefeated record does not mean someone is the best. It merely means a particular fighter has not encountered the style that can defeat him or her.
Daniel “Twitch” Franco was breezing along until he recently discovered that boxing truth. Now comes the learning period.
Franco (16-1-3, 11 KOs) seeks to regain the now vacant USBA featherweight title against fellow contender Jose Haro (13-1-1, 7 KOs) on Saturday June 10. The title fight takes place at WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
Roc Nation and KO Night Boxing are co-promoting the fight that CBS Sports Network will televise at 7 p.m. PT.
Has the Rancho Cucamonga prizefighter learned from the recent boxing lesson?
Now 25 years old, the athletic and powerful slugging featherweight Franco suffered a loss for the first time in his pro career this past March in a bout in Los Angeles. After battling through 18 previous bouts without a loss, San Diego’s Christopher Martin snapped the unbeaten streak.
Martin, a clever but not particularly hard-hitting boxer, stopped Franco by knockout in the third round.
“I had studied film of him but this is boxing. Things can change with one punch,” said Franco. “I was the faster, bigger and harder hitting guy. That’s why this sport is unpredictable.”
Franco understands the gunfighter mentality and what it means. His older brother Michael Franco was very similar with similar firepower and had streaked by 19 consecutive opponents. Then, in October 2011, he was beaten to the punch and suffered his first loss. It was also the last fight for the fighter known as “Lil Warrior.”
The younger Franco still idolizes his older brother and though the younger Daniel Franco lost to Martin, he quickly returned to the boxing ring in Mexico this recent May 12. A first round knockout was the result in Ensenada.
Haro is another slick-fighting featherweight who knows how to deal with knockout punchers and skilled assassins. The featherweight from Utah has fought numerous veterans and contenders including three consecutive Californians within a mile from the city where Franco lives.
Haro opponents Efrain Esquivias, Juan Reyes and Miguel Tamayo were sent home with defeats at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario. Across the bridge is Rancho Cucamonga where Franco lives.
Those wins by Haro strike a nerve in Franco.
“I used to go there a lot when I was a little kid. One of my dad’s fighters used to fight there,” said Franco who is trained by his father. “I used to see Chris Arreola, Josesito Lopez, Jose Reynoso and a lot of local talent actually fight there on the Thompson Boxing cards.”
Now its Franco’s turn to face Haro.
Franco and his trainer/father Al Franco believe that the recent loss to Martin has led to some changes in preparation and keyed up other factors in the arsenal.
“Daniel has been completely focused since the loss. We’ve travelled all over Southern California the last few weeks to get the best sparring. He’s looked sharper for this camp than for any previous fight,” said Al Franco.
One of the assets of fighting in California is the abundance of featherweights. It also allows Franco’s team to scour the landscape and realize who the competition will be for a world title.
The competition revs up Franco’s thirst to win.
“It’s been really cool to see how everything progresses. Each fight is a little closer to the world title. Even in March when I lost in a setback, it’s how you take it and show what kind of fighter you are going to be that means anything,” said Franco.
The next step is here.
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