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Joshua Franco stops Victor Pasillas in three in LA Fight Club main event

Joshua Franco (L) connects with a hook en route to stopping Brian Bazan in the fourth round on the Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith undercard on Sept. 17, 2016. Photo Stacey Verbeek / Golden Boy Promotions
Fighters Network

LOS ANGELES – Joshua Franco has been displaying his power in recent fights, scoring more decisive knockouts. The young junior bantamweight prospect’s punching prowess surfaced again Friday night, with Victor Pasillas becoming the latest knockout victim.

It took Franco a few rounds to figure out the veteran before abruptly ending matters in round three of an LA Fight Club main event at the Belasco Theatre.

Franco improves to 9-0, 5 KOs, while Pasillas drops to 8-7-2, 5 KOs.

The 21-year-old Franco, along with unbeaten Jonathan Navarro, are two prospects trained by Robert Garcia. Navarro is local, Franco is from San Antonio, but both train in Southern California gyms owned by Garcia.

Franco scored a highlight-reel knockout of Bryan Bazan on Sept. 17, on the non-televised undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith fight. In his last bout, on Nov. 18, Franco won a one-sided six round decision over Felipe Rivas.

Pasillas entered the Franco fight having lost three of his previous four bouts.

Relying on his experience and ring savvy, Pasillas was able to hold off Franco, even landing a few punches on the inside. By the end of round two, the bigger Franco was able to find his range and score repeatedly from the outside.

Franco abruptly ended matters late in round three. While both fighters were on the inside, Franco landed a three-punch combination to the head, dropping Pasillas face-first to the canvas. Referee Raul Caiz, Sr. stopped the bout at 2:32.

In the co-feature bout, junior welterweight prospect Jonathan Navarro won a six-round unanimous decision over Angel Rodriguez.

Navarro improves to 8-0, 5 KOs. Rodriguez drops to 5-7-3, 4 KOs.

Rodriguez, who was fighting for the first time in over five years, was game, but was not able to keep up with the younger Navarro. Rodriguez attempted to counter with right hands to the head, but was not able to keep up with the busier and more accurate Navarro.

Both fighters had their moments in the final round, but Navarro was the more effective fighter.

Scores were 60-54, 60-54, and 59-55 for Navarro.

Hard-hitting lightweight prospect Ryan Garcia made short work of Devon Jones in the opening bout of the EstrellaTV-televised show, dropping his opponent four times before the fight was stopped mercifully in round two.

Garcia goes to 8-0, 7 KOs, while Jones falls to 2-2, 1 KO.

The southpaw Jones was game, but left himself open to get countered by numerous right hands from Garcia.

With about a minute left in round one, Garcia staggered Jones with a right hand to the head. Moments later, Jones went down from a barrage of punches. Garcia scored another knockdown right as the bell sounded to end the round.

Jones attempted to fight back, but Garcia’s timing and punching power were just too much. Jones went down a third time in the fight moments into round two, and was sent sprawling to the canvas for the final time, thanks to another right from Garcia. Referee Raul Caiz, Sr. immediately stopped the fight at 55 seconds.

In the opening bout of the Golden Boy Promotions’ live stream, junior welterweight prospect David Mijares won a six-round unanimous decision over veteran Evincii Dixon.

The southpaw Mijares (5-0, 3 KOs) was able to get on the inside of Dixon’s reach, scoring at will. Dixon (7-16-2, 2 KOs) was crafty enough to land an occasional counter to the head of Mijares, ultimately drawing blood from the prospect’s nose.

Dixon looked as though he scored a knockdown with less than a minute left in round six, connecting a right hand to the top of Mijares’ head, but referee David Mendoza ruled it a slip.

Scores were 60-54, 60-54, and 58-56 for Mijares.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing