Joshua Franco aims to be ‘smart, explosive’ in third clash with Oscar Negrete
Bantamweight contender Joshua Franco is convinced he can outbox and outpoint Oscar Negrete… again.
Franco and Negrete square off for the third time in less than a year on Saturday at The Theatre in Grand Prairie, Texas. The 10-round bout will precede the main event bout between unbeaten welterweight Vergil Ortiz and Antonio Orozco.
Both fights will stream live on DAZN (9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT).
At Friday’s weigh-in Franco (15-1-1, 7 knockouts) and Negrete (18-2-1, 7 KOs) both weighed in at 117.6 pounds.
Franco holds the edge over Negrete, who is originally from Colombia and now resides in the Los Angeles suburb of Paramount, across two prior fights. In their first clash, on Oct. 4, the result was a split decision draw following an action fight. In their last bout, on Apr. 25, Franco defeated Negrete by 10-round split decision.
The 23-year-old Franco is convinced he won both fights, particularly the last one in which he was able to outbox his rival and make the required adjustments.
“I gained a lot of experience in my first two fights against Oscar Negrete,” said Franco earlier this week. “I won a lot of rounds against him, and he’s a top contender. I gained a lot of experience and a lot of confidence.”
“Negrete did the same thing in the second fight. He put pressure on, and he tried to throw a lot of punches. He tried to be more aggressive, but, to me, it was the same thing. I feel like that’s the only thing he knows how to do. Negrete didn’t really do anything to surprise me. What he did the first fight, he did the second fight.”
Franco, who is originally from San Antonio and now trains in Riverside, California, is ranked No. 9 by the IBF and No. 10 by the WBC. He is unbeaten in his last three fights since suffering a controversial knockout loss to Lucas Fernandez on Mar. 24 of last year.
Franco is confident that he can defeat Negrete convincingly and position himself for bigger and more lucrative opportunities in the future.
“For this third fight, you can expect the same fighter I always am,” he said. “I’ll be smart, explosive, and I’ll be throwing a lot of combinations. I feel like I’m going to be stronger than in the first two fights. The only thing that’s different is that it’s going to be in Texas. That’s going to give me more motivation.”
“I’m always training hard. After this, I want to go on to bigger things. I want to fight for a world title.”
Francisco A. Salazar can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
GET THE LATEST ISSUE AT THE RING SHOP (CLICK HERE)