Friday, August 19, 2022  |



Golden Boy Promotions wins rights to Juan Francisco Estrada-Joshua Franco fight

Juan Francisco "El Gallo" Estrada and Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez go to war during their Ring Magazine 115-pound title unification fight at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

Golden Boy Promotions won the right to promote the fight between WBA junior bantamweight titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada and Joshua Franco, the sanctioning body announced late Tuesday afternoon.

Robert Diaz, Golden Boy’s matchmaker, submitted a bid of $120,000. Golden Boy, which promotes Franco, was the only promoter participating in Tuesday’s purse bid.

Per rules of the WBA, Estrada will earn 75 percent of the purse, or $90,000. Franco will earn the remaining $30,000.

Golden Boy provided two possible dates for the Estrada-Franco fight: June 11 in the Los Angeles area or June 16 in Southern California or Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will likely stream live on DAZN, which Golden Boy has an exclusive deal with.

Estrada (42-3, 28 knockouts), who resides in Hermosillo, Mexico and is promoted by Zanfer Boxing Promotions, is Ring Magazine’s junior bantamweight champion. He has not fought since March 13 of last year when he defeated Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez by split-decision in a grueling back-and-forth fight many thought Gonzalez did enough to win.

The rubber match between Estrada and Gonzalez was scheduled to take place on October 16, but was postponed after Gonzalez tested posted for COVID-19 in early September. A new fight date of March 5 in San Diego, California was finalized, only to have Estrada withdraw from the fight in January after he also tested positive for COVID-19. WBC flyweight titleholder Julio Cesar Martinez stepped in for Estrada, losing by unanimous decision to Gonzalez.

Franco (18-1-2 1 ND, 8 KOs), who resides in San Antonio, Texas, won the right to face Estrada, defeating Andrew Moloney by unanimous decision on August 14. The recent win over Moloney concluded a trilogy between both fighters. Franco previously fought to a no-decision in November 2020 and defeated Moloney by decision in June of that year.

The 26-year-old is unbeaten in his last eight bouts since losing by knockout to Lucas Fernandez in March 2018. During that span, Franco has notched victories over Jose Burgos and Oscar Negrete.

Franco is the older brother of newly-crowned WBC junior bantamweight titleholder Jesse Rodriguez and is trained by Robert Garcia.

The fight between Estrada and Franco is the latest move by the WBA to reduce the number of titleholders in each division. Estrada is the sanctioning body’s ‘Super’ world titleholder at 115 pounds, while Franco is the ‘Regular’ titleholder.

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