Joshua Franco is one win away from emerging as the lineal champion in a division where younger brother Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez holds the WBC title.
The sibling rivalry will never make its way to the ring, which would obviously prevent an undisputed championship from taking place as long as they both hold titles at junior bantamweight. There is a pathway to cleaning out the division, with Franco (18-1-2, 8KOs) poised to add a legend to his resume.
“I’m here to take on everyone,” Franco told BoxingScene.com. “We know that [lineal/WBA “Super” Juan Francisco] Estrada is next. I’ve always wanted that fight, I’m ready for anyone.”
A date and location has yet to be announced for Franco’s title consolidation with Estrada, though it remains in the possession of his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions. The date of July 16 has been mentioned, with Franco hoping to upgrade his secondary WBA ‘World’ title reign.
With a win, Franco will earn recognition as the true lineal champion in a division where Rodriguez reigns as the WBC champ and who has two opponents he would rather not face. A fight with Franco is an obvious non-starter, nor would the 22-year-young Rodriguez prefer to ever face legendary former four-division champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (51-3, 41KOs). The two are close friends and both fight under the Teiken Promotions banner.
“Honestly, it’d be like fighting Joshua,” Rodriguez confessed to BoxingScene.com. “Chocolatito is practically like my brother. I probably won’t fight him unless we have to. I mean, if the fight happens, it happens. He’s a legend, it would be amazing for my career. But I don’t see it happening.”
That could leave Franco as the benefactor with a win over Estrada.
“I’d love that, too,” admits Franco. “He’s a legend, he makes it look so easy in there. That’d be a tremendous honor. I’m ready to beat all these guys in the division.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox