Joshua Franco calls time on career following rematch defeat to Ioka

Former WBA world super-flyweight world champion Joshua Frano has officially called time on his career following his unanimous points defeat to Kazuto Ioka in Tokyo, Japan, on June 24th.

Franco was stripped of his title on the scales after failing to make weight for the 115lb contest and missing weight by six pounds, which Ioka would claim with a comprehensive victory, leaving Franco cut and bruised following the encounter.

Franco finishes his career with eighteen wins, two defeats with three draws on his record, and eight wins coming inside the scheduled distance. Franco would claim the WBA super-flyweight world title against Andrew Maloney in a fight-of-the-year contender in June of 2020 before proceeding to have another two fights with the Australian consecutively in November of 2020 (NC) and August of 2021 (UD).

Franco would attempt to unify his WBA title with Ioka’s WBO super-flyweight world title on December 31st of last year in an entertaining encounter which was ruled a majority draw by the official scorecards. However, the rematch would only see Franco’s title on the line for the victor following Ioka’s decision to vacate the WBO title to avoid his mandatory obligation to his countryman Junto Nakatani.

Franco confirmed his decision to retire on Instagram, with concerns for his mental health playing a considerable factor in his decision to call it a day in professional boxing. ]

“I wanted to start off by saying Thank You to everyone that has supported me in my career.

“I appreciate everyone for their continued support. I was able to live my childhood dream of becoming a World Champion. I defended my title multiple times all over the world and always tried my best to represent San Antonio, TX proudly.

“For the majority of my career I have been going through a lot of mental problems that I was doing my best to control. I never talked about it publicly because I didn’t want anyone to think I ever made an excuse for anything or for anyone to look at me different. I battled through it as much as I could to still perform and give you guys some great fights. For anyone that battles through any type of mental health issues please know you are not alone. And you can’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams.

“I want to say Thank You to my team. My mom, dad and brothers for all their help and support throughout my whole career. Everyone at RGBA for believing in me helping me achieve my dreams. You guys always believed in me and I will forever be grateful.

“Last night in Tokyo, Japan was officially my last fight. It was a tough week for me and I didn’t get the result I wanted but I leave this sport knowing I gave it everything I had.

“Again Thank You to everyone for all their support and I’ll see you guys around.”