Jermaine Franklin has been given some network hype as the best American prospect in the heavyweight division, but the 25-year-old from Saginaw, Michigan, has now had two chances to impress on Showtime airwaves in 2019, and he’s 0-for-2, while also going 2-0.
Franklin (19-0, 13 KO) got a deserved decision win over aging Rydell Booker in April, but tonight got a much tougher test from Virginia southpaw Jerry Forrest, who gave Franklin fits in many rounds, working behind his jab and seemingly landing a lot of the better shots, only for Franklin to be arguably gifted a split decision win after 10 rounds.
Scores were 96-94 for Forrest and two cards of 97-93 for Franklin, which is a tough score to defend round-by-round.
Franklin, who isn’t a big heavyweight and isn’t much of a puncher despite a solid KO percentage, has a long road ahead of him if he’s really going to be considered a heavyweight contender, and the TV push of him is either ahead of schedule or simply ill-fated. Forrest (25-3, 19 KO) was a club fighter on paper — a club fighter on a solid winning streak, yes, but a club fighter all the same, a guy who’d never faced anyone particularly good in his entire career before this.
Franklin admitted himself that his performance in April against Booker wasn’t up to his own standards, and it’ll be interesting to see what he says after this one. It’s maybe not the worst decision in history — punch stats were close enough, with Franklin having a total advantage in power punches landed, though they connected about the same rate — but the really important thing, probably, is just the way that Franklin again didn’t seem like a guy you really need to be paying attention to in the division. If you watched his two fights this year, it’s hard to argue that he projects as a top-level threat.
In the super featherweight co-feature, Giovanni Cabrera Mioletti started a little slow, but took over against Luis Porozo, winning a decision on scores of 97-93, 98-92, and 98-92. Porozo (14-1, 7 KO) looked like he had the right plan early, but Mioletti (17-0, 7 KO) stayed cool and was able to take control while Porozo ran out of steam.
The 24-year-old Mioletti, a Washington native now based in Chicago, has fought most of his pro bouts in Tacoma, and so far, so good.