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WBA orders Juan Francisco Estrada to defend against Joshua Franco

Franco has held the WBA “world” title since June 2020

Juan Francisco Estrada v Carlos Cuadras - WBC Super-Flyweight Championship Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

So much for that WBC tournament. The WBA has officially ordered unified super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada to defend his “super” title against “world” champion Joshua Franco, giving the two sides until March 11th to come to terms.

It’s a disappointing move, but one that makes sense. Estrada (42-3, 28 KO), who recently withdrew from a planned rematch with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez due to COVID, hasn’t defended the WBA title since he controversially took it from Gonzalez last March; with Gonzalez set to stay busy against Julio Cesar Martinez, it’s hard to argue that Franco (18-1-2, 8 KO) shouldn’t get his shot after holding the belt for nearly two years.

Plus, it’ll be nice to see Franco fight someone other than Oscar Negrete or Andrew Moloney for once. Six of his last seven have come against those two.

If the matchup goes through, it’ll be interesting to see how the WBC plays it. While the original plan is in shambles at this point, there’s a lot they could do with Gonzalez, Martinez, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and newly crowned champion Jesse Rodriguez while the “Franchise” champ does Franchise things. I’m guessing Sor Rungvisai fights Rodriguez and the Gonzalez-Martinez winner waits for Estrada or Franco, but we’ll see.