Just under a month after winning the purse bid, Golden Boy Promotions has confirmed that Juan Francisco Estrada’s mandatory WBA title defense against Joshua Franco will land on July 16th. “All the details” have been finalized save for the location, “which will be announced in the coming weeks; GBP had previously named California or Nevada as likely hosts.
Honestly a bit surprised that it went through, seeing as GBP bid a measly $120k. It seemed likelier that Estrada (42-3, 28 KO), who also holds the WBC “franchise” belt at 115, would ditch the WBA title in favor of pursuing either a trilogy fight with Chocolatito Gonzalez or a meeting with the winner of “Bam” Rodriguez vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai for the standard WBC belt.
But hey, if he’s cool with earning $90k and if Franco’s (18-1-2, 8 KO) cool with pocketing $30k, more power to ‘em. It’s not a bad matchup by any stretch of the imagination; Estrada’s still sharp and tough as hell and Franco rarely fails to entertain.
As for the rest of the division, Kazuto Ioka will defend the WBO belt against Donnie Nietes in July, while Jerwin Ancajas will reportedly exercise his rematch clause and take on Fernando Martinez rather than move to 118.