Juan Francisco Estrada vs Joshua Franco continues to be one of the more bizarre ongoing sagas in the sport.
Golden Boy, who won the rights to the WBA-mandated title bout with a paltry $120,000 bid, initially told the WBA that the fight would land on July 16. Then came rampant speculation that Estrada would forgo the matchup and dump his belt in favor of a more lucrative rubber match with Chocolatito Gonzalez.
Now, Zanfer’s Fernando Beltran tells Francisco Salazar that Estrada vs Franco is still on, with Salvador Rodriguez reporting that it will land on Aug. 20. In response, Mauricio Sulaiman told Rob Tebbutt that the WBC would strip “El Gallo” of his “franchise” title if he went forward with the Franco fight.
Let’s rewind to the halcyon days of June 2019, when Canelo Alvarez was installed as the first-ever franchise champion. The official WBC press release stated that the title was “not transferrable” and that the titlist would “represent the WBC in every single fight as a reigning WBC champion, regardless of any specific conditions or titles being associated with all future fights.” Essentially, you’re the franchise champion forever.
They already reneged on the whole “non-transferrable” bit when Teofimo Lopez beat Vasiliy Lomachenko, and now it seems that they’ve done away with every other aspect of it.
If they do end up stripping Estrada, it’s an absolute win; Canelo will never fight at 160 again, making his franchise title moot, and Devin Haney’s win over George Kambosos Jr unified the franchise and actual titles at 135. That garbage will finally be extinct after three years.