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Joshua Franco announces retirement from boxing after loss to Kazuto Ioka, explains decision

Joshua Franco has decided to hang up the gloves and retire at age 27.

Joshua Franco has retired from boxing after his loss to Kazuto Ioka
Joshua Franco has retired from boxing after his loss to Kazuto Ioka
Photo by YUICHI YAMAZAKI/AFP via Getty Images

Joshua Franco has announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 27, following a loss to Kazuto Ioka on Saturday in Tokyo.

The win gave Ioka the WBA junior bantamweight title, which Franco had lost on the scales Friday, badly missing weight and coming in just shy of 122 lbs for the 115 lb bout.

Franco’s statement from social media:

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

Franco retires with a record of 18-2-3 (8 KO). Eight of his final nine fights came against just three opponents: Three with Oscar Negrete (2018-19), three with Andrew Moloney (2020-21), and two with Ioka (2022-23). Between Negrete and Moloney, he stopped Jose Burgos in San Antonio.

Franco went 1-0-2 against Negrete, 2-0 with a no-contest against Moloney, and 0-1-1 against Ioka.

All we can really do here is wish Franco the best. It’s boxing, so of course many will wonder if he’ll be back in time — if not just outright assume that he’ll fight again after a break — but for the time being, consider the young man retired.

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