Francisco trains as he waits for Rigondeaux fight
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino bantamweight Drian Francisco is continuing his training in Los Angeles even as he waits for his next fight to materialize.
The 29-year-old Mindoro native was originally set to fight an unnamed opponent on November 17 at the LA sports Arena.
But recent reports indicated that he could be facing World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux on the undercard of the Nonito Donaire Jr.-Jorge Arce fight on December 15.
“Handa naman ako sa laban. Maganda ang ensayo namin ni Justin. Nageensayo kami ng mabuti. Lahat ng pwede makalaban, nakaka-sparring namin,” Francisco told Philboxing’s Rich Mazon before reports of the Rigondeaux bout came out.
(I am ready for the fight. My training with Justin is going well. We spar with anyone who is available to spar with.)
He currently trains under Justin Fortune, who used to coach Manny Pacquiao.
Francisco, nicknamed “Gintong Kamao” (Golden Fist), usually fights as a bantamweight. However, he said he is willing to take on fighters as big as 122 pounds (super bantamweight).
“One hundred eighteen [pounds] sana kung meron, kung may slot. Pero kung walang slot, 122 ay okay na rin sa akin. Kung baga, nakapaglaro naman ako sa 122 eh, kaya okay na sa akin,” he said.
(I hope it is at 118, if there is a slot. But if none, I am okay with 122. I have fought as a 122 fighter so that will be fine.)
Francisco, who has a professional record of 23 wins with 18 KOs and one loss, has an aggressive fighting style comparable to Luisito Espinosa’s.
Last September, Francisco knocked out Mexican Jose Carlos Vargas in just one round.
“Wala naman akong kaba. Kakabahan ka sa boxing kung wala kang ensayo. Okay lang kung wala pang kalaban, ang mahirap diyan kung wala ka pang ensayo. Yun ang kakabahan ka,” said Francisco of his next fight.
(I am not nervous. You should be nervous in boxing if you did not train. It is okay if there is no opponent yet, not training is the problem. That is when you should worry.)