By Jim Jenkins (Sacramento Bee)
Super bantamweight Michael Franco, a hot prospect out of Riverside, Calif., continues to train at a feverish pace in anticipation of his extending his unbeaten record in a featured eight-rounder Aug. 20 at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Ariz. The 23-year-old Franco (16-0, 11 KOs), who has put away his last three opponents and has four stoppages of two rounds or less, will be facing veteran Adolfo Landeros (20-14-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico on the Telefutura telecast.
Hall of Fame promoter and Golden Boy consultant Don Chargin, who is putting on the show in association with Jorge Marron Promotions, has nurtured the careers of countless world champions and top contenders. He parallels Franco’s potential as not so unlike prospects he’s groomed in Sacramento and other areas throughout the state. Chargin’s guidelines have always been taking the cautious approach, gradual progression in competition and not getting too carried away with early success.
“Landeros represents Franco’s toughest test so far,” said Chargin, noting Franco hasn’t fought since November. “He’s a guy who will extend Franco, give him the extra rounds he needs at this stage of his development.”
Al Franco, his son’s trainer, says Michael is “extremely excited” for the bout against Landeros, undaunted in fighting opponents who were undefeated or had but a few losses.
“We’ve been at the Wild Card Boxing Club, where there is always is great sparring,” the senior Franco said Friday of the landmark Hollywood gym. “Michael says he feels great for this fight. Come fight time we will have about 90 (training) rounds in. I don’t see how his opponent is going to survive the aggression he has built up.”
According to his father, Franco, who has done most of his preparation at his Rancho Cucamonga gym, is working his way down from 138 pounds to 126 for this fight. Neither sees a problem.
Franco, via his PR rep, Rachel Charles, said he agrees his first fight of 2010 at a higher weight “is a big test (but) I wish I were fighting tomorrow.”
Also on the card will be San Diego-based Filipino Mercito Gesta (18-0-1, 8 KOs), who will mix with Genaro Trazancos (22-11-1, 13 KOs) of Florida in a 10-round lightweight bout.