Boxing News

Franco, Kayode kick off 2011

Photos by Tom Casino/SHOWTIME

Undefeated featherweight prospect and former Cuban Olympian Luis Franco will look to take another giant step towards challenging for a world title in 2011 when he takes on veteran Leonilo Miranda in a 10-round bout to kick off an impressive run of boxing on SHOWTIME on Friday, Feb. 4 LIVE on SHOWTIME (11 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West coast). In a co-feature worthy of main event billing, crowd-pleasing and Freddie Roach-trained Lateef Kayode will be looking for his 15th consecutive knockout as he squares off against Tampa native Nicholas Iannuzzi in a 10-round cruiserweight bout.

Undefeated lightweight prospect Archie Ray Marquez and hard-hitting southpaw Marvin Quintero will kickoff the tripleheader with an eight-round scrap.

Promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, the event will originate from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif.

One of boxing’s fastest rising prospects, Franco (8-0, 5 KOs) is on the inside track to challenge for a world title in 2011. The No. 9 rated World Boxing Organization (WBO) prospect, Franco is aiming to continue to step up his level of opposition in the coming year.

“I’d like to fight all the top guns in my weight class,” Franco, 28, said. “Line them up one by one, I’m waiting for the call. If any of them have what it takes to call out my name and challenge me, I’ll be ready. I want the top guns in this division.”

“I’m looking to get a world title victory in 2011. We’re on the right path right now – we just need to keep on winning.”

Though he only has eight professional fights under his belt compared to Miranda’s 34, Franco had more than 400 amateur fights and was 2-2 against former teammate and current World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champ Yuriorkis Gamboa.

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