Unbeaten prospect Michael Franco (15-0, 10 KOs) will headline this Saturday at the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, California, on a card promoted by Steve Quinonez Jr.’s Champion Promotions. Franco will take on former world champion Kermin Guardia in an eight round super bantamweight main event. Franco enters the bout coming off of six months of inactivity something he expects to change with his recent signing with legendary promoter Don Chargin. Fightnews caught up with Franco as he closed out his training camp at the Apple Valley PAL Boxing gym. Franco spoke on his signing with Chargin, his new business venture, and his looking forward to a busy 2010 of activity in the ring.
You recently signed with legendary promoter Don Chargin. What led to your signing with him?
Don Chargin is very well respected promoter and has worked with a number of world-class fighters. He also has an excellent track record of keeping his fighters active and taking them to the next level. I’m likely to fight 4 to 5 times in 2010 which is something I’m very much looking forward to.
Though you are a prospect, you already have multiple sponsors backing you enough financially to where you don’t have work a regular job. Does that put pressure on you to succeed?
Honestly I don’t see it that way. I’m very much used to people believing in me and trusting in my abilities. I compare it to my old football days in high school where I played safety. The safety is the last line of defense to prevent a touchdown: a position played by someone the team trusts and believes in 100%. Same situation here with me in boxing.
Since your last interview on Fightnews you won your first title, the WBC Youth Intercontinental super bantamweight division, but you have been inactive for six months. How have you been keeping yourself sharp and maintaining your weight?
I am now signed with Don Chargin so I won’t have to worry about looking for fights anymore. Though I haven’t been fighting I have been blessed to have Flex Wheeler and the Natural Freak team from All American EFX with me. Coach Flex is my strength and conditioning coach and he has me on a regular routine that not only manages my weight well but keeps me in excellent condition.
Ideally what weight are you looking to fight at?
My fight with Guardia will be contracted at 122 pounds but I can make 115 or 118 comfortably.
I also understand that you have embarked upon a news business venture as well is that correct?
Yes I partnered up with my manager Dr. Les Cohen to buy “Beach Bums Bar & Grill” in Apple Valley. We are in escrow now and will open in a month under the name “Ringside Sports Bar”. Aside from it being a bar, we’re going to have all the major boxing and MMA fights televised at the bar on ten large flat screen televisions in the bar where the fights can be viewed as well.
Your opponent Kermin Guardia has more than three times as many fights as you do and is a former world champion. Any concerns on his experience advantage?
I’ve fought guys with significant edges in experience on me in the past and have done well. I’ve prepared well for this fight. I’m coming into this fight with the same mentality and confidence.
With your fight coming on Thanksgiving weekend you wont really be able to go all out on Thanksgiving day this year in terms of eating?
I won’t but that’s a sacrifice fighters make. However, the weigh-in is the day after Thanksgiving and we all know that Thanksgiving food is best the day after. (laughing)
Anything you want to say in closing?
Yes I want to thank all my sponsors and my fans known as the warrior nation. I’m ready to deliver an exciting victory come Saturday night.