Franco Stripped Of WBA Title At Weigh-In; Robert Garcia Cites Misinformation

Joshua Franco Loses WBA Title on the Scales

The WBA strips Joshua Franco ahead of his rematch with Kazuto Ioka
Kazuto Ioka (L), Joshua Franco | credit: Naoki Fukuda/ Kyodo

Joshua Franco vs Kazuto Ioka to Go Forward After WBA Strips an Overweight Franco


In a stunning development, Joshua Franco (18-1-3, 8 KOs) has been stripped of the WBA junior bantamweight title as a result of not making weight before his June 24 rematch with four-division world champion Kazuto Ioka (29-2-1, 15 KOs). The fight will proceed at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. However, Ioka is only eligible to win what is now the vacant WBA belt.

SIGNS OF TROUBLE

Franco was nearly seven pounds over the 115 junior bantamweight limit at Friday’s weigh-in. After being given an additional two hours to make weight, the now-former champion was still significantly over the limit. Ioka made weight with ease, tipping the scales at 114.6 pounds.

Word on the street was that there were concerns with Franco’s weight during the week. After the weigh-in, trainer Robert Garcia took to social media to address the issue with the following statements:

Robert Garcia explains Joshua Franco coming in overweight

Franco and Ioka previously fought in December 2022 in a unification contest. At that time, Ioka was the WBO champion. After twelve highly competitive rounds, the two warriors battled to a majority decision draw. Disappointed in his effort, Ioka decided to vacate the WBO title to get another chance to fight Franco.

In pre-fight interviews for this upcoming contest, Ioka said his motivation was high to beat Franco in dominating fashion. The expectation is that Franco – Ioka II will be just as good as their first bout. But some of the excitement is gone due to Franco’s lack of discipline and not tending to business.

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About Mike W.1962 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.