The former junior bantamweight champion’s last fight was marred by problems, as he failed to make the 115-pound limit.
ROBERT GARCIA ON JOSHUA FRANCO MISSING WEIGHT BY NEARLY 7 LBS.
Robert Garcia says, "We were very close to canceling everything. It's been a very tough training camp. We will go out over the next two hours and do our best but it won't be easy"#Boxing #boxingnews #francoioka pic.twitter.com/tTejfxHSM2
— SportBox TV Official™️ | #1 Sports News Coverage (@SportBoxTV) June 23, 2023
And in doing so, he was six pounds over the limit as he was stripped of his WBA title. While Ioka decided to go on with the fight, few could have expected him to come out victorious.
Ioka dealt with the heavy-handed Franco to win a unanimous decision: 116-112, 116-112, and 115-113.
However, the post-fight diagnosis revealed that the 24-year-old (Franco) had been battling many things outside of the ring.
“For the majority of my career I have been going through a lot of mental problems that I was doing my best to control.
“I never talked about it publicly because I didn’t want anyone to think I ever made an excuse for anything or for anyone to look at me different.
“I battled through it as much as I could to still perform and give you guys some great fights. For anyone that battles through any type of mental health issues please know you are not alone. And you can’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams,” Franco