Featherweight Daniel Franco remained in a coma on Sunday after suffering a brutal eighth-round knockout loss on Saturday night in the main event of a CBS Sports Network-televised boxing card at the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
“At this point the doctors have told us the next 48 hours will be critical in regards to him making a complete recovery,” manager Ray Chaparro, who accompanied Franco to the hospital, said in a statement. “We ask for prayers from the boxing community at this time.”
Shortly after the fight, Franco was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery to stop two brain bleeds he suffered in the loss to Jose Haro (14-1-1, 8 KOs), 30, of West Jordan, Utah.
Franco (16-2-3, 11 KOs), 25, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, took a lot of hard right hands throughout the fight. A big one wobbled Franco in the sixth round. In the eighth round of the scheduled 10-rounder, Haro landed another clean overhand right that knocked Franco down. Franco beat the count but later in the round Haro landed yet another right hand, this time near Franco’s temple, and he went down hard, face first in exaggerated fashion. Referee Celestino Ruiz immediately waved off the fight without a count at 2 minutes, 43 seconds.
Franco appeared alert moments later and was able to get on a stool in the ring, where he received medical attention. He was still alert and seemed OK several minutes later when the result of the bout was read, but he eventually laid back down on the mat and was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital.
Franco, who is promoted by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, suffered his first defeat by third-round knockout to Christopher Martin on March 23, but bounced back to score a first-round knockout win against Francisco Agustin Suarez on May 12 before taking on Haro.
Now he is fighting for his life.
“Roc Nation’s thoughts and prayers are with Daniel Franco and his family during this critical recovery period. He is a tenacious talent and champion, and will always have our support,” said Michael Yormark, Roc Nation’s president and chief of branding and strategy.