Injured boxer Franco out of coma, improving

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Injured featherweight Daniel Franco has been weaned from his medically induced coma, is breathing on his own and showing signs of improvement, the fighter’s father said.

“Daniel had his breathing tube removed and is breathing on his own,” Al Franco said. “They added an IV to his carotid artery in his neck and removed all other IVs. He’s progressing well and it’s all thanks to the great doctors and you all. Thank you all for your prayers.

“Daniel was moved out of intensive care unit and into a regular room. He’s responding well and is becoming more alert.”

Daniel Franco was rushed into emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, which was bleeding in two spots, and placed in the induced coma following a severe eighth-round knockout loss to Jose Haro on June 10.

The fight was the main event of a CBS Sports Network-televised card at the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa. Franco remains hospitalized in Sioux City, Iowa.

Al Franco, who is also his son’s trainer, said he was overjoyed when his son began to come out of the coma and was able to communicate with his doctors and family.

“He gave us two thumbs up when asked if he could hear us,” Al Franco said. “We asked him to wink once for yes and twice for no. He followed instructions and is aware of what is going on. He’s moving slowly which may be due to the sedatives, he’s on but he is improving. He is good for a few minutes, then goes to sleep again.”

Daniel Franco 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 (14-1-1, 8 KOs) landed another clean overhand right that knocked Franco down. He 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.

Referee Celestino Ruiz immediately waved off the fight without a count at 2 minutes, 43 seconds, and Franco (16-2-3, 11 KOs), 25, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, received immediate medical attention.

Franco, who is promoted by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, appeared alert only seconds after the knockout, but several minutes later he became less responsive and fell off the stool unconscious and was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and to the hospital.

During surgery, doctors removed a section of his skull, which will remain off for several weeks. But Al Franco said his son’s vital signs are normal and all the tubes have been removed from his head.

“These are all good signs that we are moving in the right direction,” Al Franco said.

Franco said the family faces mounting medical bills that likely will run into seven figures. They have so far raised just over $40,000 through a Go Fund Me account set up to assist with the considerable medical expenses.

“Thank you all so much for the continued support financially and spiritually,” Al Franco said. “Please keep the prayers coming. Please keep sharing. Please say his name in your head or whisper it, any acknowledgment to help keep the positive vibes.”

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