Ricardo Franco says he wants a KO to prove he’s the king!
His fight with Jimmy Sweeney at the Indigo at O2 on Sunday, September 6 is a rematch. The Gainsborough hard man caused an upset by beating Sweeney on cuts last November. Franco was down twice in the third round of that fight before Sweeney was ruled out in the sixth.
Sweeney has since claimed that he was ahead on points at the time the stoppage – and Franco disagrees. He believes he was winning the fight and wants to prove a point by knocking out Sweeney in the rematch.
"I’m going to finish him this time," said Franco. "I’m 100 per cent confident of that. I saw Jimmy’s face after the first fight, and he was in a bad way. He seems to have forgotten that."
"Jimmy and me both know deep down that I was winning that fight. People say I only beat him on cuts, but why did he get cut? The referee wasn’t hitting him. I was hitting him with my jab."
"I was down in the third round, but I know why and it won’t happen again. I was outboxing the best bareknuckle boxer in the world and enjoyed it too much."
"It was a good feeling, and I started messing around and throwing shapes. That’s why I got caught. I won’t lose concentration this time."
Franco says confidence has been further boosted by sparring sessions with Marc Diakiese, set to fight in the UFC’s Fight Island.
He said: "We’ve been sparring twice a week and it’s been back and forth, really close. Sparring Marc has made me a better fighter – and more confident. It’s given me so much confidence to know that I’m at that level."
Franco added: "After the Sweeney fight, I want an MMA fight before the end of the year. The way sparring with Marc went has really motivated me and who knows, maybe he can put a word in for me with the UFC if I get a few wins ?"