Franco’s feeling ‘super fit’ after reaching final

Rico Franco made short work of winning his semi-final.
Rico Franco made short work of winning his semi-final.

Gainsborough fighter Ricardo Franco says he’s super fit and raring to go as he prepares for catchweight ‘Prize Fighter’ BKB final at London’s O2 Arena in June.

Franco took just 40 seconds to knock out Connor Tierney in the event’s semi-finals at the end of last month, securing a place in the final against James Connelly where £10,000 is up for grabs.

And having been the favourite to win the event since before its opening quarter-final stage, Franco is now keen to use that as motivation.

He said: “I’m super fit at the moment and working extra hard to be ready for the final.

“I’ve had lots of time in the altitude chamber and putting in some elite level training to be ready.

“I don’t pay much attention to who is favourite but the fact I’m well fancied is something I see as a motivating factor rather than it putting pressure on, as it makes me want to justify that tag.”

Franco’s semi-final win was achieved in style as he floored Tierney with a deadly combination, and one which he’d rehearsed thoroughly in the run-up to the fight.

He said: “I was ready for a five round battle so didn’t expect it to be over so fast.

“I’d been drilling the same combination probably 30 or 40 times out the back before the fight and it was in my mind to do it. In the end the timing was right and I managed to catch him. It went perfectly.”

Franco will now face Connelly in the final on June 8, his opponent having initially been knocked out in the quarter-finals before earning a recall to the semi-finals due to his opponent being injured and proceeding to win that clash in five rounds.

Franco said: “He’s a good boxer but will have needed more recovery time than me given he went five rounds.

“In a sense he’s got nothing to lose but I won’t take anything for granted.”

Should he win the final, Franco will then get a shot at the world title against BKB legend Jimmy Sweeney in London in September.

He added: “MMA remains my main discipline so if I can win in BKB it will open a lot of doors for me.

“My coach has a lot of contacts so I’m hoping to get plenty of MMA fights arranged before too long.”

Fans looking to head to London to support Ricardo Franco in his BKB 17 final can still obtain tickets for the event.

They can be accessed by going online and visiting {https://www.axs.com/uk/events/372125/bkb-17-tickets?fbclid=IwAR0ysO4G5VrTNYkBszrxRDRSBT4fHQ18yU0QtKtVsDTnb5KBCk_6jBEQgNw |HERE|Tickets}.

Franco said: “I think around 60 of my allocation have been sold already and I’m hoping to double that if I can. There were around 3,000 at the semi-finals and I know that in future they’re looking for bigger venues for it.

“It would be great to have lots of supporters there.”