ODESSA, Texas (BIG2/FOX24) – One Odessa athlete has his eyes on the prize. Joshua Franco is honing his skills for a winning title in the 2019 USA Boxing National Championships.
At just 13 years old, Franco has been invited to compete. His qualifying ticket was his championship win in the 2018 Eastern Qualifier. Coach and grandfather, Ramon Franco, says he will be the only one representing West Texas this year.
“He’s a hard worker,” said Coach Franco. “And he hates to lose.”
Joshua says he started boxing to please his family. Little did he know, he would go on to continue his family legacy. Coach Franco says boxers run in the family for generations.
“My grandpa and my dad kept wanting me to try it, and then I just fell in love with it,” said Joshua.
He stepped into the ring for the first time at age 6. After two years of training, he began his competitive career. His personal record is 22-7.
“Whenever I get into the ring, and that bell rings, all that adrenaline comes. I get real excited and wanting to fight.”
Joshua will be competing against athletes in his 125lb, 13 to 14-year-old division.
“I was glad they knew who I was, and what I could do. I was glad they invited me to it,” said Joshua.
His family says Joshua competitive nature runs in the family.
“Oh, I just want to win. I want him to win it all. Everything.” said father, Matt Franco. “He’s going up there not only to represent Odessa boxing club, but he’s representing all of Odessa. All of West Texas is behind him,” added Coach Franco.
Joshua’s dream is to fight for the USA team. This year, nationals will be hosted along with the 2020 Olympic Trials for boxing.