By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
August 4, 2014
PLEASANTON, Calif. – After taking a break for a year, Drian “The Golden Fist” Francisco returns to the ring a champion via a third round knockout win over Colombian Manuel de los Reyes Herrera Saturday night at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
It proved to be an exciting fight with both fighters going at it in rounds 1 and 2.
The Pinoy boxer set up his punches early by establishing his jab and countering Herrera’s punches with his left hook.
It was Francisco’s left hook to the body that brought Herrera to his knees by round 3.
Justin Fortune, Francisco’s trainer and the strength and conditioning coach of Manny Pacquiao, says he wants Francisco back in the ring soon.
“He stuck to the game plan,” said Fortune. “It was to hunt the guy down, use his jab, find his openings, and capitalize on his openings. We’re just trying to get another fight, better opposition, extend the rounds, then we’ll hunt down another title shot.”
It was the 31-year-old Batangas native’s first fight since suffering a unanimous decision defeat against Chris Avalos.
Avalos won the WBO Super Bantamweight title in Las Vegas a year ago.
“I’m happy because this is my comeback and since we lost before, we learned some new things and why we lost,” said Francisco.
Francisco says he got extra support from the people from his home town.
“And for all my people from Sablayan, they continue to support me,” said Francisco. “They bring me food so I could recover. Thank you so much for all your support.”
Francisco is thankful for the support of his fellow kababayans and hopes they continue to support other Pinoy boxers as well.
“For all those Filipinos in the U.S. and the Philippines, I wish they would support me to be back, and not only to support me, but for all the others boxers, Manny Pacquiao, and for the next Manny Pacquiao,” said Francisco.
Francisco also says that he is already anticipating training for the next fight.
“I have another fight before my next big fight from 118 to 122,” said Francisco. “All I really need is more training and more prayer.”
Francisco’s record improves to 25 wins, 20 by way of KO, two losses, and one draw. Herrera falls to 21 wins, 15 by knockout, 14 losses, and one draw.
You can contact Rommel Conclara at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.