Joshua Franco retires from boxing? Ex-champ addresses ‘mental problems’ amid painful loss to Kazuto Ioka

Joshua Franco didn’t have a great week as he first failed to make weight which resulted in him getting stripped of his junior WBA bantamweight title. Thereafter he suffered a heartbreaking unanimous decision loss to Kazuto Ioka. Following this loss, everyone was expecting Franco to move up a weight class.

But Joshua surprised the world by announcing his retirement from the sport. What’s shocking about this decision is the fact that he is just 27 years old and he was in his prime. After competing in the sport for eight long years, Joshua Franco amassed a record of 18-2-3 with 8 knockout wins to his name.

Why did Joshua Franco retire from boxing?

Joshua Franco shocked the world after he announced his retirement from professional boxing after losing his title to Kazuto Ioka. The 27-year-old junior bantamweight boxer explained the reason behind taking such a big decision on his Instagram page. Franco posted a photo of his recent title bout and wrote a long note in his caption.

Joshua Franco

The former champion thanked all his supporters for backing him throughout his boxing career. Thereafter Joshua revealed that he was going through a lot of mental problems and that was the biggest reason behind his decision to retire. At the end of the caption, he thanked his parents and coaches for their help and support.

“For the majority of my career, I have been going through a lot of mental problems. I battled through it as much as I could to give you guys some great fights. Last night in Tokyo, Japan was officially my last fight. It was a tough week for me and I didn’t get the result I wanted but I leave this sport knowing I gave it everything I had.”

Joshua Franco vs Kazuto Ioka fight overview

Joshua Franco started the rematch in a similar fashion as he kept his distance and landed some jabs. However, Ioka got used to the distance in the second round and started overwhelming Franco with powerful blows. The Japanese boxer attacked Joshua’s body and landed more powerful strikes than his opponent. 

Joshua Franco absorbs a punch from Kazuto Ioka

On the other hand, Franco found it difficult to connect blows and as a result, Kazuto took full advantage of the situation. In the fifth round, one of Kazuto Ioka’s blows caused a cut to the right eye of the American boxer.

Throughout the twelve rounds, Joshua could not find his rhythm and land punches. Meanwhile, Ioka landed punches at will and outworked the former champion to claim a unanimous decision win.


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