Drian “Gintong Kamao/Golden Fist” Francisco returned to the ring after a layoff of over one year to score a devastating 3rd knockout over southpaw Manuel de los Reyes Herrera of Colombia in a fight card aptly titled “Night of Glory-Battle for the Golden State” in California.
Truth Esguerra of Philippine News, the premier Filipino-American newspaper in the US reported that Francisco decked Herrera for the full count at :48 seconds of the third round with a brutal left hook to the body.
A video posted on YouTube showed Herrera going after Francisco early in round three before Drian quickly turned the tables and cracked the Colombian with a thundering left hook to the body to be counted out.
Esguerra said Francisco dominated the bout by establishing his jab and counter right hands together with the left hook.
Trainer Justin Fortune, a former heavyweight title challenger was extremely pleased with the turnaround by Francisco who disappointed Fortune when he lost to Chris Avalos in a battle for the vacant WBO NABO super bantamweight title on July 12, 2013 at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas.
Fortune who returned as “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach for his fight against Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in Macau said “it was a good win. He did what he was supposed to do.”
It was unlike his fight against the top rated Avalos which was marked by several vicious exchanges but Francisco appeared to fade in the late rounds and paid the price.
Fortune told the Manila Standard/Viva Sports after the loss to Avalos that Franciso was doing well in the early rounds but in the fifth round he said “I can’t breathe.”
The trainer was surprised that Francisco faded because he had sparred twelve rounds at times and worked on the punch-mitts for ten rounds several times and showed no signs of getting tired.
Reacting to Donaire’s comments, Fortune said “that’s the way Drian fights he puts everything into it. That’s the way he spars, that’s the way he does the punch mitts. He puts everything into every punch.”
Fortune said he was “trying to figure out what happened” and added Avalos “didn’t win the fight, Drian lost it.”
After Francisco’s impressive performance against Herrera, Fortune said he wants another fight possibly in a month and a half since Drian was hardly troubled.
With the win Francisco, a former WBA super flyweight interim champion who won the title from Thailand’s Duangpetch Kokietgym on November 30, 2010, improved to 25-2-1 with 15 knockouts while Herrera droppedto 21-14-1 with 15 knockouts.