by Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised by promoter Richard Dobal that Cuban Olympian and IBF #3 rated Luis Franco (11-1, 7KO's) has withdrawn from the fight with IBF featherweight champion Billy "The Kid" Dib (35-1, 21KO's), which was scheduled to headline an ESPN Friday Night Fights card on March 1, at MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The card is being co-promoted by Lou DiBella and 50 Cent's SMS Promotions.
According to Dobal, Franco was in training for the fight but then burst out of the gym after refusing to sign a contract to face Dib. After agreeing to the terms, which presented him with a purse of $20,000, Franco was not satisfied with the financial details and refused to go forward with the match.
Manager Henry Foster was pleading with his boxer to remain in the match, but the boxer said he wasn't interested. Dobal said the entire team was "shocked" with the sudden turn of events.
Dobal tried his best to reach out to the boxer, who refused to speak with him and advoided his contact attempts. He explained the consequences to Franco's wife. She told Dobal that her husband didn't care because he planned to retire from boxing. The boxer also made similar statements to Foster.
On Friday, Foster reached out to Dobal and said the boxer still wasn't willing to go forward and it was best to pull him out of the fight.
Franco lost a controversial decision to Mauricio Munoz in a final IBF eliminator last October in Argentina. Citing an injury, Munoz was unable to move forward with the mandatory match with Dib. After Munoz was out, Dobal was able get Franco back in position.
"It was a lot of hard work to get him here. I don't know what happened because he agreed to everything and he was happy to get this fight. Then he reneged. He said he didn't want the fight. Henry Foster tried to explain everything to him. He said he didn't care because he was going to retire," Dubal told BoxingScene.com.