Featherweight Daniel Franco, who remains in a medically induced coma following a severe eighth-round knockout loss Saturday night, is going to be in a coma for at least a few more days until doctors try to stir him, his father said Monday.
"My boy is fighting strong," Al Franco, who also works as his son's trainer, said in a statement. "He is holding his fever down to 99 [degrees] and is fighting hard. He will be kept in this coma for a few more days. The pressure in his brain is also under control thus far. Everything that we could ask for to go our way in this situation is. Please keep praying and thank you all for sharing and donating. I'm in debt and humbled by you all."
The family has raised more than $13,000 on GoFundMe to help cover Franco's considerable medical expenses after he suffered two brain bleeds in the knockout loss to Jose Haro in the main event of a CBS Sports Network-televised card at the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
Shortly after the fight, Franco (16-2-3, 11 KOs), 25, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain.
According to Al Franco, his son "suffered head trauma in his fight in Iowa and he had to have emergency surgery. He had two small veins that were bleeding and the doctors were able to take care of them."
Franco took a lot of hard right hands throughout the fight. A big one wobbled Franco in the sixth round. In the eighth round of the scheduled 10-rounder, Haro (14-1-1, 8 KOs), 30, of West Jordan, Utah, landed another clean overhand right that that knocked Franco down. He beat the count but later in the round Haro landed yet another right hand, this time near Franco's temple, and he went down hard, face-first.
Referee Celestino Ruiz immediately waved off the fight without a count at 2 minutes, 43 seconds.
"He will be here at best-case scenario for weeks before he will be able to be moved," Al Franco said. "We have a lot to prepare for mentally and, unfortunately, financially. Thank you all and please keep him in your prayers."
Shortly after the knockout, Franco, who is promoted by Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports, appeared alert and was able to get on a stool in the ring, where he received medical attention. He was still alert and seemed OK several minutes later when the result of the bout was read but he eventually laid back down on the mat and was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital.
Haro said in a statement on Monday that Franco is in his thoughts.
"I respect all fighters. My heart hurts knowing that my opponent from Saturday night is still in the hospital," he said. "I hope he has a full and speedy recovery. Nothing but love, brotha. We put everything on the line when we step inside the ring. I always tell my brother/trainer that I'm a father first, fighter second, and if he ever sees me badly hurt to stop the fight because my kids need their daddy. I'm very grateful that I won but it really doesn't feel like I won. I always pray that my opponent and myself come out our fight in good health. Let's go #TeamFranco, you got this!"