TMZ: Boxer Daniel Franco Sues Jay-Z, Roc Nation Sports over Brain Injuries

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 21, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Daniel Franco celebrates his win against Marcelo Gallardo during their Featherweight bout at ORACLE Arena on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Former professional boxer Daniel Franco, who was represented by Roc Nation Sports, said in a lawsuit against his former agency and its co-founder Jay-Z he was forced to fight three times in 79 days despite illness and injury, per TMZ Sports

The 27-year-old featherweight, who retired with a 16-2-3 record, "believes he suffered two skull fractures and a brain bleed" before the third bout, which took place on June 10, 2017. He also says that Roc Nation forced him to fight in March 2017 despite losing three weeks of training due to the flu.

In June, he lost via knockout to Jose Haro in his final professional bout and said that he suffered a brain hemorrhage and went into a coma. He also said that he currently has "severe neurological and cognitive issues," per TMZ Sports, and that he must now wear a helmet to protect his brain.

In the suit, Franco said he believes Roc Nation acted "recklessly" in scheduling him for the three fights and didn't complete the "necessary medical testing" required to ensure he was fit to get in the ring.

TMZ Sports reported Franco is asking for "unspecified damages" and Roc Nation has not returned requests for comment at this time.

Franco has expressed his anger and disappointment in Roc Nation before the lawsuit. Boxing journalist Steven Kim posted a picture of Franco holding a sign directed toward his agency in Oct. 2017 (warning: contains profanity):

 

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, who also posted the image, offered support as well.

"Daniel Franco survived and this image is as strong as could be," Sulaiman said. "Sad to learn he has been abandoned by 'promoter.'"

Kim also provided comments of his own in Oct. 2017 and Mar. 2018:

 

One side of the story (and messages of support) have been made evidently clear. We'll see if Roc Nation provides comment as the lawsuit continues.

In the interim, the Association of Boxing Commissions donated $5,000 Franco in June 2018 to help pay for medical bills, per ESPN's Marc Raimondi:

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