A boxer who claims he suffered a serious brain injury in the ring is suing Jay-Z and Roc Nation for negligence, claiming they forced him to fight when he was not ready.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Daniel Franco claims he signed a deal to be represented by Roc Nation Sports in 2015. Prior to signing the deal, he says he was a promising young boxer with a record of 10-0-3, with seven of his wins coming by knock out or TKO.
Franco claims he won his first five fights after signing with Roc Nation.
In the lawsuit, Franco claims he had a fight scheduled for March 23, 2017, but says he got sick with the flu leading up to the fight. He claims he was out of the gym for three weeks and could not train properly for the fight.
Franco claims that he and his father both told Roc Nation he was sick and needed to cancel or postpone the fight. But he claims he was told he to go forward with the fight.
He would go on to lose that fight by TKO.
According to Franco, he had another fight scheduled for May 12, 2017 (he does not go into detail about that fight) and then again on June 10, 2017.
Franco claims Roc Nation should have known he was in no condition to fight yet again and claims he did not receive medical clearance before the fight. He says he was suffering from two skull fractures and a brain bleed going into the fight.
Franco was knocked out in the eighth round of that fight and claims he suffered "a devastating brain hemorrhage." He says he went into a coma and had to undergo surgery.
He is suing Roc Nation Sports, Live Nation and Jay-Z personally for negligence. He is seeking unspecified damages.
Back in 2017, Franco told The Blast his family was first told Roc Nation would help with the medical bills but claims it was a false promise.
The 25-year-old, who still has slurred speech and must wear a protective helmet as a result of his injury, says Roc Nation even asked him to take down a GoFundMe page his family set up, and told him they “would figure it all out,” but never followed up or called him back. He said that was the only time he has heard from them.
An emotional Franco said Roc Nation has not “been true to their word, and they haven’t been great people.” Adding, “They left me out there to dry.”