Boxer sues Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports for brain injury

The boxer has since retired from the sport

A former professional boxer is reportedly suing Jay-Z, Roc Nation Sports and Live Nation for negligence after suffering a near-fatal brain injury.

Daniel Franco was forced into retirement after enduring a brain haemorrhage from a knockout punch in a June 2017 fight; a fight he says he was not well enough to participate in at the time.

Daniel Franco (left) fights against Marcelo Gallardo in their Featherweight bout at ORACLE Arena on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California


The lawsuit claims that Franco asked his promoter, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, to postpone the fight on March 23, 2017. Franco says that he had been ill with the flu for three weeks and had not adequately prepared for the fight [via Pitchfork].

Roc Nation Sports representatives allegedly told him he “must go forward with the fight”, and that his future fights would be jeopardised if he didn’t take part.

Jay-Z in 2018

What followed was three fights scheduled by Roc Nation Sports for Franco within a 79-day period. Franco lost his first fight on March 23, 2017 in a technical knockout. The second fight took place on May 12, 2017. On June 10, 2017, Franco suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage in a knock-out.

The last fight left Franco in a coma and he had to have a piece of his skull removed in surgery. He is now required to wear a helmet to protect the left side of his head.


Elsewhere in the lawsuit documents seen by Pitchfork, it was later discovered that Franco suffered two skull fractures and a separate brain bleed from one of the two other fights.

“Had an MRI or other brain imaging been performed, the fractures and hemorrhage would have been discovered prior to the June 10, 2017 fight, necessitating a cancellation,” claims in the lawsuit are said to have read.

It is not known what damages Franco is seeking.

NME has contacted Roc Nation Sports for comment