Joshua Franco Closes The Chapter On Andrew Moloney Rivalry
By: Hans Themistode
All Andrew Moloney could do was shake his head.
After losing his WBA “Regular” super flyweight title against Joshua Franco in June of 2020, Moloney (21-2, 14 KOs) waited patiently for the two to do it again. Five months later, Moloney wasn’t given much clarity as their immediate rematch was ruled a no-decision due to what was ruled as an accidental head butt.
But while Moloney was left apoplectic, believing that he scored a legal punch and should have been given the stoppage victory, he was ultimately afforded a third time to settle the score.
Heading into their showdown, Moloney was viewed as the odds on favorite. Franco, however, was unfazed with those who doubted him.
Franco (18-1-2, 8 KOs) placed his hands up high in the opening round and caught the shots of Moloney on his gloves. He waited patiently for the perfect moment to let his hands go and found his openings at the midway point of the round.
Franco went to the body of Moloney in the second period. His willingness to put water in the basement of his opponent paid dividends as their contest continued. In an effort to change the pace, Moloney began opening up in the third. He pushed Franco back as he began covering up on the ropes. The WBA titleholder attempted to maneuver away from his man to get his own offense going but Moloney stuck to him and didn’t allow him to receive any breathing room.
As the midway point of their showdown came rolling by, Moloney began slowing down. Franco, full of confidence at this point, continued to go to the body but mixed in several hooks upstairs. Moloney found a bit of a rhythm during that latter portion of their contest but couldn’t keep up the pace as Franco took things up a notch.
With Moloney slowing down to a crawl at this point, Franco poured it on. He pinned his man back and began teeing off. While he never appeared to be in huge trouble, Moloney struggled during the championship rounds.
As the final bell rang, Franco confidently climbed to the ropes and screamed to the crowd. A dejected Moloney knew he was beaten and simply clapped his hands as he applauded Franco for his unanimous decision victory.
Joshua Franco Retains Title With Horrendous Decision Against Andrew Moloney
After a fairly one sided opening two rounds, former super flyweight titlist Andrew Moloney found himself on the wrong end of the judges decision on the night.
During the first round of his contest against WBA belt holder Joshua Franco, referee Russell Mora ruled that a head butt closed the right eye of Franco. Yet, after examining the replay several times over, there was no head butt, there was simply jabs to the face of Franco. That however, did not stop the referee and the Nevada State Athletic Commission from ruling the contest a no decision and handing Franco back his title.
ESPN Boxing Results: Joshua Franco Takes Andrew Moloney’s WBA Super Flyweight World Title
Andrew Moloney vs Joshua Franco
We have new world champion on our hands as Joshua Franco (17-1, 8 KOs).
The main event of this card over at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, was centered around Andrew Moloney (21-1, 14 KO). He was undefeated, strong and the WBA Super Flyweight world champion. Franco on the other hand, was supposed to be nothing more than a speed bump, but he proved to be much more than that.
Early on the two went back and forth with heavy blows, but it was the second half of the fight where it was all Franco. The nonstop pressure that he produced finally broke his man in the 11th round as he scored a knockdown. That, coupled with his come forward game plan led him to his first world title. The judges scoring the contest had it 115-112 and two scores of 114-113 for Franco.
Christopher Diaz vs Jason Sanchez
Christopher Diaz (26-2, 16 KOs) boxed circles around Jason Sanchez (15-2, 8 KOs) at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both men split their last two ring appearances and had something to prove.
Sanchez tried to bully his way to a win, but it was Diaz who used his footwork and ring IQ to make his man look silly. Everything that Diaz threw seemed to land in a big way.
After nine mostly one sided rounds, Diaz turned up the pressure in the tenth and final round and really had his man busted up. Sanchez managed to make it to the end of the contest but lost a unanimous decision victory. The judges scoring the contest had it 98-92, 97-93 and 98-92 in favor of Diaz.
Miguel Contreras vs Rolando Vargas
Both Miguel Contreras (11-0, 6 KOs) and Rolando Vargas (5-1, 5 KOs) came into their super lightweight contest tonight as undefeated prospects. Yet, it was Contreras who left the ring with the 0 still in his loss column.
Vargas was simply one step slow all night long as Contreras continually beat his man to the punch. As the rounds ticked by Vargas became more and more desperate and began to throw big shots. None landed however. And Contreras cruised to a unanimous decision victory. Each judge scoring the contest had it 58-56 in favor of Contreras.
Helaman Olguin vs Adam Stewart
Helaman Olguin (8-3, 3 KOs) upset the applecart with a unanimous decision victory over the previously undefeated Adam Stewart (8-1-1, 5 KOs).
Things started off a bit sketchy for Stewart as a clash of heads opened up a cut under his right eye. His corner was able to get the gash under control but he never looked quite comfortable during the contest. He was tentative and refused to let his hands go. In the end, his reluctant style cost him his undefeated record as Olguin won a close majority decision.
One judge scoring the contest had it 57-57 but was quickly overruled by the remaining two scorers who had it 58-56 in favor of Olguin.
Andrew Moloney vs Joshua Franco: Fight Preview
By: Hans Themistode
Top Rank boxing continues its Summer series this Tuesday night in what has become their de facto home in the Conference Center at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This will be their sixth straight show, but first world title fight as WBA Super Flyweight world champion Andrew Moloney takes on Joshua Franco in the main event. Both men are sharing a pair of firsts in this one as Moloney looks to defend his title for the first time. While Franco on the other hand, is hoping to grab his first world title.
For Franco, seeing anyone other than Oscar Negrete will be a welcomed sight. The two spent the better part of one year facing off against one another in three straight contests. Their rivalry ended after a pair of split decision draws while a 2019 win for Franco was sandwiched in between. He’s since been in the ring against Jose Burgos in January of 2020. Opting to keep the judges out of it by scoring the knockout win.
As for Moloney, he’s fresh off his fourth stoppage victory with the latest coming against Elton Dharry. The win kept his undefeated record intact, while also allowing him to pick up the interim WBA title.
As for the rest of the night, fighters from multiple divisions are littered across this fight card. Kicking things off will be a pair of heavyweights in Adam Stewart and Helaman Olguin. Following up shortly after is Lightweight prospect Joseph Adorno as he takes on Alexis Del Bosque. The action begins to pick up even more when Christopher Diaz enters the ring in the co main event. He’ll look to bounce back from a one sided loss against Shakur Stevenson when he takes on Jason Sanchez.
In what has become the new norm, fans will not be in attendance but can tune into the card on ESPN at 8 PM ET.