By: Ste Rowen
The Bendigo Stadium in Australia is home to men & women’s basketball teams, the Braves and the Spirit, and there was plenty of both on show in the heart of Victoria as Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney became only the second man to stop Luis Concepcion inside the distance in a rough but, perfectly executed performance that was sealed with a final round stoppage.
The WBA ‘Oceania’ belt was on the line but more importantly for the winner was a potential showdown, or rematch in Concepcion’s case, with current WBA super-flyweight champion, Kal Yafai.
From the noise in the crowd, it was clear who was the main attraction, but it was ‘El Nica’ who made the quicker starter. His familiar come-forward pressure style was the evident tactic from the start. Moloney did his best to keep the distance and obstruct Concepcion from achieving any success on the inside.
The fight followed a similar pattern for the next few rounds as the Australian kept his opponent away well enough to land his own frequent power punch combinations. The former WBA champion followed Moloney around the ring but, like in past bouts, Luis’ accuracy was seriously lacking.
By the 4th, Andrew’s confidence was quickly rising. His constant movement, frequency and accuracy of the WBA ‘Oceania’ champ’s punches were undoubtedly winning him the rounds, even if the 32-year-old never seemed discouraged in coming forward. Towards the end of the same round, as ‘The Monster’ laid an onslaught on Concepcion, ‘El Nica’ kept swinging, kept trying to come forward.
The unbeaten fighter’s chin was tested at times, notably a short-left hand landing cleanly in the middle rounds, but the 27-year-old seemed to be relatively comfortable as the latter rounds passed by in this scheduled 10-rounder.
It’s hard to tell whether Concepcion, 37-6 (26KOs), upped his game at the beginning of the final round due to the fast pace he always fights at. In the last 3 minutes, ‘El Nica’ will no doubt have sensed he was down on the cards, but the white and gold shorts Moloney entered the ring in, matched his performance overall and with just over 60 seconds left of the 10th, his constant teeing off on Concepcion’s head with beautiful left and right hooks, forced the referee to step in and end the bout early.
With his manager, Tony Tolj talking about trying to get Moloney on the Superfly 3 card this week, and his twin brother, Jason set to fight IBF bantamweight champ, Emmanuel Rodriguez in the World Boxing Super Series, kicking off in October, Andrew, now 18-0 (11KOs), knew how important a win tonight was to keep him in people’s minds going forward.
‘‘We executed the game plan perfectly…I’m number 4 now so I hope I get the shot at Kal Yafai…I’m coming for that belt.’’
‘‘I can box on the back foot or the front foot. We knew how good Concepcion was…It was a very tough fight. We did what we had to do to win.’’
Tim Tszyu vs. Marco Jesus Cornejo
Today’s main event in Bendigo was a junior middleweight bout as Tim Tszyu took on Marco Jesus Cornejo, 19-3 (18KOs). Tszyu, who entered the ring 10-0 (8KOs), was on the Argentine immediately, shifting to the centre ring and firing off a heavy jab to the body and head in single bursts.
Cornejo went into tonight on a 2-fight losing streak but nether that or Tszyu’s confident start stopped him from attempting windmill-esque right hands. Unfortunately, one of those wild shots signalled the early end to the night.
Marco missed wildly and left himself wide open to an accumulation of heavy, accurate right hands without reply and trapping him to the ropes, causing the referee to step in between the two boxers and call an end to the bout with around 30 seconds left of the fight, and Cornejo still on his feet.
This was Tim’s 4th fight of 2018 and the Australian is eyeing up one more matchup before the end of the year.
By: Bryant Romero
Maricela “La Diva” Cornejo returns to the ring next Friday July 13 at the Novo at LA in Los Angeles when she takes on the undefeated Samantha Pill (3-0, 0 KOs) as she looks to record her 8th consecutive victory. Cornejo (11-2, 4 KOs) a golden boy fighter with huge aspirations of becoming a world champion and to become a major star in women’s boxing. She hopes of one day being in major PPV fight with another big name opponent. The-31-year old now living and fighting out of Los Angeles, California recently talked to boxinginsider about her late start in boxing, her traumatic experience as a young girl that she still deals with today, and her dreams she wants to accomplish in the sport.
“My upbringing was great out in Washington State. I grew up in a pretty big family,” Cornejo said. “We would all get together when Chavez and Oscar De La Hoya would be fighting.”
Maricela Cornejo Facebook Account
Cornejo remembers boxing from a very young age, but it wasn’t until just six years ago that she entered a boxing gym initially to lose some weight for an acting role she was preparing for that would spark a serious boxing career.
“It wasn’t until six years ago and I had a friend who got me a small role with Eric Roberts in a comedy,” Cornejo told me. “This is going to be on a big screen so I want to look good, so all girls think we can lose 10 pounds over a weekend.
“So I go into a gym, which happened to be Freddie Roach’s gym at wildcard and at that time Pacquiao was huge. I go in and they tell me that I hit like a man.
“I remember those words coming from Frank who was the trainer. It was the best $500 dollars I invested in myself and I stuck with it and I said ‘I’m going to literally fight my way out of Hollywood,” Cornejo said.
Her first week of training at the wildcard, Cornejo didn’t even know what a jab was, but she had a huge vision and one of those goals was to be signed to De La Hoya’s Golden Boy promotions, which she would later make a reality.
“I didn’t even know what a jab was. I had this huge vision I said ‘I’m going to get signed with Oscar De La Hoya and Oscar had been there (wildcard) with Amir Khan. He was there with Ricky Hatton as well and they’re watching Amir Khan train with Freddie Roach and I told Oscar ‘you’re going to sign me one day’ and it was my first freaking week of boxing,” Cornejo said.
“I fell deeply in love with the sport. Sometimes I ask myself why the hell this sport? But I didn’t even choose boxing, it literally chose me. Because I never ever thought I was going to be a boxer,” she said.
Cornejo did become a boxer however and the sport has helped her deal with a traumatic experience she suffered when she was a very young girl that she says “changed her whole entire life.”
“I was sexually molested by a family friend,” she told me. “That took my childhood away and I started seeing things through different eyes.
“I would always keep quiet, going from an expressive child to a reserved child and I kept that with myself. Boxing has helped me deal with it; I get emotional when I do speak about it in public because obviously it still affects me.
“But I know I’m dealing with it in a positive way because if you don’t it will eat you alive. Boxing is helping me deal with it. It’s an experience I’m blessed with because it’s made me who I am today,” Cornejo said.
Cornejo has come a long way since her first week at the wildcard gym. While she took up boxing late and only had a less than a handful of amateur fights, she’s a much more confident fighter now after being able to hang with girls that had much more extensive amateur backgrounds.
Her good looks give her attention, but she can also fight and she’s in a hot division for women’s boxing at middleweight that can produce some big fights with the likes of Clarissa Shields, Hanna Gabriels, Christina Hammer, Cecilia Braekhus, and perhaps a rematch with Kali Reis.
“I would love to fight with Hanna Gabriels and Cecilia Braekhus. I’ve sparred with Cecilia,” she said. “I’ve told my team to give me the Clarissa fight for end of this year. I’ve been asking for bigger fights, bigger opponents.
“I hope I get that. I want to be a world champion, to showcase my true potential and be on a major stage, a major network, and a PPV fight. That is my dream to be on stage and headlining against a very big opponent that’s done the work, just like my team and myself that’s been promoting.
“I know that the Clarissa Shields fight is going to be big, her team is doing everything to grow her and my team is doing that as well. When we do meet it’s only going to benefit both of us and most importantly boxing. I can’t wait for that dream,” Cornejo said.