Joshua Franco settled his rivalry with Andrew Moloney, as he defended his WBA super flyweight title in their trilogy fight with a unanimous points win in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.
Franco (18-1-2, 8 KOs) and Moloney (21-2, 14 KOs) met originally in June last year, where the former scored an upset points win.
Aa rematch five months later proved inconclusive, when the contest was called off after two rounds due to what the referee saw as an accidental headbutt, when, in reality, Moloney’s punches looked to have caused the damage that led to the fight’s conclusion, with Franco unable to continue after significant eye damage.
A third match was a natural, but Australia’s Moloney was unable to gain revenge as the Texan, ironically with the help from video replay, successfully defended his crown.
Moloney began well here, moving well and controlling the distance, but Franco took over in the middle rounds as he pulled clear.
There was a scare for the champion in the seventh, when a Moloney right hand missed, but Franco visited the canvas, where a knockdown was scored against him.
The referee chose to go to the video, and the knockdown was overturned on review.
Try as he might, the 30-year-old just couldn’t find the damaging punches to swing the fight in his favour, and Franco was just that one step ahead, withstanding a late effort to take the fight to the scorecards.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 15, 2021
All three judges scored the fight 116–112 in Franco’s favour, and he now moves on in search of the big fights in the division.
Barboza Jr sees off Moran
Arnold Barboza Jr made it 26-0 (10 KOs), as he did as he pleased in a ten round hammering of Antonio Moran (26-5-1, 19 KOs) at super lightweight.
Moran’s nose was broken as early as the second round, and Barboza eventually settled for near domination, as he took the win by two scores of 99-91, and a third at 100-90.
Moloney back to winning ways
Andrew Moloney’s brother, Jason, shook off his knockout defeat to Naoya Inoue last time out, as he took the vacant WBC Silver bantamweight title with a unanimous win against Joshua Greer Jr (22-3-2, 12 KOs).
Moloney (22-2, 18 KOs) took over after the halfway mark, and victory was confirmed by two scores of 98-92, and a third at 96-94.
Ali’s grandson off the mark
Muhammad Ali’s grandson, Nico Ali Walsh (1-0, 1 KO) made his professional debut, and it was a successful one, as he took less than a round to see off Jordan Weeks (4-2, 2 KOs) at middleweight.
At heavyweight, Trey Lippe (18-0, 17 KOs) took a six round points win against Don Haynesworth (16-7-1, 14 KOs) and at super featherweight, Abraham Nova (20-0, 14 KOs) got the nod after eight rounds over Richard Pumicpic (22-12-2, 7 KOs).
Muhammad Ali’s grandson Nico Ali Walsh struck a familiar pose after winning his pro boxing debut tonight. pic.twitter.com/MmIPw42aO3
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) August 15, 2021
In three lightweight contests on the bill, Andres Cortes (15-0, 8 KOs) knocked out Genesis Servania (34-3, 16 KOs) inside a round, while Albert Bell moved to 19-0 (5 KOs) with a decision win over eight rounds against Julio Cortez. In a scheduled six rounder, Carlos Balderas halted Fidel Cervantes in two.