JOSHUA FRANCO FROM SAN ANTONIO TAKES THE WBA JUNIOR BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE FROM MOLONEY IN LAS VEGAS!
Written by Hector Sanchez - Photo Credit - Mikey Williams/Top Rank
The second big upset fight in the Top Rank live Tuesday night live fights of professional boxing happened tonight at the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas.
Andrew "The Monster" Moloney (21-1, 14KO's) the WBA Junior Bantamweight champion from Australia came out throwing out hard stiff jabs against Joshua Franco (17-1-2, 8KO'S) from San Antonio. With Robert Garcia in his corner, Franco looked very calm for a title fight coming in as the challenger. This fight couldn't be matched any better, with both fighters at the same height, same reach and same determination. The only difference, Moloney, who has a twin brother, was the champion defending his 115 pound belt.
In the second round, Franco started testing his uppercut and landed it early with his left hand on the chin of the tough Moloney, who steadily kept throwing his jab.
Maybe that is why in the third round, Moloney appeared to be stepping up the pace as he started landing heavy combinations, as Franco held his own in the middle of he ring.
Heavy hands were being landed by both fighters in the fourth round and Moloney was starting to now connect to the body of the tough Franco, and Franco was also able to land a good body shot as well.
Moloney is known to love the Mexican style of fighting, and one of his favorite fighter is Julio Cesar Chavez, and it was evident in his fight plan as he went to the body as well as the head of his opponent in the fifth round. Although both fighters had quick hands, Moloney appeared a millisecond faster, but it was Franco who went to his corner very confident as the bell sounded.
At the midway point of this championship fight, Franco started to put the pressure on the champion as he backed him up into the corner and landed numerous combinations. That being said, Moloney was able to land a good right hand at the end of the round and at this point in the fight, it appeared that Moloney was slightly ahead on the cards.
In the seventh round, Franco's trainer, Robert Garcia could be heard yelling at his fighter to "Be First, Be First." Although Franco was putting on the pressure in this round, Moloney was able to counter punch his way to another good round.
With the pressure being put on by Franco in the eighth round, Moloney was landing the better counter punches and several left hooks to the body of the challenger. Franco was able to land a nice right hand that followed his jab to the head of Moloney but he shrugged it off. The confident Franco raised his hand again as he went to his corner after what he felt was a good round.
As the bell sounded in the ninth, Franco continued with the constant pressure as he backed up Moloney around the ring, although Moloney continued countering. It appeared that Franco was starting to make the fight look a lot closer than it looked as he was the one landing the crisper power punches.
In the championship round in the tenth, Franco landed a big chopping right hand on Moloney that opened up a big cut over the left eye of the champion. As soon as this happened, Franco went after Moloney with a flurry of punches as he backed him up toward the ropes until the bell sounded.
In the first 30 seconds of the eleventh round, Franco jumped on the champion and landed a flurry of punches including a huge right hand as he had him on the ropes and Moloney bent over and touched both gloves on the canvas. After this, Moloney danced around the ring as he tried to recover, but Franco kept the pressure on as blood streamed down the left side of the champions face. The first 10-8 round of the fight.
As Franco forced the action in the twelfth round, it appeared that the champions punches didn't have the sting they had early on in the fight. Franco was very confident as he poured it on as he backed up champion, but Moloney held his own as he fought back in the middle of the ring as the ten count sounded. And as the bell sounded, Moloney cheered as he went back to his corner, with the confidence that he had won.
But it was not to be, as the cards read 115-112, 114-113x2 as the announcer said, and the "NEW" super flyweight champion of the world, Joshua Franco!