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.