Jr. Bantamweight contender Joshua Franco upset previously undefeated rising star Andrew Moloney by scoring a twelve round unanimous decision on Tuesday night at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. The fight, which was for Interim/Regular champion status in the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) Jr. Bantamweight ratings, a designation held by Moloney going into the bout, was largely dictated by the unbeaten Australian early on. What was particularly effective was the way Moloney was able to execute his left hook to the body. The bout however, was closely fought from start to finish and as the fight progressed it appeared Franco was landing the heavier blows in spots. What proved to be the difference in the fight came in round eleven when Franco was able to score a knockdown of Moloney with a three punch combination to the head. It was this knockdown that allowed Franco to narrowly pull ahead on two of three official scorecards while winning the fight on the third scorecard by three points giving Joshua Franco a close and hard fought unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 115-112, and 114-113 (On Two scorecards) in favor of Joshua Franco. Joshua Franco advances to 17-1-2, with 8 Knockouts. Andrew Moloney falls to 21-1, with 14 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Former Featherweight world title challenger Christopher Diaz scored a lopsided ten round unanimous decision over Jason Sanchez. Diaz’ quicker hands and overall Boxing skills were the story of this fight as he convincingly out boxed Sanchez over the duration of the fight to earn the decision victory. Official scores were: 98-92, (On two scorecards) and 97-93 all in favor of Diaz.Christopher Diaz advances to 26-2, with 16 Knockouts. Jason Sanchez falls to 15-2, with 8 Knockouts.
In a battle of undefeated Jr. Welterweights, Miguel Contreras scored a hard-fought six round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Rolando Vargas. A fight that saw plenty of exchanges between the two fighters, Contreras’ greater activity and consistency in getting his punches off first proved to be the difference in the bout. Despite suffering a bad cut over the right eye as a result of an accidental clash of heads, Vargas remained very “Game”, but ultimately could not equal Contreras’ work rate or land something significant to turn things in his favor as all three judges scored the fight 58-56 in favor of Contreras. Miguel Contreras advances to 11-0, with 6 Knockouts. Rolando Vargas falls to 5-1, with 5 Knockouts.
Heavyweight Helaman Olguin scored a six round majority decision over previously unbeaten Adam Stewart. In what was a largely uneventful bout, Olguin had periodic success in landing his right hand to the head of Stewart throughout and that was likely what led to him getting the nod on two judges scorecards by identical scores of 58-56, while the third judge scored the fight even 58-58. Helaman Olguin advances to 8-3, with 3 Knockouts. Adam Stewart falls to 8-1-1, with 5 Knockouts.
A scheduled eight round Lightweight bout between unbeaten prospect Joseph Adorno
and veteran Alexis del Bosque was cancelled earlier in the day due to an illness suffered by Adorno reported to be severe dehydration by United States Sports network ESPN . Although the illness is also reported to be unrelated to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, there is no word as of this writing as to whether it will be attempted to reschedule the bout at a later date. We will keep readers updated on any developments as they become available.
The long anticipated U.S. debut for the Moloney brothers Andrew and Jason Moloney did not begin with a favorable outcome for the brothers. The former world title challenger Jason Moloney will be next to enter the ring at the MGM Grand Convention Center when the top Bantamweight contender faces veteran Leonardo Baez on Thursday, June 25th.
As for Andrew Moloney, in all honesty he has nothing to be ashamed of as he showed his mettle in defeat in a fight that could have gone either way. Although the structure of designations as recognized by the WBA can at times present confusion particularly among casual fans of the sport, both Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney are right in the mix in the 115lb. Jr. Bantamweight division. Obviously, what each fighter does next will likely be determined by the ongoing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic, but if circumstances make it possible, it certainly would not be a bad option for either fighter to consider a rematch. It was after all, a very competitive fight that despite the circumstances under which it took place, should be regarded as one of the best fights of 2020.
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