Top Bantamweight contender and former world title challenger Jason Moloney scored a dominant seventh round stoppage of veteran Leonardo Baez on Thursday night at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Moloney forced the taller Baez into an inside fight from the outset. This allowed the 5’5 Moloney to have the advantage over the 5’9 Baez. Moloney implemented a systematic body attack on Baez that as the the fight progressed took its toll. The combination punching with offense to the body of Baez was the story of this fight. Although Baez was very “Game “ and managed to hold his own in spots throughout the fight, he simply could not find a way to keep Moloney on the outside where the physics of the fight would have theoretically been more to his advantage. After seven rounds of mostly one way punishment, Baez’ corner stopped the fight to prevent their fighter from further punishment and appeared to indicate that he was having difficulty breathing. Jason Moloney advances to 21-1, with 18 Knockouts. Leonardo Baez falls to 18-3, with 9 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Undefeated Lightweight Abraham Nova scored a ten round unanimous decision over Avery Sparrow. Sparrow’s lateral movement and consistent activity offensively seemed to carry the action for most of the fight, but Nova’s harder punches in spots was enough for him to get the nod from the three official judges who scored the fight unanimously in his favor. Official scores were: 99-91, 97-93, and 96-94 all for Nova. Abraham Nova advances to 19-0, with 14 Knockouts. Avery Sparrow falls to 10-2, with 3 Knockouts.
In a Heavyweight rematch of an October 2019 encounter, Kingsley Ibeh avenged his only pro loss by scoring a fourth round knockout over Waldo Cortes. A barrage of left uppercuts to the head of Cortes led to a knockdown in round four. Cortes barely beat the count, but the bout was stopped by Referee Jay Nady at 1:41 of the round. Kingsley Ibeh advances to 4-1, with 4 Knockouts. Waldo Cortes falls to 5-3, with 2 Knockouts.
Undefeated Featherweight prospect Orlando Gonzalez pounded out a workmanlike eight round unanimous decision over Luis Porozo. Gonzalez generally got the better of the action throughout the fight. The bout was highlighted by two knockdowns Gonzalez was able to score. A left hook to the head dropped Porozzo in round two. This would be followed by a left uppercut to the body of Porozo that allowed Gonzalez to seal a unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 76-74, and 77-73 (On two scorecards) in favor of Gonzalez. Orlando Gonzalez advances to 15-0, with 10 Knockouts. Luis Porozo falls to 15-3, with 8 Knockouts.
In the first of two Welterweight bouts on the card, Reymond Yanong scored a hard fought six round split decision over Clay Burns. After having some difficulty getting into a rhythm due to the unorthodox style of Burns, Yanong was able to step up his offense and land the more effective punches over the last four rounds to earn the split decision on two official scorecards by scores of 59-55 and 58-56, while the third official judge scored the fight in Burns’ favor 58-56. Reymond Yanong advances to 11-5-1, with 9 Knockouts. Clay Burns falls to 9-8-2, with 4 Knockouts.
This was followed by rising Welterweight prospect Vlad Panin, who scored a six round majority decision over Benjamin Whitaker. Panin used his reach to control the action throughout much of the fight, but had to contend with a late rally by Whitaker over the last two rounds. Despite the rally, Whitaker could not overcome Panin’s lead on the scorecards as two official judges scored the fight 58-56 in Panin’s favor giving him the majority decision win while the third judge scored the fight even 57-57. Vlad Panin advances to 8-1, with 4 Knockouts. Benjamin Whitaker falls to 13-4, with 3 Knockouts.
The week of Boxing cards at the MGM Grand Convention Center provided both a setback and a win for brothers Andrew and Jason Moloney in each’s respective U.S. debut. While Andrew Moloney suffered a narrow decision loss, the first of his career on June 23rd to Joshua Franco, the loss was in some ways not unlike the loss his brother Jason suffered in his world title shot against Emanuel Rodriguez in October 2018. Two fights that frankly could have gone either way.
While both brothers remain in the hunt in the 115lb. Jr. Bantamweight and 118lb. Bantamweight divisions respectively, the questions that will likely be asked coming out of this week in Las Vegas for the Moloney brothers are whether or not a rematch can be made between Andrew Moloney and Joshua Franco as well as whether after compiling four victories since his lone career defeat, if Jason Moloney will be in line for another opportunity at a world championship after scoring four consecutive wins by stoppage. It may only be a matter of time before both of those questions are answered.
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