Joshua Franco (18-1-2, 8 KO) turned Andrew Moloney’s (21-1, 14 KO) American dream into a nightmare today (Tues. June 23) with the San Antonian capturing Moloney’s WBA world super-flyweight strap as well as handing the Australian his first professional defeat.
Franco took home a deserved unanimous decision victory with the judges scoring it 115-112, 114-113 and 114-113. You could make a convincing argument that Franco should have won by more, especially considering if he had not landed an eleventh round knockdown, we could have been looking at a majority draw.
The night started well for Moloney, who was making his US debut, with the 29-year-old landing clean shots as he made good use of jab to dictate proceedings. However, as the fight progressed, Franco, who trains under the watchful eye of Robert Garcia, grew in both confidence and strength. The 24-year-old gained the upper hand throughout the middle of the fight before he poured on the pressure in the final four rounds. Moloney battled back bravely after being cut in the tenth and dropped in the eleventh but was unable to replicate his initial success in the opening stanza.
“I needed that knockdown, but I thought little by little, I was breaking him down. I could hear him making little noise after I was hitting him. So, I knew little by little I would get to him,” Franco said in his post-fight interview.
It was a heartbreaking result for the Australian, and hopefully, he regroups with his team and is back in the ring sooner rather than later as he has a lot to offer the division.Franco can look ahead to a possible blockbuster bout with Román Chocolatito’ González, who is the WBA super world super-flyweight champion.
Were you surprised by Franco’s win?