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Aussie Moloney downed again by American in tight fight

Joshua Franco (L) and Andrew Moloney (R) exchange punches during their fight for the WBA super flyweight championship. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
15th August, 2021
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Australian boxer Andrew Moloney has suffered a double dose of despair, unable to regain the WBA world super flyweight title he was so controversially denied last year.

American Joshua Franco retained the belt with a unanimous points decision over Maloney in the pair’s eagerly-anticipated rematch in Oklahoma.

All three judges awarded Franco the 12-round bout 116-112 after Moloney struggled to penetrate the tough Texan’s defences in the so-called “Trilogy” in Tulsa.

Franco had taken Moloney’s world title when he inflicted the first defeat of the Australian’s career last June.

Their return bout in Las Vegas in November was widely condemned as scandalous after Moloney was denied victory following an epic 30-minute video review.

Officials deemed Franco’s closed right eye was the result of an accidental head clash and declared the fight a no-contest, despite even US commentators being adamant that a Moloney left power jab had done the damage.

Alas, after nine months of sacrifice, three stints in quarantine and endless time away from his family, Moloney fell short of righting one of boxing’s great wrongs on Sunday (AEST).

But there was joy for his twin brother Jason, who is the new WBC silver bantamweight champion after recording a unanimous points decision over American Joshua Greer Jnr on the undercard.

The judges awarded Moloney the fight 98-92 98-92 96-94 after the 30-year-old dominated Greer Jnr, easily landing more clean jabs and body blows throughout the 10-round tussle.

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Joshua Franco (L) and Andrew Moloney (R) exchange punches during their fight for the WBA super flyweight championship.

Joshua Franco (L) and Andrew Moloney (R) exchange punches during their fight for the WBA super flyweight championship. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

The victory improved Moloney’s record to 22-2 (18KO) and edges him ever closer to his own world title fight.

The Moloney brothers had the distinction of fighting either side of the much-anticipated professional debut of Muhammad Ali’s grandson Nico Ali Walsh.

Ali Walsh didn’t disappoint, needing less than two minutes into the scheduled four-round bout to see off MMA fighter Jordan Weeks.

“Honestly, it seems like a lot of pressure but to me, it’s just my grandfather,” the 21-year-old said.

“To everyone else, he is the greatest fighter to ever live. Maybe the greatest person.”

Honouring his legendary grandfather by sporting Ali’s original 1960s trunks, Ali Walsh pounded Weeks with a series of stinging head shots that left the referee with no choice but to stop the fight after one minute 48 seconds.

“I’m never wearing these trunks again. They were my grandfather’s. It’s so emotional,” Ali Walsh said.

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“This is a dream come true.”

© AAP

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