Andrew Moloney was set to take over, starting with his U.S. debut, but Joshua Franco played spoiler in Moloney's first title defense.
After a strong performance in the last four rounds, Franco scored a unanimous decision win over Moloney to become the new WBA "Regular" super flyweight champion. Franco won the fight by a razor-thin margin, with scores of 115-112, 114-113 and 114-113.
The fight was highly-competitive from the start with Moloney pressuring Franco with non-stop punches, but Franco was effectively blocking most of those punches by keeping his hands up. Starting in the second round, Franco started being more active, attacking at mid-range and landing cleaner punches, especially a left uppercut that briefly staggered Moloney in the third round.
While Moloney did his best to keep himself active in the fight by throwing punches, especially the left hook to the body, Franco was more effective in backing Moloney up. Being forced to fight off the backfoot, Moloney was not able to get into an offensive rhythm at times, but still did enough to make rounds competitive.
Starting in the ninth round Franco was much more aggressive, landing big shots and bruising his face. Franco hurt Moloney late in the 10th round and later scored a knockdown early in the 11th round thanks to a big left hook.
Below are the full results of the June 23 Top Rank on ESPN card from Las Vegas:
- Joshua Franco defeated Andrew Moloney by unanimous decision (115-112, 114-113, 114-113) to win the WBA “Regular” super flyweight title
- Christopher Diaz defeated Jason Sanchez by unanimous decision (98-92, 97-93, 98-92)
- Miguel Contreras defeated Rolando Vargas by unanimous decision (58-56, 58-56, 58-56)
- Helaman Olguin defeated Adam Stewart by majority decision (57-57, 58-56, 58-56)
Moloney's brother Jason is set to headline the June 25 Top Rank on ESPN card, going up against Leonardo Baez.