Moloney jobbed in Sin City
By Anthony Cocks
Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 21-1 (14) was denied a rightful victory over Joshua ‘El Profesor’ Franco 17-1-2 (8) in their rematch for the WBA ‘regular’ super flyweight title at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old Australian exercised his right to an immediate rematch against Franco following his razor-thin points decision loss to the 25-year-old from San Antonio, Texas at the same venue in June.
In that fight Moloney started off fast before suffering two perforated eardrums that allowed Franco into the fight in the later rounds.
Moloney was out the gates quickly again this time around, peppering Franco with jabs to the head while digging to the body with both hands. Midway through the round a stiff jab produced swelling under Franco’s right eye that referee Russell Mora ruled came from an accidental headclash.
The ruling meant that if the fight was stopped within four rounds the bout would be declared a no contest rather than going to the scorecards. The only problem was, no headclash occurred.
Moloney continued to target the Franco’s injured right eye in the second round, drilling home stiff jabs and whipping in left hooks around the guard of the defending champion. Before the start of the third round the ringside physician advised Mora that Franco’s sight was so badly compromised he was unable to continue.
Mora’s ruling on the phantom headbutt lead to an excruciatingly long video review process from the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC).
From the next half hour, the NAC reviewed the footage of the opening round when the headbutt was alleged to have occurred. Meanwhile, broadcaster ESPN replayed every bit of footage they had of the opening three minutes from every angle, even going as far as to use super slow motion.
There was only one possible conclusion to draw: There. Was. No. Headbutt.
Miraculously, NAC saw it differently. The fight was declared a no contest. Promoter Bob Arum was ropable. So was Team Moloney.
“He did not touch me. I hit him with 50 jabs. Then I hit him with another 50 jabs. There was no headbutt,” a clearly frustrated Moloney said after the fight.
“I can’t believe they took this away from me. I’ve been training for five months, been away from my family and they stole it from me.
“I don’t know how he can carry that belt and call himself the champion. I’m the champion.”
In a telling gesture, Franco quickly fled the ring after the result was announced and didn’t stick around to be interviewed.