Moloney sharp and dominant
Bantamweight contender Jason Moloney shook off the disappointment of his twin brothers defeat a few days ago by taking care of business at “The Bubble” in Las Vegas, NV Thursday night.
“Mayhem” Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) dominated and stopped game Leonardo Baez after seven rounds.
In the opening stanza, the lanky Baez (18-3, 8 KOs) got off first. He worked the body and head. Moloney let his hands go in the last minute of the round. Baez connected with a right while Moloney clipped Baez with a hook. Mooney boxed well in round two.
Both boxers worked downstairs. Moloney had the edge. His inside work was solid. The taller Baez connected with an overhand right in round three. Moloney, quicker, moved and later in the heat, got in the phone booth with Baez and ripped home some shots. Baez went back to his corner bleeding from a cut near his left eye.
Moloney, who lost in a bid for a world title in 2018, was jabbing in round four. He dug two hooks to the gut. Moloney did well in rounds five and six. Baez kept trying, but was step behind. Moloney’s punches were crisper and shorter. Baez landed a right but missed two other punches. Moloney clipped him with a left hook. Baez tried to up the ante in round seven, but Moloney countered effectively. Baez was bleeding from two cuts.
Seconds later, Baez’s corner told referee Kenny Bayless the fight was over.
“I just wanted it so bad,” said Moloney. “I’m so driven. This is a big step for me fighting for another world title.”
Junior lightweight Abraham Novo (19-0, 14 KOs) won a ten round unanimous decision over Avery Sparrow. The 99-91 tally was way too wide in this writer’s opinion. The other two judges had more respectable scores of 97-93, and 96-94. Sparrow, providing his own sound effects, jabbed and fired combinations in the opening stanza. Nothing really landed.
Nova, with a gold beard that matched his trunks, took his time and worked the body. Sparrow (10-2. 3 KOs) circled and continued throwing punches in rounds two and three. He landed an uppercut. Nova clocked Sparrow with a couple of left hooks. Sparrow was busier in round four. He still wasn’t landing much. Nova jabbed and found a few places to throw punches. In rounds five and six, Sparrow the boxer, boxed. He was doing pretty well. Nova needed to fight with more urgency. Sparrow was outworking him.
Sparrow was still using lateral movement in round seven. He’s tricky and hard to hit. Nova landed a solid right hand in round eight. Sparrow held on. Nova went to the body. He was finally letting his hands go more consistently. With two rounds to go, the fight was likely close. Nova kept working in round nine. He connected with hooks. Sparrow rallied at the bell. Sparrow was told by his corner to let it all hangout in the last round. He worked, but Nova did as well. He stepped in and connected with a solid left hook.
Prospect Orlando Gonzalez (15-0, 10 KOs) decisioned cagey Luis Porozo (15-3-1, 8 KOs) in a featherweight contest. Scores were 76-74, and 77-73 (twice). Southpaw Gonzalez,24, floored Porozo with a perfect temple shot in round two. Gonzalez tried to end things in round three, but Porozo stood his ground and fought back. He landed a hard shot in round five. Gonzalez sent Porozo to the canvas for a second time in round seven - courtesy of a left to the ribs.
UCLA grad Vlad Panin (8-1, 4) defeated Benjamin Whitaker (13-4, 3 KOs) by split decision over six rounds. Scores were 57-57, and 58-56 twice. Panin, younger and taller, worked off an educated jab. Whitaker went to the body, but it wasn’t active enough.
Raymond Yanong (11-5, 9 KOs) landed the heavier punches to edge Clay Burns (9-8, 4 KOs) in a six-round welterweight contest. Scores were Burns started fast, but as the fight went on, Yanong connected with good shots to the head and body.
Revenge was sweet for Kingsley Ibeh. The big heavyweight, who lost a split decision to Waldo Cortes (5-3, 2 KOs) six months ago, knocked out his rival in round four. A clubbing right hand and a few uppercuts did the job. Ibeh improves to 4-1, 3 KOs.