Nine months after their controversial rematch, Joshua “El Profesor” Franco left no doubt in the trilogy bout. Franco defended his WBA super flyweight world title with a unanimous decision over Andrew “The Monster” Moloney Saturday evening from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa.
All three judges score the bout 116-112 for Franco (18-1-2, 8 KOs), who won the title from Moloney last June in their first bout.
Moloney (21-2, 14 KOs) was unable to capture the magic of their rematch, where he outgunned Franco for two rounds before the fight was stopped due to what the referee deemed an accidental headbutt. The controversy — head clash or punch — raged for nine months, and Franco quickly established his supremacy this time around.
In the seventh round, Moloney appeared to knock down Franco with a right hand, but video replay determined their feet got tangled up and the knockdown was waved off. Franco neutralized Moloney’s trademark jab and dominated down the stretch to retain his title.
“I had to switch it up on him. He thought I was going to put pressure on him the whole time,” Franco said. “That wasn’t working, so I had to switch it up and go to my boxing skills.
“I had fun with my rhythm, with my jab, my feet. I’m comfortable in there, and that’s what I did.
“We just told each other, all that talking is part of the game, part of building the fight up. He’ll be world champion again. He’s a strong fighter. Nothing but respect to him. I wish him the best in his career.”
Moloney said, “I’ll have to use this as motivation to come back stronger. It’s going to be a long road back.”