The best way to clear confusion up going forward is to settle the score with live action, and 🇺🇸Joshua Franco (18-1-2, 8KO) was able to do that by winning the latest of three bouts between he and 🇦🇺Andrew Moloney (21-2-0, 14KO), to secure his second win against the skilled Aussie, for his finest moment as a professional boxer. All judges were in a 116-112 agreement to make Franco the Unanimous Decision victor, and Franco showed some impressive technical skills to get the edge, and sustain the momentum to earn the win.
You could tell immediately that Moloney’s gameplan was to utilize his superior footwork on the flat footed Franco stance. Franco’s sneaky left hook to the body, and counter right hand over the Moloney left was bothering the Aussie fighter. Though Franco has a habit of pushing his right hand out there instead of snapping it (which affects his power), there was enough on it to keep Andrew honest.
Moloney fought with a ton of spirit, getting in there and digging out on the inside when in close, and bouncing outside to box, deliberately trying to stay out of middle range, where Franco lives to do his best work. Franco’s Head-Trainer Robert Garcia’s impact was felt through this fight, as you could see the adjustments that were made in the gym leading up to this point. It is also noted that Garcia had to make the tough decision to not be with his star pupil 🇺🇸Vergil Ortiz Jr., who also had an important fight around the same time – to be with Franco for this pivotal match-up.
Moloney adjusted well mid-fight, finding a home for the uppercut to split the high guard cage he was having difficulty penetrating. One of the major things that Franco picked up between fights was the ability to level change, which vehemently threw Moloney off, and in doing a better job in blocking Moloney’s jab.
In the 7th round when they both exchanged right hands, Andrew’s “appeared” to land first in live action, and Franco went down on the seat of his pants. Franco immediately said “I slipped” when he got up, and Referee Jack Reiss called for the Replay system for Vegas to be enacted. It was clear as night & day with slowed down frames supplied by Jerry Ritter (the replay official) that Moloney missed the shot completely, which didn’t coincide with the optics, so the call of the KD was properly reversed, with Jack admitting the error.
Franco began to separate himself by round 10 and 11, starting to let his hands go, and Moloney didn’t have the answers to stop him, nor could he find the right counters to throw to catch him in exchanges. Understanding that he was behind, Moloney bit down hard on the gumshield, and emptied the clip in the final round with a big display of heart, but there wasn’t enough power, or time, for him to reverse course.
As the 12th and final bell sounded, both were celebratory in their work, but it was Franco who was the most demonstrative in his celebration, and for good reason – he knew that he didn’t just win the fight, but that he won the series as well, and the judges were all in agreement, awarding him a UD.
Joshua Franco in his last 7 fights, have secured, and won two different trilogies, doing so by fighting 🇺🇸🇨🇴Oscar Negrete three times in a row, holding a 1 win, 0 loss, 2 draw edge over the Colombian – fighting one fight in between, then facing Andrew Moloney three consecutive times, winning the first, and third fights to punctuate the rivalry if this is to be the last time they face each other. Having 2 notable trilogies back-to-back is almost unheard in today’s boxing for someone only 25 years of age, but that’s something impressive that has to be noted whenever Joshua Franco’s name gets brought up in random discussions in boxing circles.