WBA orders immediate rematch between Andrew Moloney, Joshua Franco after controversial no-contest

Boxing

WBA orders immediate rematch between Andrew Moloney, Joshua Franco after controversial no-contest

Andrew Moloney

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Andrew Moloney is set to receive his rightful trilogy bout for a world title with WBA super flyweight champion Joshua Franco after their controversial no-contest in November.

Having lost their first fight via unanimous decision in June, the 29-year-old looked set to claim the belt in their rematch after causing damage to Franco’s eye with a barrage of punches during the opening two rounds.

However, referee Russell Mora ruled that the damage was caused by a phantom head-butt, leading the fight to be called a no-contest.

This baffled Moloney, who told Sporting News that the referee had not told him about the incident, admitting he would’ve stayed away from the eye until after the fourth round, where the stoppage would’ve led to a TKO victory to Moloney.

“There’s clear footage of me landing a jab on Franco where his eye was fine, the jab lands directly on his eye, he holds his eye, he lets his hand down and his eye is already swollen,” Moloney told Sporting News after the fight.

“I don’t know what more they needed to see on the replay. The instant replay is in use here in Nevada, and they used it, but they didn’t change the decision.

“I just don’t understand it.”

With the boxing and sporting world in arms over the controversial call, the World Boxing Association (WBA) has confirmed that Moloney will get another shot at the belt, ordering an immediate rematch between the pair.

With the first two fights held behind closed doors, there has been a renewed push to host the trilogy fight in Australia, with legendary Top Rank promoter Bob Arum telling Main Event’s Ben Damon that they would look to build a blockbuster card for the event.

The rumored card would see Moloney-Franco III joined by a lightweight world title bout between newly crowned champion Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos Jr., with Kamboses believing that the stage would mark the perfect fairytale for Moloney and the Australian boxing scene.

“The Moloneys are great guys and it’s just so disheartening to see what happened to Andrew in that fight,” Kambosos told Sporting News. “It’s such a sad outcome, but sometimes things happen for a reason and for him to win that title back in Australia, and me winning the unified titles, you can’t ask for a bigger fairytale.

“Kambosos vs. Lopez and Andrew Moloney reclaiming his belt after so much controversy. Then you’ll have Jason Moloney, our guy Terry Nikolas and some other guys, too.

“It’s massive. It’s a mega event and it will be great for Australian boxing.”