WBA Orders Third Joshua Franco-Andrew Moloney Fight
In what was inevitable formality, the World Boxing Association has ordered a third fight between their Junior Bantamweight World Champion Joshua Franco and former champ, Australian Andrew Moloney.
This after their controversial “no decision” fight in Las Vegas last month.
The WBA made the announcement Thursday afternoon that the two fighters have 30 days to agree to terms themselves, or the fight will head to a purse bid and that it must take place in the first quarter of next year,
The World Boxing Association (WBA) ordered an immediate rematch between Super Flyweight Champion Joshua Franco and challenger Andrew Moloney. They will have 30 days to negotiate the terms or the fight will be called to purse bids pic.twitter.com/7nsIzpQwaT
— WBA Boxing (@WBABoxing) December 10, 2020
In one of the more controversial fights of 2020, Franco suffered a serious right eye injury and it almost swelled completely shut inside of two rounds. Moloney, still 21-1, 14 KOs, contends that the swelling was from his numerous hard left jabs and left hooks to the eye. However, referee Russell Mora believed that it was from an accidental headbutt in the early stages of round one.
That’s an important distinction, because the ruling of accidental foul nullified Moloney possibly winning by stoppage and because the about had not yet gone four rounds by rules of the Nevada Athletic Commission and the WBA, the fight was to be deemed a no-contest.
Further adding to the confusion and the controversy, is that the Nevada commission along with alternate referee Robert Byrd continue to delay and look at replays of the first round of the fight for clarification that Franco had actually been injured by an accidental Clash of heads. That lasted some 25 minutes before the official decision was announced.
As we wrote here, Nevada commission chairman Bob Bennett vehemently defended the decision to rule to fight a no-contest in the days after the bout.
Franco still 17-1-2, 8 KOs, defeated Moloney in the Top Rank Vegas “bubble” in June. It was Moloney’ American debut and he lost on a narrow unanimous decision. Franco knocked down Moloney in the tenth round, and that proved to be the difference on the scorecards. The three judges having it 115-112, and two at 114-113.
Top Rank boxing promoter Bob Arum was furious at the delays and the no-contest ruling, as he and the Moloney believde there was no concrete evidence that the swelling on Franco’s eye was caused by an accidental butt. Rather, they point to the numerous punches Moloney was landing on the right side of Francos face and the eye.
Speaking of Arum, he is hinted that the third fight would potentially be held in Moloney’s native Australia and could include another bout with Australian contender George Kambosos in a title fight. And, rising superstar Jr. Middleweight and arguably the Aussie’s most popular boxer right now, Tim Tszyu, fighting on the same card.