Heartbreak as Aussie champ dethroned
AUSTRALIA'S Andrew Moloney has lost his WBA super-flyweight world title after being taken down by American Franco via unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
Moloney claimed the title last year in Melbourne in a stoppage victory against Elton Dharry, and in the early stages on Wednesday he looked on track to retain his belt.
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The fight turned in the 10th round when Franco thundered Moloney with a combination that resulted in a cut over the Australian's left eye.
Franco let his hands go as he landed 112 punches across the two rounds as Moloney covered up and did his best to avoid the carnage.
The judges handed the victory to Franco with one scoring it 115-112 and the other two judges scoring it 114-113.
It's the first loss of Moloney's career.
Texan underdog Franco knocked Moloney down in the 11th round and didn't allow Moloney a shot to secure the much-needed knockout finish in the 12th.
Moloney and his brother Jason ventured over to Las Vegas in March to begin preparations for the fight, with Jason set to step into the ring on Friday.
He will fight Leonardo Baez after original opponent Oscar Negrete pulled out last week. The bout will be 10 rounds in the bantamweight division with live coverage from 9am (AEST).
"The Professor" @JoshuaFranco_ made strong adjustments to become a world champion for the first time, as the TR on ESPN summer series saw its second notable main event upset. #MoloneyFranco pic.twitter.com/cZmIaKg1eW— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) June 24, 2020
The bouts are being staged without live spectators as part of a series of fight cards within a "bubble" at the MGM Grand designed to protect fighters from contracting COVID-19.
Originally published as Heartbreak as Aussie champ dethroned