11:52 PM ET
Joshua Franco captured the WBA regular junior bantamweight title by defeating previously undefeated Australian champion Andrew Moloney in a hard-fought unanimous decision Tuesday night at the fan-free MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Punch StatsPunchesMoloneyFrancoTotal landed191231Total thrown663789Percent29%29%Jabs landed5775Jabs thrown368340Percent16%22%Power landed134156Power thrown295449Percent45%35%– Courtesy of CompuBox
The judges had the scores at 115-112, 114-113 and 114-113 for Franco,
What was a closely fought battle in the first half became a fight that Franco took over in the late rounds with steady pressure and a consistent midrange attack. While Moloney (21-1, 14 KOs) banked early rounds and made a commitment to the body with his left hook, Franco never bowed to the pressure. In fact, he seemed to get stronger as the night continued.
A booming overhand right in the 10th round cut Moloney near his left eye and his face began to visibly bruise. In the 11th round, Franco scored a knockdown from an accumulation of punches, which proved pivotal in the scoring.