MGM Grand Conference Center, Las Vegas – After a 26-minute replay review, controversy reigned supreme. WBA “regular” super flyweight world champion Joshua Franco retained title via no decision over Andrew Moloney.
Franco dethroned Moloney back in June via a clear unanimous decision. There was a rematch clause, which Moloney exercised to force the second bout.
In the second fight, Moloney came out very fast and easily swept the first two rounds.
The end came as the fight entered the third round, when the contest was stopped by a ringside physician over the severe swelling to Franco’s right eye.
In the first round, referee Russell Mora issued a ruling that Franco’s right eye was injured by a clash of heads.
Because four rounds had not been completed, the outcome was ruled as a no-decision.
Top Rank’s CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Moloney, was furious.
He strongly believes the eye injury was caused by a legal punch, after reviewing several replays of the first round.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission also reviewed several replays of the first round and backed Mora’s ruling that an accident head clash cause the injury.
”They waited until the end of the fight and they kept with it to protect the referee who didn’t know what the hell he was doing,” Arum said.
”I am absolutely disgusted…I just want a fair adjudication, they made a mistake, the referee made a mistake. It’s clear, it’s not even close.”
In the aftermath, Moloney was in total disbelief.
“They took this away from me. The injury was caused by a punch. I can’t believe this. I was in control of the fight and on my way to a clear victory. I deserved this win. I landed 50 punches on that eye. It was not even close,” Moloney said.