One boxing trilogy may have fallen by the wayside in the last 24 hours, but another has been confirmed.
WBA Regular 115lbs champion Joshua Franco will meet former title holder Andrew Moloney for the third time at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa on August 14.
Texan Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs & 1 NC) upset Moloney (21-1, 14 KOs & 1 NC) via unanimous decision in June 2020 to win the WBA’s secondary title belt.
In their November 2020 return, Australian Moloney appeared in total control before a swelling under Franco’s right eye caused the fight to be stopped. Many observers felt a punch caused the damage, which would have handed Moloney victory, but after a near 30-minute replay review by the Nevada State Athletic Commission the fight was ruled a No Contest. The WBA subsequently ordered a third meeting.
“I’m very excited for this third fight with Moloney. I’ve been preparing very well for this fight, and I’m feeling stronger than ever,” said Franco. “I hope everybody tunes in come fight night because it’s going to be one to remember. I will remind Moloney why I’m the champ. And still!”
Moloney added: “I’ve had to wait nine months to once again fight for what should have been mine back in November. There is no way I’ll be leaving that ring without my world title this time. I’m sure when he looks at himself in the mirror, he knows deep down he’s not the real champion. He knows there was no head clash. I’ve stayed in the gym and used this time to improve as a fighter. He is up against an even better fighter than he was the last time around. He’s in trouble.”
In the 10-round chief support, undefeated 140-pounder Arnold Barboza will take on Antonio Moran. A four-round middleweight bout will see the professional debut of Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of Muhammad Ali, against an opponent to be named.
In other action, former world bantamweight title challenger Jason Moloney (21-2, 18 KOs) will clash with Joshua Greer (22-2-2, 12 KOs) while Tulsa heavy Trey Lippe Morrison (17-0, 17 KOs) and former amateur star Karlos Balderas (9-1, 8 KOs) will also feature.