Joshua Franco has nothing but respect for Andrew Moloney for having the desire to fight him a second time.
On June 23, Franco dropped Moloney in the 11th round, which turned out to be the deciding factor in the bout, and won by scores of 114-113, 114-113 and 115-112 to cement his standing in the WBA junior bantamweight rankings.
Immediately after the fight, Moloney (21-1, 14 knockouts) began throwing up in his locker room and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors discovered that the 29-year-old had perforated eardrums.
Despite his injuries, Moloney exercised his contractual right to an immediate rematch.
“That just shows what kind of heart he has,” Franco told The Ring earlier this week. “He wants to fight again to try and get his [secondary WBA] belt back but I’m not gonna let him [get it back]. I see the [rematch] going way different than the first fight. I don’t see it going 12 rounds.”
Franco vs. Moloney was a close fight in the early rounds but the 24-year-old Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs) got stronger as the night went on during their clash at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight took place without the presence of fans. For Franco, it was a surreal atmosphere.
“It was really different being in ‘The Bubble’ and getting tested every day. Franco added. “I didn’t let it get to me. I was there for a reason – I was really focused [on beating Moloney].”
Whenever the rematch takes place, Franco assured his fans that he would be prepared.
“I’m not sure when the rematch is going to happen. I haven’t gotten any word but I’m staying ready and if the rematch happens in 2020, then I’ll be more than ready.”
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