Results and highlights: Franco wins another unanimous decision over Moloney


It was another night of disappointment for Andrew Moloney in his third attempt against Joshua Franco.

After a surprise upset last June and an ugly, controversial no-decision in November, Moloney (21-2, 14 KO) was seeking vindication in the trilogy fight. He started off very well, moving laterally and keeping control of the distance. Franco (18-1-2, 8 KO) started stringing together offense in the middle stages, winning rounds definitively.

It’s generally not a good sign when the referee gets heavy coverage, but kudos to Jack Reiss in this one. On loan from California, the well-respected veteran managed the action brilliantly, instructing the fighters out of clinches and issuing warnings when needed without taking over the flow of the fight.

It worked against Moloney, who was called out for holding and aggressively warned for leading with the crown of his head. Moloney seemed to fight a bit off balance when warned about his shenanigans, and Franco won clear rounds in the middle stages.

Round 7 looked like it might be a major swing round in Moloney’s favor, and featured what was ruled live as a knockdown. But replay later confirmed that Franco’s visit to the canvas did not come from a punch.

Kudos to Jack Reiss, who called for video review right after the count, ordered the judges to hold their scorecards, and got the correction confirmed and announced all within the 1 minute break. It was all a wonderful counterpoint to the 26 minute debacle we witnessed the last time Franco and Moloney faced off in November of 2020.

Moloney tried a variety of approaches, even planting feet to square off and trade with Franco towards the end. But, it wasn’t enough, and Franco once again sent Moloney to defeat. Bad Left Hook scored it 115-113 for Franco, with all three judges leaning further in Franco’s direction on 116-112 cards.

Nico Ali Walsh TKO-1 Jordan Weeks

Here’s what we learned about Nico Ali Walsh tonight:

  • Muhammad Ali was his grandfather
  • Flavor Flav is a close family friend
  • He’s willing to wear 50 year old pants in a boxing match
  • He can steamroll an MMA fighter with very questionable defensive skills

If you didn’t hear or see any of that for yourself, you’ll definitely get the chance again on an ESPN/Top Rank show, as Nico Ali Walsh needed just 1:49 to end the show and maintain his marketability.

Walsh (1-0, 1 KO) didn’t embarrass himself, and seemed to have a good time in his pro boxing debut. Jordan Weeks (4-2, 2 KO) fell down good and hard, and presumably goes back to MMA.

If you believe great boxers are bred like racehorses, you weren’t disappointed tonight. If you aren’t so sure? Well, ESPN will get at least one more chance to convince you with feature pieces and family scrapbooks whenever the STILL UNDEFEATED Nico Ali Walsh attempts to extend his knockout streak to two fights.

Arnold Barboza UD-10 Antonio Moran

The opener was a lively showcase for the talent of Arnold Barboza Jr. and the toughness of Antonio Moran.

Barboza (26-0, 10 KO) needed a round to find his distance and timing, but took control in the second after breaking Moran’s nose.

Credit to Moran (26-5-1, 19 KO), who gritted his teeth and fought his heart out through eight and a half rounds of unanesthetized rhinoplasty. Barboza landed clean, heavy shots on that broken nose throughout, but Moran hung in there and kept fighting aggressively until the very end.

The judges scored it 99-91 (x2) and 100-90 for Barboza, and BLH had it 98-92. It was a much closer and livelier fight than the scores would suggest, but definitely a clear and impressive victory for Barboza.

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