LAS VEGAS (June 23, 2020) — According to the oddsmakers, it was an upset, but Joshua Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs) was not surprised. Franco defeated Andrew Moloney via unanimous decision to win the WBA super flyweight world title Tuesday evening by scores of 115-112 and 114-113 2x.
Franco dominated down the stretch, knocked Moloney down in the 11th round and swept the 12th on all three judges’ cards to secure the victory.
“After the fourth round, I gained the momentum and figured him out. I always knew this was possible,” Franco said. “I wasn’t nervous when the decision was being read. I knew I’d done enough to win this fight. My coach, Robert Garcia, had me ready. I’m going home with the belt.”
Moloney (21-1, 14 KOs), from Melbourne Australia, was making his American debut.
“It just wasn’t my night tonight,” Moloney said. “This was not the best version of Andrew Moloney, but full credit to Joshua Franco. He deserved to win the title with his effort. He closed the fight strong, like a true champion.
“I’ll be back. One loss won’t define me.”
Diaz Decisions Sanchez
Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz (26-2, 16 KOs) is back in the world title picture. Diaz, from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, bested Jason Sanchez (15-2, 8 KOs) via 10-round unanimous decision (98-92 2x, 97-93) in a crossroads featherweight fight.
Diaz has now won two in a row since an April 2019 decision loss to Shakur Stevenson. He has his sights set on a world title opportunity at either featherweight or junior featherweight.
“I can fight at featherweight, or I can make 122 pounds. Whatever Top Rank wants, but I’m ready for a big fight in either weight division. I am a completely different and improved fighter from the one who fought Shakur Stevenson last year,” Diaz said. “I worked on my power in the gym. My coaches, Nelson Rodriguez and Freddie Roach, got me ready for tonight.”
— In a six-round battle of unbeaten junior welterweight prospects, Miguel Contreras (11-0, 6 KOs), from Bakersfield, California, bested Rolando Vargas (5-1, 5 KOs) by unanimous decision. All three judges scored it 58-56.
— In a six-round heavyweight bout, Helaman Olguin (8-3, 3 KOs) upset the previously undefeated Adam Stewart (8-1-1, 5 KOs) via majority decision by scores of 57-57 and 58-56 2x.
Andrew Moloney vs. Joshua Franco
Andrew Maloney (21-1, 14 KOs) loses his world title against Joshua Franco (17-1, 8 KOs) tonight at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The difference in this one was the nonstop pressure of Franco. He pressed forward with no respect for the power of Moloney and eventually broke his man’s will with an 11th round knockdown. As it turns out, that knockdown was crucial as the judges scored the contest 115-112 and 114-113 twice for the new WBA Super Flyweight world title.
Christopher Diaz vs. Jason Sanchez
Christopher Diaz (26-2, 16 KOs) proved that he did learn a thing or two from his one sided beating at the hands of Shakur Stevenson in April on 2019. He followed the game plan of hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach to a tee and won a unanimous decision victory against Jason Sanchez.
The judges scoring the contest saw it in Diaz favor as two of them had it 98-92 while the third had it 97-93.
Miguel Contreras vs. Rolando Vargas
It looked like an even fight on paper between Miguel Contreras (11-0, 6 KOs) and Rolando Vargas (5-1, 5 KOs) but it played out lopsidedly in favor of Contreras. The hard hitting Vargas could never quite find his money punch as Contreras avoided the big blows coming his way and countered all night long from the Conference Center at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After six tough rounds for Vargas, he was bloodied, bruised and a defeated man. The scores were slightly closer then expected but Contreras took home the win as all three judges had it 58-56 in his favor.
Helaman Olguin vs. Adam Stewart
Adam Stewart (8-1-1, 5 KOs) was hoping to leave the ring at the MGM Grand Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada with his undefeated record intact, but Helaman Olguin (8-3, 3 KOs) had other ideas.
Things couldn’t have started off worse for Stewart as a clash of heads saw a cut open up under his right eye. It wasn’t the cut that bothered him, instead it was the punches from Olguin. Too many times during the contest was Stewart simply outworked.
Stewart’s laid back approach did him no favors on the scorecards. One judge scoring the bout had it 57-57 but that result was nullified by the remaining two judges who had it 58-56 for Olguin.
All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank