Aussie boxer Andrew Moloney’s world title fight descended into chaos and the decision has been labelled a ‘disgrace’ in his rematch against champ Joshua Franco in Las Vegas.
Moloney was looking to avenge his WBA Super Flyweight title loss against Franco, which was also his first professional loss back in June, and came out firing .
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The Aussie hit his opponent with with a plethora of jabs and out-landed Franco 25 shots to 11 in the first round.
Franco was unable to start the third round due to swelling his eye and Moloney naturally thought he had reclaimed his belt.
But the title fight descended into chaos as referee Russell Mora ruled Franco’s closed eye had been caused by an accidental Moloney headbutt.
This resulted in a ‘no decision’.
But then Nevada State Athletic Commission Officials reviewed the decision for 20 minutes, while the boxers remained anxious in the ring.
However, despite the video evidence appearing to show Franco’s eye being damaged after a number of jabs, the officials reaffirmed the referee’s ruling.
In Vegas, four rounds need to be completed before the scorecards come into effect. This meant Moloney was robbed of the TKO and it was ruled a ‘no-decision’.
The decision floored commentator and former world champ Timothy Bradley.
“This is ridiculous … This is pathetic, what a joke,” he said.
Fighting experts and fans were also fuming at the decision, which was labelled a ‘disgrace’.
Man, this is heartbreaking. Impossible not to feel for Moloney. Not right. He won.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 15, 2020
Russell Mora calling it an accidental clash of heads after Joshua Franco’s swollen shut left eye forced stoppage, but it clearly was a punch. Should be a TKO victory for Andrew Moloney
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) November 15, 2020
There wasn’t a headbutt?!? What we doin now boxing.... Moloney was going to win🥴
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) November 15, 2020
That might be the single worst instance of instant replay in sports history.
What a joke.
This Moloney fight decision (by the Nevada state athletic commission) was bologna
Bring on Bud Crawford already.
— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) November 15, 2020
"This is an absolute disgrace. There was no headbutt. Moloney should be the champion," Bob Arum says.
— Lance Pugmire (@pugboxing) November 15, 2020
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) November 15, 2020
Tough break for Moloney. Horrible call. I'm sure the WBC will make him a replay belt to commemorate this moment.
— Brian Campbell (@BCampbell) November 15, 2020
That's so messed up. With all due respect... This is really sad guys. Poor #Moloney. And Franco. He's going to have to deal with the fallout as well. So not fair for either fighter. #FrancoMoloney2 @trboxing @espn #boxing #CrawfordBrook
— Rosie Perez (@rosieperezbklyn) November 15, 2020
Moloney devastated after referee decision
Moloney said in a post-fight interview: “His team’s talking s**t … He did not touch me. That eye was closed by 50 jabs … That’s why his eye’s shut, not the headbutt. There was no headbutt.
“I can’t believe that they took this away from me. I’ve trained my arse off the last five months, been away from my family.
“I can’t believe they didn’t give it to me … I can’t believe they’re taking this away from me.”
Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum, who promoted the fight, was visibly fuming after the bout.
He was seen in a conversation with the Commission’s director Bob Bennett after the video review.
“I was just telling him I’m absolutely disgusted... They made a mistake, the referee made a mistake,” he said.
“It’s clear, it’s not even close!”
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