'Should've stopped it': Disgraced NRL player in ugly boxing farce

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Tim Simona took a beating from Aaron Cocco before the fight doctor ordered a halt in proceedings.
After former NRL player Tim Simona took a beating from Aaron Cocco in his cruiserweight debut, the fight doctor had to step in to end the fight. Pictures: Fox Sports

Former NRL player Tim Simona's second sporting life in the boxing ring looks like it will be short lived after being absolutely trucked in his debut on Tuesday night.

Simona, the former Wests Tigers player who was booted from the league in disgrace back in 2016 over a series of betting scandals, was handily beaten by Aaron Cocco in his cruiserweight debut at The Star.

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After a promising start, Simona was soon overwhelmed by Cocco's punishing attack.

The bout was eventually stopped by the fight doctor in the third of four rounds, with an ailing Simona essentially unable to put up any defence against Cocco's punches.

Simona had been clearly outclassed from the first bell though, leaving Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech upset with both the referee and Simona's corner.

Fenech said it was obvious the fight should have been stopped well before it actually was, praising the doctor for his decision.

“Great work by the doctor, that’s what it was. It’s a great job because the referee should’ve stopped it, and the corner should’ve stopped it," Fenech said. 

"I’m not gonna pull any punches here - to me, that’s not a good look.

“Of course the fight should’ve been stopped. The referee’s standing there watching this guy get hit without coming back."

Fenech said Simona's inexperience had shown after the promising first round, in which the former NRL star was clearly the better fighter.

He soon ran out of gas though, with Fenech quipping that it would have been a learning experience compared to his days on the footy field.

“In the first round it was Simona that opened up landing 10 or 12 punches ... it looked like Cocco was gonna do what Simona did," Fenech said.

“I think he learned it’s a little bit harder than playing football. But he put up a great show, the first round I thought this might be a huge win for him, but the doctor’s done the right thing and I take my hat off to him.”

Moloney back on track for world title shot

Andrew Moloney has another world title belt in his sights after the super-flyweight notched his first win in more than two years.

The 30-year-old was a class above Froilan Saludar on Tuesday night, judges handing him the unanimous points decision 99-91, 98-92 and 98-91 after 10 rounds in Sydney.

"He was so tough," Moloney said of his Filipino rival.

"A few times I thought I might've had him there, but just his head is made out of concrete or something ... just so tough."

It was Moloney's first fight on home soil since claiming the WBA super-flyweight title in November 2019, and comes after a trio of bouts with Joshua Franco that threatened to derail his career.

Andrew Moloney is hoping for a shot at a WBO belt after successive victories on home soil. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
Andrew Moloney is hoping for a shot at a WBO belt after successive victories on home soil. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Moloney was controversially beaten in their first match-up before a no-result was determined in their second when a cut Franco suffered from a punch was deemed to have been caused by an accidental headbutt.

The Victorian lost the third fight to Franco in August but on Tuesday night improved his record to 22-2 and one no contest in a performance that renewed confidence in his latest title tilt.

Ranked by three of the four major sanctioning bodies, Moloney is eyeing four-weight world champion Kazuto Ioka's WBO strap.

The Japanese boxer will defend his title against countryman Ryoji Fukunaga on New Year's Eve, Moloney seeking a date with the champion "as early as possible" next year.

with AAP

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