'Never forgotten': Boxing rocked by 21-year-old prodigy's death

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
The death of up and coming fighter Javier Alejandro Gonzalez Barrientos, following a battle with cancer, has left the boxing world in shock and sadness. Picture: Box Azteca

The boxing world is mourning the loss of 21-year-old fighter Javier Alejandro Gonzalez Barrientos, who died after a lengthy battle with lymph node cancer.

The rising star, who hailed from Mexico, last fought in April 2019 before leaving the sport to begin treatment.

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Barrientos won his debut fight in 2015, before proceeding to win a total of 15 fights in a row, 11 of those by knockout - marking him as one of the sport’s up and coming stars.

His death was announced by World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman, who declared it was a tragedy to see such a promising young talent’s life cut short.

“‘Rusito’ González, left this world at the age of 21 after bravely fighting against cancer in the lymph nodes,” Sulaiman posted on the WBC website.

“He was a great promise and prospect for Mexican boxing.

“The entire WBC family join with family and friends of this fine young warrior.

"The sorrow is great, but ‘Rusito’ will never be forgotten.

“Rest in peace!”

Aussie Moloney wins Las Vegas bout

Australian bantamweight Jason Moloney has scored an impressive technical knockout victory over Mexico's Leonardo Baez in Las Vegas.

Moloney is hoping the impressive win at the MGM Grand casino on Friday (AEST) will set up a potential world-title fight and ease some of the pain of watching his identical twin brother, Andrew, lose his championship belt in the same ring two days earlier.

Baez was 10cm taller and had a 4cm reach advantage but the Australian was on a search-and-destroy mission, battering the Mexican with body and head shots.

At the end of the seventh round Baez's face was cut and covered in blood.

Baez's corner called the fight off.

Jason Moloney poses after defeating Leonardo Baez in their bantamweight bout at MGM Grand Conference Center Grand Ballroom on June 25, 2020 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)

"This is a big step towards me fighting for another world-title and I want that dream and belt so bad," Moloney said.

Two of the judges had Moloney up 69-64 with the third giving it to the Australian 68-65.

Melbourne-born, Kingscliff-based Moloney, 29, came close to a world-title in Florida in 2018 when he lost a split decision against American champion Emmanuel Rodriguez in Florida.

Baez is Moloney's fourth straight knockout win since the loss.

It also re-charged the Moloney family after Tuesday's devastating loss at the MGM.

Andrew appeared on track to defend his WBA super-flyweight belt against Texan fighter Joshua Franco until he was knocked down in the 11th round and lost a tight unanimous points decision.

Two of the three judges gave the fight to Franco by just one point.