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Fight Results from Tulsa With One Eye Cocked on Fight Cards Elsewhere

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  • Fight Results from Tulsa With One Eye Cocked on Fight Cards Elsewhere

    Click image for larger version  Name:	evan.PNG Views:	0 Size:	656.9 KB ID:	19845

    By Arne K. Lang

    The third time was not a charm for Andrew Moloney who was favored to pick up where he left off in his second meeting with Joshua Franco and return to Australia with the WBA world super flyweight belt cinched around his waist.

    A little history: In the first meeting, Franco rallied to win a narrow but unanimous decision. Take away the knockdown that Franco scored in the 11th round and the contest would have ended in a draw.

    In the rematch this past November, Moloney won the first two rounds decisively. It looked for all the world that he would avenge his lone defeat. But the fight was stopped by the ring doctor at the conclusion of round two because Franco’s right eye had swelled shut. Referee Russell Mora believed the injury was the result of an accidental head butt, and the Nevada Commission, after mulling things over for 26 minutes, backed him up even though replays were consistent with the impression that the damage was actually caused by a punch. Ergo, the bout was ruled a “no contest” and the title stayed with Joshua Franco.

    Franco-Moloney III afforded the Aussie the opportunity to “rectify the wrong,” but he wasn’t up to the task. He just didn’t hit hard enough to worry Franco who landed the cleaner punches and more of them. In round seven, Moloney scored an apparent flash knockdown. Referee Jack Reiss gave Franco the count and Moloney was back in the fight with a 10-8 round, but a replay showed that Franco went down without being hit and the knockdown was expunged.

    The judges were in accord, all three giving the fight to Joshua Franco by a 116-112 tally. A San Antonio native who trains in Riverside, California at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy, Franco advanced his record to 18-1-2, 1 NC. It was the 24th pro fight for Moloney who would be undefeated if he hadn’t crossed paths with Franco.

    Co-Feature

    In the 10-round co-feature, LA-area junior welterweight Arnold Barboza Jr improved to 26-0 (10) with a lopsided decision over Mexico City’s Antonio Moran (26-5-1). Moran was a willing mixer despite fighting the last eight rounds with a broken nose, but Barboza seldom took a backward step and landed the harder punches. The judges had it 100-90 and 99-91 twice.

    Nico Ali Walsh

    The pro debut of middleweight Nico Ali Walsh went as expected. Wearing his grandfather’s retro boxing trunks, Walsh bombed out sacrificial lamb Jordan Weeks in the opening round. A right hand over the top knocked Weeks to the canvas and Walsh revved up his attack. With nothing coming back, the referee wisely stepped in. The official time was 1:49.

    Weeks entered the bout with a 4-1 record but this was his first fight outside South Carolina. Ali Walsh the boxer is a work in a progress, but the well-spoken, 21-year-old Las Vegas resident has the best backstory in the sport and oozes charisma.

    Other Bouts

    Andrew Moloney’s twin brother Jason, a bantamweight, upheld the family name with a 10-round unanimous decision over Chicago’s Joshua Greer Jr. Jason Moloney, in his first fight back since last October when he was stopped in the seventh round by the Japanese monster, Naoya Inoue, improved his ledger to 22-2. The scores were 96-94 and 98-92 twice. Greer slipped to 22-3-2.

    Las Vegas lightweight Andres Cortes, whose nickname is Savage, stepped up in class and lived up to his nickname, starching former world title challenger Genesis Servania in the opening round. Cortes (15-0, 8 KOs) knocked Servania through the ropes with a left hook moments before the end of the round. After starting the count, referee Jack Reiss waived it off. A Filipino who has taken up residence in Japan, Servania (34-3) hadn’t previously been stopped.

    Dignity Sports Health Park, Carson, CA

    John Riel Casimero, making the second defense of the WBO world bantamweight title he won with a third-round blast-out of favored Zolani Tete in Birmingham, England, turned away Guillermo Rigondeaux, winning a split decision (117-111, 116-112, 113-115).

    Casimero, a Filipino who at age 34 was six years younger than Rigondeaux, was a consensus 5/2 favorite but on paper this was an even match-up between two fighters who won titles in multiple divisions and had a wealth of experience in world title fights

    Unfortunately, an “even” fight on paper can be a dull fight and this fight was dull in the extreme as neither man showed any inclination to exchange, in particular Rigondeaux, the two-time Olympic gold medalist who delivered another one of his “snoozers.” Casimero (31-4) had won six straight inside the distance coming in, but never hurt Rigondeaux who declined to 20-2.

    The fans deserved better as the chief supporting bout between Gary Antonio Russell and Emmanuel Rodriguez likely established a new world record for the fastest “no contest” in the history of the sport. The bout consumed all of 16 seconds. The queer ending was the result of an accidental head butt that left the Puerto Rican unable to continue.

    In another bout of note, Brandun Lee, a 22-year-old knockout artist from the California desert community of La Quinta, forged yet another fast knockout, taking apart Argentina’s Ezequiel Fernandez who was blown away in 100 seconds. Lee (23-0, 21 KOs) has now knocked out 13 opponents in the opening round. Interestingly, this was Lee’s first fight in his home state. He had previously fought in Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Iowa, Texas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Connecticut, Washington DC, and Mexico. The shell-shocked Fernandez (28-5-1) hadn't previously been stopped.

    Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas

    By all appearances, there was more action in the second round of the fight between Virgil Ortiz Jr and Egidijus Kavaliauskas than in all 12 rounds of the Casimero-Rigondeaux fight. Kavaliauskas hurt Ortiz with a right uppercut, but Ortiz came back to land some harsh punches of his own before the round was finished.

    Ortiz, from the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie, was fighting in his backyard. Heading in, he had won all 17 of his pro fights inside the distance and no opponent had lasted beyond the seventh round.

    Kavaliauskas, a two-time Olympian for Lithuania, lasted beyond the seventh but just barely. Ortiz had him on the canvas four times in the eighth and five times overall before the bout was halted. It was a performance that stamped him a serious threat in a welterweight division that is very strong at the top, plus bringing him a fringe WBO title. Kavaliauskas, 33, falls to 21-2-1. His other loss came at the hands of Terence Crawford.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel
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