Andrew Moloney returned to the ring in Sydney, Australia, scoring a 10-round decision win over a game but outclassed Froilan Saludar to get back to his winning ways.
Moloney (22-2, 14 KO) didn’t score any knockdowns and didn’t get the stoppage, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The 30-year-old junior bantamweight contender had Saludar (32-5-1, 22 KO) hurt a few times to the body, and clearly so, but Saludar just would not fold, and more than that, he was determined to keep throwing punches back, even if significant success was few and far between.
Judges had the fight 98-92, 98-91, and 99-91 for Moloney. Bad Left Hook scored the fight 100-90 for Moloney, but with a couple of rounds that definitely could have gone to the 32-year-old Filipino, including a heroic charge late in the fight where he really did give what seemed to be his final best shot at winning the fight.
But on the whole, Saludar — a former flyweight title challenger — just didn’t have the skill set to really threaten to win this fight. Moloney was just a more polished, more well-rounded fighter, and it showed particularly with Moloney able to work angles and Saludar just not having that in the tool box, instead hoping to maybe land a single big shot that could turn the tide of the fight — and in his case, too, the fact it didn’t happen doesn’t indicate he didn’t try.
Moloney wants to get back in the world title mix after two losses to Joshua Franco. It won’t be easy, but it shouldn’t be the hardest thing in the world, either. He’s still got Top Rank in his corner, he’s still a good fighter, and while the 115 lb division has a lot of top-level talent, most of them are getting older, too.
- Faris Chevalier UD-10 Renold Quinlan: I don’t know if you’ve seen a Renold Quinlan fight or five, but I have, and unless someone does some damage and gets him out early, they’re all kinda the same. Not really a knock on Quinlan (13-9, 8 KO), just that he has a very clear and specific level, has for years, and much of his career is owed to the time he knocked out former middleweight titlist Daniel Geale in two rounds in 2016, which was Geale’s last fight at a weight where he just didn’t really belong. Anyway, Quinlan has now lost seven of eight, and Chevalier (13-1, 7 KO) didn’t do anything special enough to get him out, winning on scores of 98-92, 99-92, and 100-90. Quinlan also missed weight for the fight.
- Jackson Murray TKO-5 David Tuliloa: Murray’s a 27-year-old heavyweight whom Jeff Fenech thinks is just the bee’s knees, but Fenech’s commentary is pretty positive minded, let’s say. Murray (3-0, 3 KO) was certainly the better fighter here, but he was also seven inches taller and in far better shape than the 6’, 320 lb Tuliloa (2-4, 2 KO), who hasn’t actually won a fight since 2017. The referee called this off late in the fifth for the decent reasoning of needing to see absolutely no more of a mismatch.
- Manuer Matet UD-6 Jye Lane Taylor: There was an issue in the ring with the gloves before the fight could start, as they had different types of Everlast gloves on, which the commission in New South Wales doesn’t allow. So they had get some new gloves to the South Sudan native Matet (4-1, 2 KO), who wound up winning the fight on scores of 59-55, 59-55, and 60-55, though Taylor (3-2, 1 KO) gave it all he had late and fought through a cut. Arguable highlight came after it was over, with trying to lightly suggest Matet watch his language after some profanity, adding, “We’re live on TV right now” with a follow-up question, to which Matet responded, “Fuck yeah. He’s a tough motherfucker, man.” Crowd laughed, interviewer laughed and just kind of shrugged his shoulders. Good TV.
- Aaron Cocco TKO-3 Tim Simona: Simona’s a former rugby league footballer who was banned from the NRL in 2017 for betting on games. He’s been intending to make a boxing debut for a few years now but just got around to it here at age 30, facing a guy who they said used to fight as an amateur but at 29, hadn’t been in a ring in a decade or so. Simona “started fast” in that he threw a bunch of arm punches at the beginning, almost none of which landed cleanly, but then Cocco started beating him up, which just kinda continued until the third round when the ringside officials had seen enough and blew a whistle to stop the fight. Simona got in there and tried and took the punches, no faulting the effort because even gassed he was doing his best, but I don’t think there’s any boxing future here, and I doubt Cocco is about to explode onto the world scene, either.
- Daniel Harwood TKO-2 Caleb Sims: Two more debuting fighters, this one fought at 122 lbs. Really, really fun stuff, with Harwood — born in England, according to the commentators — taking it to Sims right away, like, right away to open the fight, but Sims got his bearings and stayed in it through one. But Sims, who apparently has some MMA background, struggled with the southpaw stance of Harwood, and he just kept getting tagged with straight lefts. One of them hurt him and dropped him, and the referee took a good look when Sims got up, didn’t like what he saw, and stopped it at 1:51 of round two.