Four major cards bombarded boxing fans this past Saturday and boxing fans were given a bit of everything. Trilogies, high-level prospects, first-round knockouts, and yet another atrocious scorecard and decision. However, one little man put together a 12-round masterpiece that put the boxing world and more specifically the most talent-loaded division in the sport, the super flyweight division, on notice. “El Profesor” Joshua Franco, of San Antonio, Texas, improved his record to 18-1-2 (8) by beating up and outclassing former world champion Andrew Moloney in the third part of their highly entertaining trilogy. Moloney is the man Franco won the world title from back in 2020. The Texan concluded the trilogy with the best performance of his young and flourishing career to take the series over Moloney 2-0, with 1ND. Franco did not only win the fight and trilogy but also defended his WBA super-flyweight world title, secured himself a major fight with one of the legends of the division as well captures our Fighter of the Week award.
“El Professor” vowed to take Moloney to school. Class was certainly in session as the San Antonian was absolutely leatheal throughout the full 12-rounds. The right hand regardless of how he threw it would not miss in the mid range. Franco, has been criticized for starting slow. That was not the case on Saturday as he struck with a big right hand that dazed the Australian late in the first round. Franco continually battered the former champ from the midrange, and when Moloney got to the side he would land with some success but Franco would consistently do the better work on the inside as well. Beaming with confidence the normally reserved world champion started pumping his fist at the conclusion of each round. Putting an exclamation point at dominance. Franco out landed Moloney 168 to 107. The power punching told the story as it was the Texan who landed on 127 power shots compared to Moloney who landed on 73. It was those power shots, the constant attract from The Professor that wore Moloney down and sealed the deal for him in a competitive but somewhat one-sided fight. All three judges scored the fight 116-112 for Franco. Giving him redemption from the controversy of the head-butt in their second fight and bringing finality to the trilogy.
Franco has had a quick rise to superstardom and that star is only rising. the 115-pound division is loaded with, not just very good fighters, but Hall of Fame all-time great fighter. Chocolatito, Juan Francisco Estrada, Kaz Ioka, and Donnie Nietes are all sure-fire hall of famers. They are all aging and Franco’s time is now. Fortunately for “El Profesor” the WBA has mandated a fight between the winner of Estrada-Chocolatito and Franco. A true mega-fight, one that can act as a true changing of the guard in the 115-pound division. Should Franco win that fight, and beat either Chocolatito or Estrada. It would mark the beginning of a new era. Franco would have ended the long reign of the elder statesman of the division and the 115-pound division will have a new face and a new king of the division