Jason Moloney Keeps It Inside, Beats Leonardo Baez Via TKO

There was a lot of pressure for Jason Moloney inside the MGM Grand Conference Center on June 25. Not only was he looking to impress to be a title contender once again, but he had to avenge his brother Andrew’s first loss this past Tuesday. By utilizing his range to find his shots, Jason managed to do both all at once.

Jason (21-1) beat Leonardo Biaz after seven rounds of grueling boxing. It was a corner retirement, as Baez could no longer continue the bout. The referee complied with the decision.

“That was the greatest moment of my career. It was tough watching my brother the other night, but I knew I had a job to do,” Moloney said. “Thank you to my team. I sacrificed so much for six weeks, leaving my fiancée and my baby. I’m just over the moon.

“My brother told me he loved me and that he was proud of me. He’ll be back better than ever. Trust me.”

It was known heading into the fight that Moloney liked to target the body. He started early in the first, jabbing away, while Baez did the same. Moloney would hit one-two combinations while also hitting a nice overhand. His legs were sturdy as he started focusing on the inside.

Even though Moloney’s game plan was working from the start, Baez was not down and out. Known for the long game, Baez would land with overhand shots in the second. He would push through the defense of Moloney and land body shots. Moloney, however, would do everything he could to stop the momentum of Baez. He hit jabs and a right to the side to end the round.

Both went low by the third round and would continue to do so. It was at this point that Baez was bleeding by the eye, as Moloney would not leave his inside. Round four may have been Baez’s last shot at glory, as he was hitting the chin and body of Moloney. He also hit uppercuts by round five, but that did not overmatch the 85 shots landed by Moloney according to CompuBox. Baez only landed 53 at the time. Baez had the bigger range but kept on getting cut off before he could do anything.

Baez would miss key shots by round six and by round seven, CombuBox had Moloney landing 128 shots compared to Baez’s 87. It took a long time for Baez to get his long shots back in as he hit the inside of the body. Moloney, however, would head out to the left and stick it to Baez. He hit a crisp shot to Baez’s face along with two body blows. By the end of the seventh, Baez had two cuts on both brows of his eye’s.

As a result of the inside shots, primarily to the body, Baez couldn’t breathe. There was no controversy with his corner, as the fight was stopped right away.

Moloney is now on a four-fight win streak after losing to Emmanuel Rodriguez for the IBF Bantamweight Title in 2018. It is also his fourth knockout-win in a row and 18th overall. The WBA Oceania Champion was excited at the prospect of earning his place within the bantamweight division once again.

Baez (18-3) lost his first fight since September 2018. That ended a six-fight win streak against impressive opponents that resulted in him winning the NABA Super-Bantamweight Title at one point.

Main Card (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)

Jason Moloney def. Leonardo Baez via TKO – retirement (end of seventh)

Abraham Nova def. Avery Sparrow via unanimous decision (99-91, 97-93, 96-94)

Orlando Gonzalez def. Luis Porozo via unanimous decision (76-74, 77-73, 77-73)

Vlad Panin def. Benjamin Whitaker via majority decision (57-57, 58-56, 58-56)

Reymond Yanong def. Clay Burns via split decision (56-58, 59-55, 58-56)

Kingsley Ibeh def. Waldo Cortes via TKO (1:41 into round 4)

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