Top Rank Preview: Andrew Moloney Ready To Prove Himself To A Global Audience
From being an interim to undisputed champion, Andrew Moloney has been put into a spot he never expected before. Now, the pressure is on him to carry the momentum from previous Top Rank shows with a successful title defense.
Moloney (21-0) will be defending his WBA Super-Flyweight Title on June 23 inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada against Joshua Franco. It will be his first defense of the title since becoming interim champion in November 2019 against Elton Dharry. The fight will air on ESPN.
“This is a big opportunity for me to increase my profile,” Moloney (21-0, 14KOs) stated to Boxing Scene. “This is my chance to introduce myself to a worldwide audience and make a name for myself.”
“The Monster” signed with Top Rank with his brother Jason, and were the first fighters to enter Top Rank’s gym as the Nevada Athletic Commission lifted the ban on combat sports in the area. A former WBA Oceania Bantamweight Champion, Moloney was supposed to face Khalid Yafa to determine the undisputed champion. Roman Gonzalez jumped the line and beat him, but the WBA named “Chocolatito” the “super” champion, giving Moloney a free pass at world title status.
While disappointed, Moloney is relieved that part of his life is over.
“Honestly, it feels good to have wrapped that up. It all happened in a bit of a roundabout way,” Moloney went on to say. “We chased that Yafai fight for about three years. Finally, after more years of wanting a title fight and dedicating my whole life to boxing that I can now call myself a world champion.
“It sets me up for bigger and better things in the future. Now here I am fighting in America, June 23 at the MGM Grand. It’s another dream come true.”
Moloney is set to face a man in Franco (16-1-2) with eight wins via knockout. Making his professional debut in 2015, “The Professor” was on a 13-fight win streak before losing to Lucas Emanuel Fernandez Leone back in 2018. He has since gone 3-0-2 during that time. Franco’s last fight was a TKO-win against Jose Alejandro Burgos back in January.
Not taking his opponent lightly, Moloney is ready to prove to Bob Arum and Top Rank he is the right man to lead the promotion to glory. A few days later, it will be his brother’s turn.