INSIDE THE RING: San Antonio’s Franco returns to Las Vegas to defend title

Franco vs. Moloney 2 airs this Saturday on ESPN

Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney face each other for the first time since Franco took Moloney's title belt back in June of 2020.
Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney face each other for the first time since Franco took Moloney's title belt back in June of 2020. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

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On Halloween night, Mario Barrios defended his world title in the Alamodome before 9,024 fans, the first fans to attend a live boxing match in the United States since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. It was also the first successful defense for a world title by a San Antonio boxer in history.

On Saturday, Joshua Franco will attempt to become the second fighter from the Alamo City to accomplish such a feat.

Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs) will face Australia’s Andrew Moloney (21-1, 14 KOs) for Franco’s WBA World Super Flyweight title. “El Profesor” took that belt away from Moloney in late June and was the talk of the boxing world through the summer. Facing the same opponent is nothing new to Franco, who already has a rare trilogy on his professional record against Oscar Negrete.

“By comparison, I think my trilogy was way tougher than my fight with Moloney,” said Franco to KSAT 12 Sports Thursday. “I can’t overlook Moloney, he’s a tough fighter. I’m always training hard, I’m always training to be my best so I leave no doubts in my head, I’m very well prepared.”

Franco was impressive in their first showdown, putting a beatdown on Moloney who suffered a cut above his left eye in the tenth round and then was knocked down in the following round. The previously undefeated boxer was heavily favored going into the bout but that shouldn’t be the case going into this rematch.

“In that fight, I didn’t feel he had anything for me to watch out for, I was going to dominate," Franco said. "I’m expecting him to be more tough, he wants to get his belt back and I took it from him. He’s looking for revenge but I’m not worried about what he’s going to do. I know what I have, I know what I have to do to win.”

The Franco vs. Moloney rematch will once again air live on ESPN and will take place at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Franco Moloney 2 will be the co-main event under the Terence Crawford vs. Kell Brook welterweight title bout.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 17 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email dvillanueva@ksat.com


About the Author:

Daniel P. Villanueva has been with KSAT 12 since 2003 and is the producer of our weekly sports show, "Instant Replay." Villanueva is a graduate of St. Mary's University and is a TAPB and Lone Star Emmy award winner.