Aussie Andrew Moloney fails to avenge controversial ‘headbutt’ ruling, losing third title fight with Joshua Franco

Australian super flyweight Andrew Moloney has missed out on another chance at the WBA title, losing a unanimous points decision to American Joshua Franco to wrap up their trilogy.

All three judges in Tulsa, Oklahoma scored the fight 116-112 in Franco’s favour, leaving Moloney’s record against Franco at two losses and one no decision. 

While Franco won the first fight between the pair fair and square by unanimous decision in June last year, the Australian looked for all money to have regained the title when he closed Franco’s right eye in their rematch last November.

But the judges found an “accidental headbutt” that they said caused the swelling and ruled the fight no contest.

The video review served Franco well again in the third bout, although this time correctly, overturning a seventh-round knockdown after the replay showed Moloney’s right hand missed.

Moloney took a similar tumble in the 12th and final round, and could not find the knockout blow he needed to win the fight.

While he was rightly aggrieved after the second bout, 30-year-old Moloney cannot be too unhappy with the judges’ most recent decision.

The Australian came out hard in the early exchanges, but Franco got on top in the second half of the fight and rightly came out the victor.

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