Aussie wrap-up: Moloney dazzles against Concepcion

Anthony Cocks
10/10/2018 5:42am

A brilliant performance from super-flyweight Andrew Moloney headlines the latest edition of Anthony Cocks' regular Aussie wrap-up...

Undefeated super-flyweight contender Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 18-0 (11) delivered a career-best performance with a dominant TKO10 win over former world champion Luis ‘El Nica’ Concepcion 37-7 (26) at Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo, Victoria on 8 September.

The 27-year-old Moloney put on a masterful performance to become just the second man to stop the Panamanian veteran.

“We stuck to the game-plan perfectly,” said a jubilant Moloney after the fight. “We knew he was going to be a very tough man and that’s exactly what he was.”

Moloney outboxed Concepcion behind a high guard and stiff jab in the opening rounds before opening up with a two-fisted assault to the body and head in the middle rounds. Concepcion threw right uppercuts with wild abandon throughout the contest to little effect.

In the fifth round the 32-year-old Concepcion loaded up on the right hand as he desperately sought to stem the tide, but Moloney backed him up, beating him to the punch and proving to be the stronger man on the inside.

It was Moloney’s most dominant round of the fight.

Moloney’s trainer Angelo Hyder urged his charge to take his time and the WBA and WBC number four responded by shifting back a gear.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist remained in control in the seventh and eighth rounds as he conserved his energy for a big finish.

Moloney ramped up his activity in the ninth as he looked to close the show. A barnstorming Moloney pounced on Concepcion in the tenth and final round, strafing him with a four-punch combination to the jaw early in the round.

The reigning Commonwealth 115lbs champion backed Concepcion to the ropes and unloaded two hard shots to the jaw. Moloney cornered Concepcion in his own corner and unleashed shot after shot until referee Ferlin March stepped in to halt the contest at 1:58 of the final frame.

Moloney displayed great versatility in attack against the well-credentialed Panamanian.

“I can box off the back foot or off the front foot,” said Moloney, who is now targeting British world champion Kal Yafai. “We knew Concepcion was going to come forward so we thought we’d box him and it worked perfectly.”

In the main support bout undefeated junior middleweight Tim Tszyu 11-0 (9) stopped Marcos Jesus Cornejo 19-4 (18) in the opening round.

The 23-year-old son of Kostya Tszyu controlled the distance with his ramrod jab before drilling in a straight right hand that staggered Cornejo midway through the opening round.

With Cornejo on the retreat Tszyu went in for the kill, trapping the Argentinean in the red corner and unleashing a series of right uppercuts that saw the visitor sink into the ropes.

The 37-year-old Argentinean trailhorse looked done but referee Jeffrey Eddy allowed the fight to continue. A left hook to the body and another right uppercut to the head from Tszyu forced the referee to step in at 2:21 of the opening frame.

It was the second consecutive first-round stoppage for the accurate, hard-hitting Tszyu.

“He took four big shots, he was rattled,” said Tszyu after the fight. “It’s the ref’s job to protect the fighters.”

Popular Mornington Peninsula super middleweight Jayde ‘El Matador’ Mitchell 17-1 (9) overcame a strong mid-rounds rally from hard-hitting Sydneysider ‘Capt’n’ Kerry Foley 19-4-1 (16) to successfully defend his OPBF and interim WBA Oceania titles by unanimous decision over ten rounds at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Victoria on 7 September.

All three judges saw the fight in favour of the WBA number 11 and WBC number 12 by identical scores of 97-93.

The 30-year-old Foley started fast and was dangerous throughout the fight, but Mitchell boxed well to control the early rounds with his high work-rate and sharp counterpunching.

Mitchell survived a torrid sixth round to regain control on the fight and outbox Foley down the straight.

“Rounds one to four were a cakewalk, I outboxed Kerry easily,” said the 32-year-old Mitchell, who claimed the vacant IBF Pan Pacific title with the win, in an interview with Maxboxing.com.

“But Kerry adjusted, I can’t remember if it was late in the fifth or early in the sixth, and he caught me. I do, however, remember that round six sucked!

“I brought myself back into the fight in round seven and was able to comfortably take the remaining three rounds under the constant threat of Kerry’s power.”

Also on the card cruiserweight ‘Sugar’ Kane Watts 20-3 (13) stopped Kuldeep Singh 2-2-1 (1) of India in the final round of a scheduled eight-round bout. It was the 36-year-old Watts’ first fight in almost two years.

Perth pocket rocket Louisa ‘Bang Bang Lulu’ Hawton 8-2 (4) appeared to outbox Mexico’s Brenda Flores 13-4-1 (2) for the interim WBC atomweight title on the untelevised portion of the Superfly 3 undercard from the Forum in Inglewood, California on 8 September only to have the decision go against her.

Two of the three judges awarded the fight to Mexico’s Flores by scores of 97-93 and 96-94. The third judge carded Hawton the winner by 97-93.

“I felt disappointed they got it so wrong,” said Hawton to Maxboxing.com. “The words ‘robbery’ and ‘scandal’ are being thrown around by the press; this was at best a disgraceful decision.”

The 33-year-old Hawton isn’t alone in thinking two of the judges got it horribly wrong. Many experienced boxing reporters and industry insiders agreed with Hawton’s assessment of the fight.

“Best fight on the card was the undercard interim title bout between Louisa Hawton and Brenda Flores,” wrote Dougie Fischer for RingTV.com.

“Unfortunately, that quality scrap was marred by AWFUL scoring from the official judges, who handed an undeserving split decision victory to Flores.”

Hawton is chasing an immediate rematch.

Former WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne 26-1 (23) rebounded from his knockout loss to Dillian Whyte with a third-round kncokout of American giant Julius ‘Towering Inferno’ Long 18-21 (14) at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland on 28 September.

Long was docked a point in the second round for excessive holding but it was all academic. A short counter right hand from the 39-year-old Browne crumpled Long to the canvas, sending him halfway out of the ring.

Official time of the stoppage was 1:04 of round number three.

The fight was a rematch of Browne’s ninth-round KO of Long at the Melbourne Pavilion three years ago.

WBO number six ranked super middleweight Rohan ‘No Mercy’ Murdock 23-1 (17) scored a fourth-round TKO of Pablo Daniel Zmora Nievas 33-16-1 (19) in a stay-busy eight-round fight at the Pullman & Mercure Hotel in Brisbane, Queensland on 15 September.

The 26-year-old from the Gold Coast had the Argentinean veteran on the deck twice in the fourth round before the referee waved off the contest at 1:54. Murdoch was ahead 30-27 on all three cards at the time.

In the main support bout junior welterweight Matt Casboult 7-1 (1) continued his comeback with a six-round split decision victory over Michael Whitehead 6-1-1 (4) by scores of 58-56, 59-55 and 56-58.

OPBF light heavyweight champion Aaron Lai 11-4 (10) needed just three rounds to retain his title against Japan’s Shintaro Matsumoto 14-7 (10) at the North Sydney Rugby League Club in Cammeray, New South Wales on 21 September.

Matsumoto retired at the end of the third round with a suspect broken rib. The 33-year-old was coming off a fourth-round TKO loss to world-rated Brisbane light heavyweight Reagan Dessaix 15-1 (10) in March.

Lai, 35, claimed the vacant OPBF belt and the Australian title against Kerry Foley by TKO3 in February 2017.