Saturday night on ESPN features WBO Welterweight Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (36-0) going up against Kell “Special K” Brook (39-2). Although the Main Event is sure to deliver, it’s the co-main event that is the topic of this article.
WBA Super Flyweight Champion Joshua “El Profesor” Franco (17-1-2) is fighting Andrew “The Monster” Moloney (21-1) for the second time in six months. This fight truly quenches the thirst of the hardcore boxing fans as this SuperFly division is full of talent.
The first fight took place in June and was only a few weeks removed from the return of boxing. Boxing received the “green light” to have a show again in May, which left fighters with shorter training camps. Both fighters had a choice to make when presented with the fight and they chose to take it.
From the very beginning, it was Franco that was locked in while Moloney was having trouble getting started. This could have been for a number of reasons but even so, the fight was extremely competitive. Towards the middle rounds, some felt Moloney was coming on but the cut to the left eye which led to a knockdown was too much to recover from. There was a ton of praise from the fight fans and they were more than ready to see it again.
When analyzing the WBA Champion Franco, he has a high boxing IQ which helps him land effective counter shots. When it comes to conditioning, Franco is always willing to trade and can throw close to a 1,000 punches a fight. Franco doesn’t have one punch knockout power but has the ability to wear you down from an accumulation of punches. Coming from the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy, he has World Class fighters and Champions who help with his training camps on hand. Joshua Franco will come fully prepared every time he steps in the ring.
As far as what we will see in this fight, I think we get more of the same from Franco but a little more sense of urgency early in order to avoid a close fight. On a Top Rank Zoom held Monday, Franco said, “I’m going to dominate all 12 rounds.” He then followed it up with, “I’m a World Champion for a reason and will stay a World Champion.”
I checked in with his manager Rick Mirigian and he had this to say: ” I'm confident Franco takes care of business this weekend and after that I'll push for a fight against Chocolatito, he deserves it.”
Looking back at the last fight, I don’t think we saw the best version of Andrew Moloney. He has had four and a half months to rest, recover and train for this rematch. For Moloney, it’s going to be extremely important that he starts off quickly and makes Franco fight off of the back foot. Moloney also has to be the one to dictate the action and spacing in the rematch.
Earlier in the week, I checked in with Moloney’s brother Jason and he had this to say. “I can’t wait for Andrew to get revenge and win his World Title back on Saturday night. I’m really excited that Andrew has the opportunity to show what he is really capable of. The first fight between Andrew and Franco was a very close fight but I think it was probably the worst performance of Andrew’s career. Since that fight Andrew has been so focused and determined to get his revenge and he has been on fire. I’m really confident that Andrew is going to dominate this fight and show that he is the real deal.”
With that, his manager Tony Tolj also had this to say: “Andrew has looked sensational in this camp, he has left no stone unturned in the lead up. He literally was training in the hotel in quarantine. I’m looking forward to seeing a breakout performance and him stealing the show.”
My Three Cents:
This Co-Main Event is a fantastic rematch to a fight that many enjoyed. The winner will have the opportunity to possibly face guys like Gonzalez, Estrada, Ancajas and Rungvisai in 2021.
With those fights on the horizon, there is a lot on the line so tune into ESPN Saturday Night! Will this fight burst the bubble? You will have to tune in to find out so don't miss this SuperFly Championship fight!