Andrew Moloney vs. Joshua Franco Ends in Controversial No-Decision over Headbutt

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2020

Boxing gloves lay on a table during the Brigade Boxing Championships at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. The academy has offered boxing since 1865, both as a club sport as well as a required part of the physical education program. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Joshua Franco retained the WBA super flyweight championship after a controversial no-decision against Andrew Moloney.

Franco was stopped after two rounds when his right eye was swollen shut, but the officials ruled the injury was due to an accidental headbutt.

After over 25 minutes of replay review—which showed no apparent clash of heads—judges kept their initial call of an accidental headbutt, per Lance Pugmire of The Athletic.

Referee Robert Byrd said he saw two headbutts during the match:

"This is an absolute disgrace," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said afterward. "There was no headbutt. Moloney should be the champion."

Moloney spoke about the decision after the match:

Arum had a heated exchange with Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett after the announcement and the two had to be separated, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.

Former world champion Timothy Bradley Jr. explained it was a legal jab in the second round that caused the swelling:

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Most watching along also sided with Moloney:

Moloney was seeking to avenge his June loss to Franco by unanimous decision, the first loss in the Australian's career.

He will hope he showed enough in the first two rounds Saturday to earn another shot to regain his title.