Australian twins who have been quickly on the rise as legitimate contenders within their respective divisions will be at the forefront of the Top Rank boxing cards this week as the Moloney brothers will own the spotlight. On Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), Andrew Moloney will hit the ring first as he takes on Joshua Franco in the main event from Las Vegas' MGM Grand in a super flyweight title fight.
Moloney (21-0, 14 KO) holds the WBA "regular" super flyweight championship, which is a world championship in name only with Roman Gonzalez recognized as the WBA "super" champion. Moloney was promoted to his current status after winning an interim version of the belt by stopping Elton Dharry in November.
That Dharry fight was a gut check for Moloney -- a back-and-forth war where Moloney was able to overcome a hard charge in the middle rounds. Dharry scored what should have been a knockdown in the fifth round of the fight, but the referee missed Moloney's knee touching the canvas. Moloney fired back after surviving a round where he seemed on the verge of being stopped at any moment. Eventually, Dharry had taken enough damage for Moloney to be awarded the stoppage win.
In that fight, fans were given reasons to both have faith in Moloney as a tough fighter who can survive adversity and doubt him as an elite fighter after being pushed to the limits by a heavy underdog who came into the fight as a relative unknown.
Franco (16-1-2, 8 KO) is best known for a thrilling trilogy of fights with Oscar Negrete. Franco and Negrete battled to two split draws with a Franco split-decision win in the middle giving him the edge in the trilogy. The two men threw nearly 6,000 combined punches across the three 10-round fights. Franco's lone career loss came against Lucas Leone in March 2018, losing by TKO. Leone is a quality enough fighter and Franco's work against Negrete showed him as a tough out for anyone, even as he heads into the fight with Moloney as an underdog.
Below is a look at the Top Rank card set for Tuesday night, with odds for the main event provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
Moloney vs. Franco card, odds
Andrew Moloney (c) -625
Joshua Franco +450
WBA super flyweight title
Christopher Diaz n/a
Jason Sanchez n/a
Miguel Contreras n/a
Rolando Vargas n/a
Adam Stewart n/a
Helaman Olguin n/a
As mentioned, Franco is a tough fighter who has been through some rough battles. Moloney has also shown vulnerabilities, and his style can fall into fits of being slightly predictable. Moloney brings the bigger power to the ring, power that could cause Franco to falter in his volume punching. Franco is a live dog here, but Moloney has the big odds by his name for a reason; he's simply a higher-quality fighter, and with an edge in technique and power, it would take a relentless attack from Franco to steal rounds while staying upright to get the win on the cards. Moloney via TKO8