Franco-Moloney rematch added to Nov. 14 card

Boxing

The rematch between WBA junior bantamweight titlist Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney will take place on Nov. 14, in Las Vegas.

The fight will be the co-main event of Terence Crawford’s welterweight title defense against Kell Brook (ESPN, 10 p.m. ET).

On June 23, Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs) won the belt by defeating Moloney (21-1, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. In that fight, Franco pulled away in the late rounds to hand Moloney his first professional defeat.

Moloney, who held a rematch clause, made the decision to enforce it.

“There wasn’t any other thought in his head,” said Tony Tolj, who manages both Andrew and his brother, bantamweight title contender Jason Moloney. “He just had the tunnel vision to go straight into that fight because he was just so disappointed in himself and there were some factors with a couple of injuries in that fight — but you never like to make excuses with injuries. That’s part and parcel with this game.”

Their first fight was a back-and-forth affair for about eight rounds, but Franco — who scored a knockdown of Moloney in Round 11 — took over the action in the championship rounds.

“Full credit to Franco because he did what a champion does, he won the fight,” Tolj said. “But we’re full of confidence in the rematch because we see a lot of opening’s we can exploit. We’re confident we can get the decisions and get the title back.”

It’s a busy stretch for both Moloneys. Andrew is facing unified bantamweight titleholder Naoya Inoue on Oct. 31, also in Las Vegas. The twins arrived to Las Vegas in early October to prepare for what are the most important fights of their careers.

“We’re all very excited, we believe it’s their time,” said Tolj. “They put up so much effort, and so many sacrifices into boxing. It’s about time they reap some of the rewards, and get that notoriety.”

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