Former world title challenger Jason ‘The Smooth One’ Moloney 19-1 (16) knocked out Goodluck Mrema 23-5 (13) in the third round of their 10-round bout to retain his WBA bantamweight title at Seagulls Stadium in Tweed Heads, QLD, Australia on Saturday night live on ESPN+.
The 28-year-old Moloney uncorked a picture-perfect left hook in the third frame that send Mrema to the canvas. Referee Justin Kennedy counted out the 24-year-old Tanzanian, was a late replacement for Mexican Cesar Ramirez, at 2:23.
“He came to fight, he came to push me a little bit,” said Moloney, who is rated in the top 10 of all four major sanctioning bodies.
Moloney, who is ranked number three by the WBA behind Liborio Solis and Guillermo Rigondeaux, is gunning for a world title shot before the end of the year.
“We’re ready to take on anyone in the division,” Moloney said. “The WBA title has just become vacant, I want to fight the number one contender, Liborio Solis and we’re ready to make that fight happen.”
Super flyweight contender Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 20-0 (13) had to settle for a second-round stoppage of Tanzania’s Selemani Bangaiza 15-6 (5) who simple didn’t turn up to fight.
Bangaiza was a late replacement for Mexico’s Ruben Montoya.
“I trained extremely hard for this fight,” a disappointed Moloney said. “It wasn’t the opponent we lined up for this fight.”
Moloney backed up Bangaiza from the opening bell, strafing his body with a two-fisted attack and landing to his head with ease. In the second round the retreating visitor spit out his mouthpiece and clearly wanted to be anywhere other than the ring, prompting referee Brad Vocale to wave off the contest.
The official time of the stoppage was 1:57 of round number two.
“I’m sorry for all the people who flew in tonight,” said Moloney of the early ending in the 10-round bout. “I would’ve liked it to go a little longer and put on a better performance.”
Moloney is coming off a devastating eighth round knockout of Miguel Gonzalez in Chile in March that secured him the number one contender position in the WBA and a shot at champion Khalid Yafai, who defends his title against Norbelto Jimenez in two weeks’ time.
“I’m in the mandatory position for the (115-pound) title,” Moloney said. “Hopefully that will come later this year or next year. That’s why we would’ve liked a much tougher fight.”
In other action talented Kiwi super middleweight Mose Auimatagi Jr 13-1-2 (9) scored a sixth-round knockout of Sydney’s Kerry Foley 19-5-1 (16) in their scheduled 10-round bout.
Auimatagi Jr used his left hook to the body and head to good effect and it was this punch that put Foley down for the count. Official time of the stoppage was 1:21.
Also on the undercard former world-rated light heavyweight Reagan ‘The President’ Dessaix 17-2 (12) claimed the vacant Australian title with a seventh-round stoppage of Michael Whitelaw 5-2-1 (2) in their 10-round contest.
Dessaix was coming off a competitive 10-round decision loss to world-rated Blake Caparello in Melbourne in February.