Unbeaten Australian Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 21-0 (14) claimed the vacant WBA interim super flyweight title with an eighth-round stoppage of Elton Dharry 24-6-1 (14) at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, Australia on Friday night.
Moloney has the better of the action through the first four frames before being rocked in the fifth by a right uppercut from the 33-year-old Brooklyn-based Guyanese. Moloney’s knee momentarily hit the canvas and it could have been scored a knockdown.
Trainer Angelo Hyder admonished his fighter between rounds.
“You tried to knock him out,” he said. “You didn’t listen to me, you disrespected him.”
“I still knew where I was and was smart enough to get behind my jab,” Moloney said after the fight.
“I thought I was going really well until he popped my ear drum and that wasn’t a good round but otherwise I felt in control and things were going to plan.”
Moloney regrouped in the sixth, landing hard shots to the head that caused Dharry’s right eye to begin to swell. For the next two rounds Moloney continued to dish out the punishment until the ringside physician recommended the fight be stopped between the eighth and ninth rounds.
“This is unbelievable,” Moloney said after the fight. “This has been so many years of hard work and sacrifices for this moment. I can’t believe it, it’s finally happened. It still hasn’t sunk in yet, I still think I’m dreaming, because I’ve dreamt it so many times.
“I’m my toughest critic and I’m not really that happy with the fight, but I’m world champion.
“I would have loved a more spectacular finish and knock him out and win more convincingly but I’ve got his belt so I can’t be too upset.”
Moloney added: “He’s a tough, tough man. World titles don’t come easy, and I was expecting a tough fight, and that’s what he gave me. Thank you, Elton.”
The 28-year-old is the mandatory contender for full WBA 115-pound champ Kal Yafai 26-0 (15).
“Bring on Yafai. I’ve been chasing him for a long time now. Let’s make it happen,” Moloney said.
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