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Jason Moloney avenges the family name with stoppage win over Leonardo Baez

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Bantamweight contender Jason ‘Mayhem’ Moloney 21-1 (18) avenged the family name with a seventh-round stoppage of Leonardo Baez 18-3 (9) inside ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday night.

The 29-year-old Australian, 117¾ pounds, was under pressure to score a win for the family following his twin brother Andrew’s 12-round decision loss to Joshua Franco at the same venue on Tuesday.

The fight cost Andrew his WBA ‘regular’ super flyweight title and delivered him the first loss of his professional career.

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Jason outboxed, outfought and outthought Baez, 118¼ pounds from Mexicali, Baja California, engaging the taller man in the trenches and getting the better of the exchanges on the inside.

Moloney found a home for his short, chopping shots early, cutting Baez over the right eye in the third and targeting the body repeatedly.

In the sixth Moloney strafed Baez with regular shots upstairs, swivelling the 24-year-old’s head and cutting him over the left eye.

The beating continued in the seventh, with visible swelling to Baez’s face.

At the end of the round, Baez retired on his stool.

“That was the greatest moment of my career,” said Moloney, who is ranked in the top five of all four major sanctioning bodies.

“It was tough watching my brother the other night, but I knew I had a job to do. Thank you to my team.

“I sacrificed so much for six weeks, leaving my fiancée and my baby. I’m just over the moon. My brother told me he loved me and that he was proud of me.

“He’ll be back better than ever. Trust me.”

The fight, scheduled for 10 rounds, saw Moloney outland Baez in total punches 144 to 89 including 39% of his power shots compared to 23%.

At the time of the stoppage, Moloney was leading 69-64, 69-64 and 68-65.

Baez was a late replacement for Oscar Negrete, who went 0-1-2 with Franco in a thrilling trilogy.

Moloney, whose only professional loss was to IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez by split decision in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series in October 2018, can now look forward to some high-profile fights on other Top Rank cards.

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