02/03/2024

Dominant from bell to bell, Andrew Moloney secured the vacant WBO Oriental Super Flyweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Filipino Froilan Saludar. (Photo: No Limit Boxing/Facebook)

Former World champion Andrew Moloney has returned in style, securing the WBO Oriental Super Flyweight title on night one of No Limit Boxing's Xmas Bash.

Andrew Moloney (22-2, 14 KOs) has returned to the winners’ column in dominant fashion with a unanimous decision victory (99-91, 98-92, 98-91) against tough Filipino, Froilan Saludar (32-5-1, 22 KOs) in Sydney.

The 30-year-old fought with high volume across 10 fast-paced rounds, securing the WBO Oriental Super Flyweight title in the main event of night one of No Limit Boxing’s Xmas Bash.

The win turns the page on the controversial trilogy with Joshua Franco (18-1-2, 8 KOs) for Moloney, who lost twice in three straight fights with the American and surrendered his WBA World Super Flyweight title in the process.

It was an aggressive Saludar that pressed forward in the first round however, forcing the Australian onto the back foot with calculated attacks to the body and head.

Undeterred, Moloney increased his output in the following three minutes, noticeably circling and jabbing to the body of Saludar to slow him down.

The consequences of these adjustments reared their head throughout the third. At the middle point of the stanza, Moloney landed a flurry of punches in the neutral corner to stamp his authority on the fight.

Although a somewhat rejuvenated Saludar had moments of success in the fifth, the story of the bout’s first half was unquestionably Moloney’s versatile attacks. Particularly noteworthy, he continued to land a pinpoint left hook that found the jaw behind numerous one-two combinations.

Sensing that the Filipino was beginning to fade, the former World champion started to trap his foe against the ropes in the sixth, seventh and eighth rounds. With nowhere to go, Saludar had no choice but to wear the barrage of punches coming his way.

Yet it was the visiting boxer who proved his mettle in the closing minutes of the bout, fighting fire with fire, as both men traded in close range.

Symbolic of the overall narrative created though, Moloney unloaded on a heavy combination with Saludar pressed along the ropes as the final bell sounded.

A seemingly fresh and elated Moloney spoke of his performance after the fight.

“Very happy to finish off the year with a big win to set up a massive 2022,” he told Ben Damon of Main Event.

“He was so tough. A few times I thought I had him there, but his head must be made out of concrete.”

With a new year around the corner, Moloney now eyes a return to the World title picture. Specifically, he will pursue the WBO title, which will be defended by Japan’s Kazuto Ioka (27-2, 15 KOs) against fellow countryman Ryoji Fukunaga (15-4, 14 KOs) at the end of the month.

“I believe I’m World title calibre,” Moloney said.

“The WBO is the route we want to go. I hope I get a fight with Kazuto Ioka as soon as possible.”

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In the co-main event, Faris ‘Le Fox’ Chevalier (13-1, 7 KOs) defended his WBA Oceania Light Heavyweight title with a unanimous decision (98-92, 100-90, 99-92) over former IBO Super Middleweight champion, Renold Quinlan (13-9, 8 KOs).

Competing for the second time in 11 days, the ‘Dunghutti Destroyer’ met Chevalier head on.

From a true clash of styles, compelling theatre was made. While the southpaw Chevalier aimed to land his straight left hand behind a solid jab, Quinlan marched forward in search of an opening for a heavy counter right.

With the result, the French-born victor consolidates his number 14 ranking with the WBA and will have his eyes set on climbing the pecking order in 2022.

Earlier in the card, Super Featherweights Manuer Matet (4-1, 2 KOs) and Jye Lane Taylor (3-2, 1 KO) turned in a late contender for domestic fight of the year. Their six round epic provided the early fireworks for the show, entertaining the fans who had filtered in early.

Despite suffering a nasty gash over his left eye in the early proceedings, Taylor fought on willingly, throwing himself into the fire against a heavy hitting opponent. Ultimately, it was the explosive Matet who emerged victorious, taking a unanimous decision (60-55, 59-54 x 2).

Following the action-packed contest, impressive Heavyweight prospect Jackson Murray (3-0, 3 KOs) recorded the third stoppage of his career, finishing David Tuliloa (2-4, 2 KOs) in the fifth.

For full results from night one of No Limit Boxing’s Xmas Bash, click here.

Night two will be headlined by NRL converts, Paul Gallen and Darcy Lussick. To purchase via Main Event, click here.

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