Tuesday, August 16, 2022  |


Moloney takes on Saludar looking for a fresh start after his trilogy with Franco

Andrew Moloney is ready to get back in to the title picture. Photo credit: Bruno Ferreira/Black Snow Images

Australian junior bantamweight Andrew Moloney will look to get back to winning ways after an unsuccessful trilogy with Joshua Franco when he faces former world title challenger Froilan Saludar at the Star Event Centre, Sydney on Tuesday.

Moloney, who is rated No. 9 by The Ring at 115-pounds, knows he must not only secure the victory but also do so impressively.

“This is a must win fight for me,” Moloney (21-2, 14 knockouts) told The Ring. “We have taken on a tough test in Froilan Saludar and I’m hoping that a win over him will push my right back up the ratings and hopefully into a world title fight in 2022.”

The 30-year-old laments how the Franco fights ended for him, although he is glad he had the opportunity to break into the upper echelons of the division.

“Unfortunately, the trilogy with Franco didn’t go my way but I feel I learned a hell of a lot from this experience and have become a much better fighter from it,” Moloney said of the 26 rounds he shared with Franco over a 14-month period. “I look forward to showing my improvements on December 9.”

Moloney remains very hungry, and was eager to return to boxing after the Franco reverse.

“I started training again as soon as I got back to Australia whilst I was in hotel quarantine,” he explained. “This loss has made me even hungrier to get back to the top and improve as a fighter.

“I train all year round I don’t really do training camps but we have ramped everything up and have brought in sparring partners for the last eight weeks before the fight.”

Tony Tolj, who manages Andrew’s twin brother Jason, has an idea of how he would like to move his fighter but knows circumstances can change.

“This is a very tough fight. Saludar is a former world title challenger with impressive wins in China and Japan,” said Tolj. “I back the quality of Andrew Moloney all the way and I know how gutted he was after the previous fight [against Franco.]

“Saludar has been sparring the WBA flyweight champion [Artem Dalakian]. The WBC championship is road blocked at moment and Franco is ordered to fight the winner of [Ring, WBA champion Juan Francisco] Estrada and [Roman] “Chocolatito” [Gonzalez]. This fight will be for the WBO Oriental junior bantamweight championship and we would be geared towards [Kazuto] Ioka.”

Saludar turned professional in 2009. The Filipino won 19 of his first 20 fights, with the lone blemish being a non-contest before he tasted defeat against McWilliams Arroyo (TKO 2). He rebounded with five wins and stepped up to face Takuma Inoue but was widely outpointed, though did manage to drop Inoue.

The 32-year-old was stopped by Sho Kimura (KO 6) in a WBO flyweight title challenge in 2018. Saludar (32-4-1, 22 KOs) has since win four of his last five fights. He is the older brother of former WBO strawweight titlist, Vic.


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