Jason Moloney grinds out decision win over Francisco Pedroza; Ginny Fuchs wins debut
COSTA MESA, California – It may have been a stay-busy fight on paper, but Jason Moloney had to work harder than expected to grind out a win.
Moloney won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Francisco Pedroza Saturday evening, improving to 23-2 (18 knockouts). Scores were 99-91, 99-91, and 100-90 for Moloney, who is ranked No. 5 by The Ring at 118 pounds.
The scores did not reflect how competitive and how close the action was during the first half of the fight. Both exchanged combinations in the center of the ring, with Moloney landing the more effective punches. Pedroza was able to find openings to counter or sneak a hook or cross to the body or head.
Moloney of Melbourne, Australia began landing with more regularity in the sixth round, connecting several right crosses to the head of Pedroza. Moloney began asserting himself more as the second half of the fight progressed. He was able to mix his attack, keeping Pedroza at bay, at times.
Even as Pedroza mounted an offense or attempted to build off connecting a punch, Moloney always had an answer, whether it was landing a two-punch combination or a telling punch that forced Pedroza to gather himself.
Moloney has won his last two fights since losing by knockout to Ring Magazine bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue in October 2020.
Pedroza, who resides in Tijuana, Mexico, drops to 17-11-2, 10 KOs.
In flyweight action, Ginny Fuchs was successful in her pro debut, stopping Randee Morales (4-4, 2 KOs) at 24 seconds of the fourth round.
The southpaw Fuchs dropped Morales in the opening round and was relentless, battering her throughout much of the fight. After the ringside physician checked on Morales after the third round, Morales came out more aggressively to open the fourth round. A combination to the head by Fuchs prompted referee Jerry Cantu to immediately step in and stop the bout.
Featherweight contender Luis Alberto Lopez, who is the mandatory challenger to face IBF world featherweight titleholder Josh Warrington, dropped Raul Chirino of Miami, Florida three times en route to a fourth round knockout win.
Lopez dropped Chirinos (19-14, 12 KOs) with a left hook to the body at the end of the second round. Lopez continued his assault on Chirinos in the third round, dropping him to the canvas with a counter right hand to the head and again moments later by a straight jab to the chin.
The 28-year-old Lopez, who resides in Mexicali, Mexico, continued to connect repeatedly early on in the fourth round. Lopez ended matters at 1:08 as he connected a three-punch combination to the head, prompting referee Sharon Sands to stop the fight.
Featherweight Duke Ragan defeated gatekeeper Diuhl Olguin of Guadalajara, Mexico by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Ragan, who improves to 5-0, 1 KO.
Olguin (15-22-5, 10 KOs) was game, finding openings to connect, but Ragan was too polished and the more effective fighter throughout most of the fight. Ragan represented the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In the opening bout of the Top Rank card, junior welterweight prospect Lindolfo Delgado dropped Gustavo Vittori (25-11-1, 12 KOs) twice en route to a second round knockout win. Time of the knockout was 2:10. Delgado, who represented Mexico at the 2016 Olympic Games and is trained by Robert Garcia, improves to 15-0 (13 KOs).
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing