ANDREW Moloney’s dream of a world title shot is now closer than ever.
In a ten round bout that featured on ESPN+, Moloney put on a commanding performance against former world champion Luis Concepcion, stopping the Panamanian at 1:58 of the tenth and final round to establish himself as a real contender for world honours in the super flyweight division.
The bout started with Moloney (now 18-0, 11 KOs) displaying his superior footwork and movement as he jabbed with accuracy and landed some solid straight rights on the chin of the challenger.
Concepcion (now 37-7, 26 KOs) took matters into his own hands in the second round as he stalked Moloney and landed some solid hooks and uppercuts before bloodying the nose of the champion in the third.
The injury would continue to bother the Aussie for the remainder of the fight, but it did little to dampen his work rate and by the fourth round Moloney was well on top.
He worked brilliantly on the inside, landing straight rights, left hooks and attacking the body of Concepcion, who tried valiantly to land some big shots of his own but Moloney used his superior movement to nullify the attack.
By the end of the sixth round it was clear that the Aussie was well in control, his superiority becoming apparent in all aspects of the fight.
In the seventh, it looked as though Moloney might have slowed down. He spent the majority of the round on the back foot, keeping well away from his opponent’s attack.
This continued early in the ninth and there was a feeling that momentum may have shifted but Moloney took control back at the end of the round as his clean shots snapped back the head of his opponent.
Come the final round it was clear that Concepcion needed a knockout to win the bout and he came out fast, throwing some big shots but Moloney stood toe-to-toe with him and beat him at his own game.
Moloney reigned down all manner of blows and despite Concepcion not looking overly hurt the referee was forced to stop the bout with the Panamanian showing little in return.
At the conclusion of the bout, Moloney attributed the victory to his trainer Angelo Hyder and the game plan of his team.
“We stuck to the game plan perfectly,” Moloney said.
“We knew Concepcion was going to be a very, very tough man and that’s exactly what he was.
“I can box on the back foot or the front foot and we knew Concepcion was going to come forward, so it would be easier to counter him and box him and that’s what we done tonight.
The victory places Moloney within reach of a shot at Khal Yafai’s WBA world title and he was quick to call out the champion.
“I’m number four now and I really hope that after a victory like that I get my shot at Khal Yafai,” he said.
Words: Dan Attias/Follow Dan on Twitter
Photo: Justin Gan