THE code war remained unsettled as Barry Hall and Paul Gallen were forced to settle for a majority draw on Friday night.
Hall, 42, surprised a slew of boxing experts with his technical prowess and overall ring generalship, forcing an aggressive 38-year-old Gallen (now 9-0-1, 5 KOs) to fight primarily at range.
The controversial choice to contest two minutes rounds ultimately saved Hall, who appeared to struggle with the high octane pace set by his rugby league rival, despite an impressive fourth round.
After six heats, only one judge could settle on a victor, with a lone 58-56 card in Gallon’s favour. The remaining two judges rendered an identical 56-56 score.
“It’s hard to tell when you’re a fighter,” Hall told ESPN.
“I spar all the time and think ‘that didn’t go well’, but then I watch the video and I dominated. It’s hard to tell, I thought I hit him with the cleaner shots to be quite honest.
“He might’ve hit me with more shots, but I thought I hit him with the cleaner, more technical shots. He did a lot of in close, dirty boxing stuff.”
True to his amateur pedigree, Hall was clearly the better drilled. When positioned against the ropes, he offering quick exits, while working a lead right uppercut, or left hook, which proved to be his best shots.
Meanwhile, Gallen, who clearly outworked his older opponent, could be deemed unlucky due to his consistent pace over the six round distance.
“All he did was survive,” added Gallen.
“I don’t think I’m making that up, or being biased or one-sided here. He survived, give him credit for that. How [do] you get points for surviving? I don’t know.
“He (Hall) admitted it out there. For him to say that one judge probably scored it that way, it’s probably that way. He’s an athlete and we know it. I thought I won the fight.
“I thought he won a couple of rounds, no doubt about it. He hit me with some clean shots. But I hit him more than he hit me.”
?️ "Paul did a lot of dirty boxing stuff."
?️ "All Barry did was survive."
— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) November 15, 2019
Despite the platform offered to the footy converts, the night belonged to Andrew Moloney, who solidified his place at world level, claiming the interim version of the WBA super flyweight crown.
The ferocious 28-year-old put together a methodical display against an underrated Elton Dharry (now 24-6-1, 14 KOs), surviving a scare in the middle rounds, to score a technical knockout win after nine heats.
Moloney (21-0, 14 KOs) took a measured approach, and while his signature left hook cause his Brooklyn opponent problems, it was the same shot that almost seated the unbeaten Victorian.
An ugly cut on Dharry’s right eye proved to be the difference, with the Guyana-born veteran fighting with one eye closed in the closing stages of the fight.
The ringside physician inspected the visitor’s eye on multiple occasions, before the Gleason’s Gym product was withdrawn in the ninth round.
It remains unclear if the Australian will force a mandated clash with unbeaten Englishman Kal Yafai, the outright owner of the WBA title, but Moloney is now closer than ever to that mouth-watering meeting.
Congrats to our own @AndrewMoloney for capturing his piece of Super Flyweight gold this morning on ESPN+ via TKO9 of Elton Dharry!!
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) November 15, 2019
The first of a trio of quality fights saw hard-hitting Jason Moloney score a solid contender for Knockout of the Year.
The former world title challenger, won a third consecutive fight, folding a game Dixon Flores (16-7-3, 5 KOs) with a gruesome left hook to the body.
After a spirited opening round, Flores made the mistake of engaging with the in-form Moloney (20-1, 17 KOs), who closed the show in impressive fashion.
What a fight by @JasonMoloney1. 2nd round body stoppage. Great to see the Moloney brothers coming up. Can’t wait to see the Moloney brothers win their world titles in due time. Next up, his brother @AndrewMoloney for the WBA interim Super Fly title. ?? pic.twitter.com/l4OUrCzZPN
— Lachlan (@lachlanh00per) November 15, 2019