Fight Week: Andrew Moloney begins rebuilding process in Australia

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FIGHT WEEK

Andrew moloney will face froilan saludar in his return to australia on tuesday. also, welterweight prospect vito mielnicki jr. fights on CHRISTMAS DAY.

Andrew Moloney (21-2, 14 KOs) vs. Froilan Saludar (32-4-1, 22 KOs)

  • When: Tuesday, Dec. 21

  • Where: The Star Event Centre, Sydney

  • TV/Stream: ESPN+

  • Division: Junior bantamweight

  • Rounds: 11

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: Moloney 10-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets

  • Also on the card: Faris Chevalier vs. Renold Quinlan, light heavyweights

  • Prediction: Moloney UD

  • Background: Moloney will begin the rebuilding process at home. The 30-year-old Aussie, a capable boxer, came to the United States with a perfect record and high hopes early last year but left after three disappointing outings against fellow 115-pound contender Joshua Franco in a span of 14 months. He lost a close, but unanimous decision in June of last year, their November fight was ruled a no-contest after Franco suffered an eye injury from an accidental head butt and Joshua won a wider decision this past August. Saludar is a solid opponent with some power but a step down from Franco. The 32-year-old Filipino has had success against second-tier opposition but has fallen short against elite foes, including a second-round stoppage against McWilliams Arroyo and a unanimous decision against Takuma Inoue. He rebounded from a seventh-round TKO against Ryoji Fukunaga in February of last year by outpointing Reymark Taday this past March, his most-recent fight. Moloney is the twin brother of bantamweight contender Jason Moloney.

Vito Mielnicki Jr. (9-1, 6 KOs) vs. Nicholas DeLomba (16-3, 5 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, Dec. 25

  • Time: 3 a.m. ET / 12 a.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

  • TV/Stream: Fox

  • Division: Welterweight

  • Rounds: 10

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: NA

  • Also on the card: Joey Spencer (13-0, 9 KOs) vs. Limberth Ponce (18-4, 11 KOs), middleweights

  • Prediction: Mielnicki UD

  • Background: Mielnicki, a former amateur star who had been too slick for his professional opponents, slipped up against underdog James Martin by losing a majority decision this past April. The 19-year-old from New Jersey was scheduled face his conqueror in an immediate rematch but Martin came in overweight and was replaced by Noah Kidd, who lasted less than two full rounds against a determined Mielnicki in July. This will be Mielnicki’s first scheduled 10-rounder. DeLomba, who fights out of Florida, shouldn’t be a significant threat to the young prospect. He hasn’t fought since February of last year, meaning he will have been out of the ring for 22 months. And things didn’t go well that night: He lost a shutout decision to unbeaten junior welterweight prospect Richardson Hitchins in a 10-round bout. DeLomba has fought between 140 and 147 pounds the past several years. Another prospect, middleweight Joey Spencer, will face journeyman Limberth Ponce on Saturday. Spencer ended up fighting – and outpointing – Martin the same night Mielnicki knocked out Kidd.