Junto Nakatani lays out Andrew Moloney with brutal one-punch KO for super flyweight title

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 20: Andrew Moloney of Australia is TKO'd by Junto Nakatani of Japan during their junior bantamweight bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS — The danger of allowing a fighter who is being badly beaten try to make it to the finish was clearly evident Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden, when Junto Nakatani brutally knocked out Andrew Moloney at 2:42 of the 12th round with a blistering left hand.

Moloney was attempting to join his brother, Jason, in winning world titles in back-to-back weeks.

Moloney, though, was badly behind in his fight for the vacant WBO super flyweight champion. He was knocked down in the second and again in the 11th and was in big trouble after the 11th round knockdown. Referee Mark Nelson could have stopped the fight there, but Moloney wanted to continue.

He paid for that when he missed a right hand and Nakatani drilled him with a crackling left. Moloney went down instantly and didn’t move for a while. Nelson stopped it without a count at 2:42 of the 12th.

Nakatani controlled the pace of the fight, and was peppering Moloney with hard shots. Moloney couldn’t get inside enough to overcome his height and reach disadvantage and thus was never able to mount an effective attack.

Nakatani was up 108-109 on two cards and 107-100 on the other. Moloney won the fifth on Max DeLuca’s card, the sixth on Patricia Morse Jarman’s and took the sixth and seventh on Benoit Roussel's card.

Given how badly he was behind, there was no reason for the fight to continue after the 11th round knockdown and Moloney paid for it.