In the co-main event, we saw a new WBO bantamweight world champion crowned as Jason Moloney (26-2, 19 KOs) picked up a twelve-round majority decision win over Vincent Astrolabio (18-4, 13 KOs), in the co-main event of a Top Rank card broadcast on ESPN, from Stockton, California, taking place at the Stockton Arena.
The early part of the fight played out quite simple; either Moloney outboxed Astrolabio, or Astrolabio's power would win him the round with big, flashy punches landing. Sean Gibbons told ProBox TV News, that Astrolabio is a 'puncher-boxer', and the power he displayed was game-changing as Moloney won, the first round, only to have Astrolabio win the next two. The heart of Moloney was on full display as he rallied back in the fourth to win that round and take a psychological edge.
By the sixth round, it felt that Moloney had weathered the storm, as he had won two consecutive rounds using solid boxing fundamentals and not allowing himself to be in front of Astrolabio, who was throwing one punch at a time, and looking to land a fight-changing punch. In the ninth round, Astrolabio visibly rocked Moloney who held at times but regained his comforts by the end of the round. These moments would occur for Astrolabio, but not enough to take control of the fight.
The rest of the fight played out with swing round after swing round despite an unhappy Stockton, California crowd, who wanted to see knockouts like Ruben Villa, and Gabriel Flores Jr. provided. Moloney fought the fight he needed to win his first world title. In Jason Moloney's third attempt at fighting for a world title, he accomplished his lifelong dream.
According to CompuBox, Moloney landed 143 out of 463 punches thrown, whereas Astrolabio landed 109 out of 596 punches. The fans were upset with the outcome as Astrolabio was the busier fighter, but not as effective in terms of numbers from CompuBox. The jab won the fight for Moloney as 93 of his 143 punches landed were jabs, were as 80 of Astrolabio's landed blows were power shots.
The scores were 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112, to win the vacant world title, left by the departure of Naoya Inoue from the division.
Moloney's twin brother, Andrew, will fight next week for the WBO junior bantamweight title, next week against Junto Nakatani, as they would look to duplicate what Jermall and Jermell Charlo have done, which would be twin brothers who hold world titles in different divisions at the same time.