LAS VEGAS — The danger of letting a badly battered fighter 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 round 12 with blisters. left hand.
Moloney was trying to join his brother, Jason, in winning world titles in consecutive weeks.
Despite this, Moloney was falling behind in his fight for the vacant WBO super flyweight champion. He was down in the second and again in the 11th and was in big trouble after an 11th round knockdown. Referee Mark Nelson could have stopped the fight there, but Moloney wanted to continue.
He paid the price for this when he missed a right hand and Nakatani drilled him with a left jab. Molony fell 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 besting Moloney with powerful shots. Moloney could not get inside enough to overcome his height and reach disadvantage and was therefore unable to mount an effective attack.
Nakatani rose 108-109 on two cards and 107-100 on the other. Moloney won fifth place on the Max DeLuca ticket, sixth on the Patricia Morse-Jarman ticket and finished sixth and seventh on the Benoit Roussel ticket.
Considering how late he was, there was no reason for the fight to continue after an eleventh round knockdown and Moloney paid for it.