Rodriguez Defeats Moloney by Split Decision to Retain IBF Bantamweight Title
Emmanuel Rodriguez defeated Jason Moloney by split decision to retain his IBF Bantamweight title. The scores, 115-113 for Moloney and 115-113 twice for Rodriguez, tell of a close fight. Ultimately though, Rodriguez advances to the semifinals of the WBSS Bantamweight tournament.
This was a 50/50 fight coming in and honestly, a difficult one to score. The question came down to favoring the accuracy of the champion or the activity and hustle of the chalenger.
During the first half of this bout, the champion set the tone. He fought on the front foot behind his jab, landing effective combinations. Moloney had difficulty dealing with his opponent’s sharpshooting and physical strength. This made him work harder to get his shots off.
Starting in the seventh, the challenger started to come on as the pace slowed down. Moloney started to do a good job of countering Rodriguez’s attack with right hands over the top while evading shots. The champion looked to be tiring, as he was breathing deeply after the eighth round.
In the rounds nine and ten, the champ rebounded with a solid round, landing hard right hands to the Moloney’s head.
During the last two rounds, both fighters dug in and fought hard, arguably delivering best round of the fight in the twelfth. Moloney suffered a cut during the final round due to an accidental clash of heads. However, he was undeterred as both fighters continued punching until the final bell.
Rodriguez will next face Japanese sensation and current WBA Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue in the semifinals of the WBSS Bantamweight tournament. Coming off his one round destruction over Juan Carlos Payano two weeks ago, Inoue was in attendance tonight to witness the action. Given what we saw from Rodriguez tonight against Moloney, Rodriguez will have his hands full against the “Monster”.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.