Joe Rogan has given boxing officials both barrels as the fury surrounding Aussie fighter Andrew Moloney’s world title robbery carried into a second day.
Rogan led the criticism of the Las Vegas sham as new video emerged of the blind call that resulted in Moloney being cruelly denied the WBA super flyweight title in scenes that have enraged the boxing world.
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The referee stopped Moloney’s dominant performance against champion Joshua Franco in the second round so Franco could have his swollen eye inspected by a doctor. The 25-year-old was unable to see out of his right eye due to the excessive swelling.
That is a punch #FrancoMoloney2 pic.twitter.com/ha2RfJdGfU
Although ESPN replays suggested a headbutt was not to blame for the injury, the bout controversially ended with Franco keeping the title belt, leaving Moloney shattered in the ring as the o contest result was announced.
The judges’ decision came after a 27-minute extended delay as the officials looked back at video replays of the first two rounds.
Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney exchange punches. Not headbutts.Source:Getty Images
It came after referee Russell Mora said he spotted a headbutt from Moloney in the first round.
The ringside officials ultimately sided with the referee, claiming there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the original decision that Franco’s right eye had puffed up dangerously as a result of the head connection.
Despite no evidence of a clear headbutt appearing in the replays, the fight was ruled a no contest with the officials sticking solid with the original blundered decision from the referee.
Video of the so-called headbutt has since emerged with replays showing there was barely contact between the two fighters in the first round as they traded blows.
It came after replays also showed Moloney landing a sweet left jab that connected with Franco’s right eye.
“I’ve been involved in many headbutts and I’ve never seen that happen.” @Timbradleyjr says he knows a thing or two about headbutts and Moloney didn’t land one. #CrawfordBrook pic.twitter.com/3n80C16jaE
It’s why fight commentators were so furious on Monday — 24 hours after the robbery had taken place.
“My god did this man get robbed,” Rogan posted on Twitter.
“One of the worst calls ever. What is the point of an instant replay when this can happen?”
ESPN combat sports reporter Ariel Helwani also wrote: “Man, this is heartbreaking. Impossible not to feel for Moloney. Not right. He won”.
Even Hollywood star Helen Mirren posted on Instagram that Moloney had been cheated – despite accidentally posting a photo of Moloney’s twin brother Jason.
“Moloney was clearly robbed in Vegas tonight. Shame on the Nevada Boxing organization”.
This is amazing. Helen Mirren knows it was a robbery (even if she doesn’t know which twin is which) #FrancoMoloney2 pic.twitter.com/xsB03CKYmB
According to Aussie reporter Ben Damon, Moloney and high-profile promoter Bob Arum will on Monday begin the process of appealing the decision in the hope of overturning the result.
Arum was incredulous at the decision on Sunday, declaring he wanted to “get the f*** out of Vegas” for future fights in a thinly veiled swipe at the bungling officials.
Arum was spotted exchanging heated words with Nevada commission chief Bob Bennett ringside after the verdict was announced and was happy to share what happened when interviewed just minutes later.
Andrew Moloney punches Joshua Franco during their WBA Super-Flyweight World Title fight at the MGM Grand.Source:Getty Images
“I’m just telling him, I’m absolutely disgusted,” Arum said.
“People blame me because I’m the promoter. I got nothin’ to do with the goddamn thing. I just want a fair adjudication. They made a mistake, the referee made a mistake, and they have his back. It’s clear. It’s not even close.”
When asked what he will do for future fights, Arum said: ““Get the f*** out of Vegas”.
Bennett admitted after the fight that officials were unable to overrule Mora’s original decision, claiming video replays showed there were two possible instances where Moloney could have headbutted Franco.
Bob Bennett on the #FrancoMoloney ruling pic.twitter.com/Y2dYGFRrwD
“The original call was made by the referee Russell Mora. There was a headbutt in the first round,” Bennett said.
“A subsequent review of instant replay revealed that there were two possibilities of a headbutt to the fighter’s right eye. And, of course, you could see some jabs that just aggravated that made the eye worse.
Joshua Franco swollen eye.Source:Getty Images
“Our instant replay rules clearly state that unless there’s clear and conclusive evidence that a foul did take place, unless we’re 100 per cent sure, the referee’s ruling stands.
“In fairness to the referee, there were unequivocally two areas we saw that could be possible for the headbutt.”
Judge Robert Byrd also said there were two possible headbutts.
“We saw two headbutts,” says Robert Byrd, while nobody else saw even one. Incompetence. pic.twitter.com/VTnQBwPK2H
The boxing community understandably voiced their disgust at Byrd’s decision.
Man. This sucks. That is not a headbutt. Come on guys! Do the right thing! #FrancoMoloney2 @trboxing @espn #boxing
This is LUDICROUS that this is taking so long. It’s an abomination.
This is taking almost a half hour of instant replay. TERRIBLE look for boxing!!! #FrancoMoloney2
Horrible! shame on Boxing… Maloney won. #FrancoMoloney2
And we thought VAR in fútbol was bad … #crawfordBrook
Boxing journalist Dan Rafael tweeted: “That is absolute f***ing bulls***. BULLS***. There was no noticeable head butt. But there were numerous clean jabs on Franck’s eye. Horrendous call. They got it wrong.”
Moloney fought back tears as he tried to discuss the final result: “(Fronco’s) team is talking s**t … that eye was closed by 50 jabs. That’s why his eye’s shut, not the headbutt. There was no headbutt.
“I can’t believe that they took this away from me. I’ve trained my ass off for the last five months, been away from my family, and then they take it away from me.
“I can’t believe they didn’t give it to me. That’s why they’ve got the instant replay working right now, for moments like this.”
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