For the last nine months Andrew Moloney has been playing it all in his head.
Trying to find a way to explain the unexplainable, to accept why he had the WBA super flyweight world title taken from him.
Earlier in 2020, when he first lost his belt, Moloney accepted he was far from his best as Joshua Franco scored an upset win by unanimous decision.
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The pair’s rematch bout though ended in controversy, with referee Russell Mora ruling Franco’s eye injury was caused by a head clash.
It meant Moloney was robbed of the chance to become a two-time world champion with the fight stopped after the second round and ruled a no contest.
Not even a 30-minute review could overturn the decision but now, nine months on, Moloney and Franco meet once more in a trilogy fight to settle the score.
“There is no doubt that result from the second fight and also the first fight have been in the back of my mind everyday for the last nine months,” Moloney told foxsports.com.au ahead of Sunday morning’s bout.
“I think the whole world knows that belt deserves to be around my waist at the moment. It was a no contest but he walked away with the belt. He knows he didn’t deserve it and I think he is going to be very determined this weekend but as am I.
“For the last nine months I’ve had to watch him basically claim he is the champion and walk around with that belt that I know should be mine.”
The vast majority of the boxing world agreed, including brother Jason who is fighting Joshua Greer Jr on Sunday’s card.
“It’s hard for me to say anything to make it feel better,” he told foxsports.com.au.
“It was something that was completely wrong and the whole world knew it and that’s why Andrew received so much support. Everybody could plainly see the wrong decision had been made.”
The fact Andrew then had to go into quarantine only made the result harder to take.
“Hopefully this time will be a lot more enjoyable and go a lot faster with that world title in my hands,” Andrew said of going into quarantine again.
“Having something to celebrate and enjoy rather than the first time I went home, stewing over that loss and the second time playing that fight over and over in my head, trying to work out why they had just done that to me.”
Andrew knows though that only he can right the wrongs of the past and claim the belt as its worthy owner.
“It [the no decision result] has pushed me to train even harder and improve as a fighter and really get the most out of myself,” he said.
“I’ve made sure to use these last nine months to my advantage. I’ve been in the gym the whole and had the best preparation of my career.
“I’ve really left no stone unturned. I don’t believe he has put in as much hard work in the last nine months and I think that is going to be the difference on fight night.”
He is also predicting another big difference in Franco.
Andrew got the impression the loss in June – the first of his professional career – left the American underestimating him ahead of their second bout.
He cannot say the same this time around.
“I think he did overlook me in the second fight,” he said.
“This time we are both coming in very determined to walk away with that belt.
“This fight means everything for my career. There is a lot on the line this weekend. A win does great things for me moving forward on to defending my title and possible fighting for other world titles.
“It’s going to be massive and I’m well aware a loss would be a huge setback as well.”