Australian boxer – Andrew Moloney [23-2, 15 KOs] continued continued his march toward a second world title with a relentless effort against Gilberto Mendoza having stopped the California-based journeyman Gilberto on Saturday at The Hanger.

With less than a minute until the final bell in their scheduled 8-round junior bantamweight contest, a Moloney left hook forced a referee’s stoppage.

The numbers told the story, as the Melbourne based boxer landed 261 punches to Mendoza’s 98. It was the first time Mendoza had been stopped in more than a decade.

It was a stay-busy fight for Moloney, who is looking for another opportunity to face the upper echelon of the division.

Moloney asserted control of the fight from the opening bell, landing almost at will to the head and body. Undaunted, Mendoza was game, but had to deal with a cut above his right eye. It was not clear whether the cut was the result of a clash of heads or a punch.

As the fight progressed, Mendoza’s face bore the impact of the punches as there was swelling around his eyes. Mendoza fought on, but Moloney continued landing punches to the face and body.

In the final round, Moloney continued to batter Mendoza, who complained Moloney would lead with his head, causing the inadvertent clashes of heads. Towards the end of the round, Moloney trapped Mendoza in a corner, where he landed a two-punch combination that prompted referee Jerry Cantu to step in and stop the bout at 2:29.

Moloney’s latest win may earn him a spot on the undercard of the upcoming undisputed lightweight title bout between Devin Haney [WBC] and George Kambosos [WBO, WBA, IBF] June 5 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

By James K. Attaglo Wilson