Jason Moloney of Australia won his first world title with a majority decision over Filipino rival Vincent Astrolabio to capture the WBO bantamweight crown

Los Angeles (AFP) - Australia’s Jason Moloney won his first world title on Saturday, taking a majority decision over Vincent Astrolabio of the Philippines for the vacant World Boxing Organization bantamweight crown.

The 32-year-old from Melbourne won on judges’ scores of 115-113 and 116-112 with the third judge scoring a 114-114 draw in the showdown at Stockton, California.

Moloney improved to 26-2, suffering his only losses in his two prior world title bouts, falling to Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2018 and Japan’s Naoya Inoue in 2020.

Astrolabio, 26, fell to 18-4.

Also on the card later is WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan defending his crown for the first time against Canada’s Steven Butler.

Unbeaten southpaw Alimkhanuly, 13-0 with eight knockouts, turned 30 last month. He was a 2013 world amateur middleweight champion and 2014 Asian Games middleweight champion.

Butler is 32-3 with one drawn and 26 knockouts.