At a time in boxing when the world’s biggest names just had to wait, Australian Jason Moloney took advantage of it.
And on Sunday (AEDT) Moloney (21-1-0) has an opportunity against one of the scariest pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Naoya Inoue, that he believes will “absolutely skyrocket” could be division and sports.
It’s a shot at the two undefeated Inoue world bantamweight titles. A reality that looked completely out of reach when COVID-19 hit it for the first time. But when Top Rank battled to bring fighters from Canada and Mexico to the US, it was manager Tony Tolj who used his magic to get the Moloney twins to Las Vegas in June.
Bob Arum and Co. described it as a miracle when Jason and his twin brother Andrew arrived on the other side of the world in fighting form during a pandemic.
While Andrew suffered a disappointing defeat in his first defense of his flyweight title, Jason made a convincing stop to Leonardo Baez to take advantage of the now awaited opportunity against a better champion in Inoue (19-0-0, 16 KOs) than his glory suggests.See Jason Moloney versus Naoya Inoue in the Main Event this Sunday from 10:30 a.m. (AEDT). ORDER NOW>
Moloney looks forward to the future
“Naoya Inoue is a talent of the generation, a kind of fighter who comes around once a decade,” said Arum, head of Top Rank.
“He’s going to be a major star in the States in no time. You see one great player of all time who is thriving in a historic career. ”
The 27-year-old Japanese star known as “Monster” ends a 51-week layoff against Moloney. And the Australian knows that winning would change the course of his life forever.
“It’s going to be the biggest win by an Australian boxer in our history – it’s as big as it gets,” said Moloney foxsports.com.au.
“I let myself be considered what was at stake. I know this is the greatest chance of my life and it makes me even more excited and determined to make sure it all pays off. [that] I take this opportunity with both hands, step into this ring and do everything I can to raise my hand. ”
When a fight was postponed due to COVID-19 in April earlier this year, Moloney became worried about his career. Now he’s a few days away from the biggest fight of his life.
“It’s crazy, it’s crazy,” said Moloney. “In such a terrible year for practically everyone in the world.
“In this stadium [earlier this year]I really thought, ‘What is going to happen here? I’m 29 years old and I’m just about to fight for another world title. There is no boxing, no sport, nothing is going on. ‚
“It was a scary thought to think how bad this year could have been. But I just stayed positive in training, hoping for the best, and what could have been such a terrible year turned out to be the greatest year of my life. ”
Moloney fell short in a 2018 IBF belt battle when he made a decision against Emmanuel Rodriguez. The fact that Inoue now holds that belt along with the WBA title makes this showdown all the more meaningful.
“It is [extra motivation],” he said. “[It was] It was obviously very heartbreaking to lose that fight in 2018 and it hurt a lot, and I used that loss as a motivation to keep working hard and put myself in this situation again … and basically get my chance at salvation and win this belt.
“… This IBF belt has a really strong place in Australian boxing history and is the same belt that Jeff Fenech once held. There’s a lot of history there and it will only make this win sweeter. ”
Before Inoue had a unanimous deal with Nonito Donaire last November, it only took him three rounds in total to deal with his two previous opponents, including Rodriguez, the man who defeated Moloney in 2018 to claim the IBF belt.
The point is, Inoue was all alone on one level. But Moloney, who thinks he’s the stronger fighter, has an infectious self-confidence and believes his undefeated opponent won’t find it easy.
“I don’t think he’s ever faced a fighter who came in with the determination, hunger, and confidence that I have,” Moloney said.
“I think a lot of people kick Inoue off the ropes and have basically lost the fight before they get in there. They think this man is unbeatable and they go in there and go inside a clam and just let him fight his fight, explode on them and take them out.
“But that won’t happen here. As I said, I am ready to do anything to raise my hand and I am confident that I have what it takes to punch this guy. ”
Moloney spoke to Teofimo Lopez this week – a man who knows a thing or two about a surprise.
Now it’s his turn.
See Jason Moloney versus Naoya Inoue in the Main Event this Sunday from 10:30 a.m. (AEDT). ORDER NOW>
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