FORMER amateur star Jason Moloney made a winning start to his professional career, starching overmatched veteran Ngaotawan Sithsaithong in front of an enthusiastic crowd at The Melbourne Pavilion, winning in one-sided fashion as expected.
Despite being placed on the five-fight card as the co-feature, it was clear that Moloney’s high-profile debut was the centerpiece of the local card presented by Barry Michael Sports.
The multiple state and national amateur titlist didn’t disappoint the vocal crowd, which cheered wildly for the Croydon-based prospect, flooring Sithsaithong three times in the first round before referee Ignatius Missailidis wisely called the fight.
Sithsaithong, 26, (now 10-15-1, 5 KOs) had previously taken former WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai four rounds in his previous outing in April, so the first round stoppage for Moloney makes for impressive reading.
“I loved it, it was absolutely awesome. The support was amazing. Just about everyone I know came to watch me.” said Moloney in his post-fight interview. “It was definitely a good experience, I really hoped for a few more rounds, but that will come this is just the start. It was just good to get the first one out of the way.”
“I was just taking my time, I didn’t want to be reckless. I mean, I’ve now got the small gloves on, no head guard and I’m in front of a massive crowd,”
“Some people can lose their composure, but I just tried to use my jab and then started to land my shots off the jab. I think a few of them caught him pretty good. In the end was hoping for a few more rounds but I’ll take it.”
“I want to have at least two more fights by the end of the year, I want to be active.”
Aside from four competitive rounds against Anuntachai Krungthep last September, undefeated super bantamweight prospect Ibrahim Balla has looked far from threatened thus far in his short professional career.
Although the scorecards read as a unanimous decision win, it was far from easy for the heavy handed former Olympian as Balla (now 6-0, 4 KOs) was made to earn his points victory over crafty Thai southpaw Patomsith Pathompothong (now 9-2, 4 KOs).
Balla, 23, initially struggled with Pathompothong’s awkward southpaw stance, eating multiple lead left hands in the opening two rounds.
He may have struggled with the crafty Thai’s footwork for a short period of time, but once Balla found his timing and range, he mostly dictated both the action and the pace for six highly competitive rounds. As he has in all of his previous five fights, Balla was impressive when he was able to close the distance and hurt the Thai challenger twice – one with a short left hook – and a further second time with a looping lead right hand.
The Altona-based prospect attempted to pressure Pathompothong with multiple barrages of punches, but he was unable to land his signature right hook, which has lead to several highlight reel knockouts in his short career.
Despite the loss, Pathompothong gave a credible account of himself and would be welcomed back to these shores with open arms, possibly in match ups against fellow Australian prospects Luke Jackson and Jason Cooper amongst others.
Balla will next challenge unpredictable Australian bantamweight champion Roberto Lerio over ten rounds on October 8th, also from the picturesque Melbourne Pavilion.
Ryan Breese TKO 3 Opeti Tagi
Jason Moloney TKO 1 Ngaotawan Sithsaithong
Ibrahim Balla UD 6 Patomsith Pathompothong
Jayde Mitchell TKO 4 Travis Barton
Kolby Johnston SD 6 Daniel Smith
Photos: Werner Kalin/Aus-Boxing