WHEN deciphering the difference between a prospect and contender, it is sometimes difficult to see the blurred line between the two.
However, in the case of world rated bantamweight Andrew Moloney, never has there been a clearer outright owner to the above honours, the Action Fitness Centre Prospect of the Year in Memory of Braydon Smith.
The former Commonwealth Games gold medallist was a standout in 2016, blitzing all six of his credible opponents in the calendar year, including wins over Japanese livewire Ryohei Takahashi, Argentine pair Ricardo David Ocampo and Carlos Ruben Dario Ruiz as well as Filipino trio Cris Alfante, Markquil Salvana and Jether Oliva.
But it was his win over the aforementioned Oliva, a rugged Filipino veteran and former world title challenger, that solidified Moloney’s place amongst the best in his division domestically while highlighting his name as an emerging talent alongside the countries best talent.
Given the lack of depth in his division, most fighters who compete within the lower weight classes fill the early stages of their resume with non-existent challenges from underweight imports that are clearly brought in to lose. This was not the case with Moloney, as the Melbourne-born dynamo consistently fought opposition of a relatively high standard.
“It was a great year and everything has gone to plan,” said Moloney in an earlier interview with Aus-Boxing. “We aimed to have a busy year after only having the three fights last year. We wanted to have at least five fights in 2016 and we have managed to squeeze in six, so I’m very happy.”
“We also set ourselves up with an amazing team with Hosking Promotions – and our managers Tony Tolj and Angelo Hyder – who are all doing a great job. The future is looking really good for us and I couldn’t be happier.”
“It was a very busy year and I’m lucky that I’ve had a few early knockouts, which has helped with the workload. It also helps that I love training, so I’m doing something that I love everyday and I’ve got a lot of supportive people around me, which keeps me motivated to show up and train hard everyday.”
2014: Kye MacKenzie
2015: Anthony Buttigieg
Photo: Justin Gan