IF quality is measured by opposition, unbeaten prospect Jason Moloney may have one of the best resumes in the country.
The world rated super bantamweight is quickly compiling a list of victims that is surpassing divisional torchbearers from a previous era, the lauded Hussein brothers, Nedal and Hussein.
Much like the aforementioned brothers, the world rated Moloney (13-0, 11 KOs) is looking to make a name for himself by beating the best available contenders in his division. So dedicated is the relocated Melburnian to this cause, he aims to challenge for the OPBF super bantamweight title, arguably the hardest regional belt to acquire in the lower weight classes.
Moloney faces the hardest challenge of his flourishing professional career when he makes the fifth defence of his WBA Oceania throne against crafty Filipino import Lolito Sonsona (21-1-4, 9 KOs) at the Melbourne Park Function Centre for Hosking Promotions on Saturday night.
Despite initial conversations about a potential move down in weight, Moloney admits that he’s sticking to super bantamweight for the immediate future.
“For this fight anyway I’m going to continue to stick with super bantamweight,” said Moloney to Aus-Boxing. “I’m not looking to move down or change weight, but it is something we have spoken about. But at the moment I think I’m probably just going to focus and stay where I am.”
“I probably feel that I am going to be at my best at this weight. I feel I have positioned myself well in the ratings now, so I think I am better off just staying at super bantamweight and continuing on there.”
“Tony (Tolj) and Angelo (Hyder) have taken us both down the same path,” he explained. “They think the OPBF route is probably the best for us because it is so strong in the lighter weights. I am fighting for the OPBF Silver title in hope we can get ourselves in the position to fight for the full OPBF title and aim to make a few defences in Japan.”
“It would be great to establish ourselves there and take our level of opposition to the next level.”
“The guy who holds the full OPBF title is Hidenori Otake, he’s only had two losses. His last loss was against Scott Quigg for the WBA world title couple of years back. If I can get a fight with him, well that’s going to be a huge jump in the level of competition.”
“But I think that sort of fight is the sort of fight I need to take before I go on and fight for a world title. I feel I will definitely know where I am at if I fight someone like him. I think also fighting that sort of competition that will bring the best out in me as well.”
“We never take any shortcuts. We need to really make sure we get it right in these next six to twelve months, if we want to get to that next level and get to those big fights that we are after.”
Moloney is under no illusion that the 25-year-old Sonsona will provide him with more than his fair share of stylistic problems. Moloney is a realist in that way, and admits that he is yet to face a fighter with a similar style in the paid ranks.
Although Sonsona hasn’t fought anyone with the same pedigree as Moloney, the humble super bantamweight is still showing his opponent ample respect.
“This will be by far my toughest test,” warned Moloney. “The next fight is always the toughest, but I think from what I have seen of him he is a good fighter. He has a record of 21 wins with only one loss. He can obviously fight with that sort of record. From what I have seen of him he is quite slick.”
In less than a dozen fights, Moloney has already placed himself in contention for an eventual world title eliminator in the next twelve months. But at this stage of his fledgling career, it is about facing opponents that offer differing stylistic equations for him to solve in the ring.
Some call these fights tune-ups, but one look at the impressive line of opponents Moloney has consistently faced suggests that this is couldn’t be any further from the truth. Moloney speaks about his preparation with steadfast faith, knowing that he’s left no stone unturned ahead of Saturday night.
“I haven’t fought anyone as a professional with his sort of style. I think it’s going to suit me; it’s going to bring out the best in me this sort of opponent. If I’m not on my game then these are the fights people stumble on.”
“I’m feeling really good and I know if I perform at my best that I will get the victory.”
“I think I’m progressing really well, I’m honest with myself I still have a lot to learn,” he concluded. “I think in the next six months, the improvement I’m going to make is going to be huge. It’s exciting to think how much better I will be in six months time if I keep working hard and keep progression in each of the training camps.”
“When I look at the division there are guys above me that right at this moment, if I was to take them on, I could have a hard night. But I think in six months time with the improvements that I have been making, that I will be able to match it with any of them.”
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Photo: Justin Gan