ONLY time and Manny Rodriguez stand between Jason Moloney and Australian boxing folklore.
The 27-year-old’s bold attempt to not only win the IBF bantamweight crown, but to compete with the elite of the bantamweight division begins on Sunday afternoon in Orlando.
Although he is widely seen as an underdog in the boxing equivalent of the Champions League, Moloney’s manager Tony Tolj is steadfast in his belief that the timing couldn’t be better.
“You cant buy experience, we have seen it and done it all,” Tolj told Aus-Boxing.
“But every experience is a new experience, so we take it all on board. The camp has been exceptional, the mood here is first class.
For the first time since his debut year, Moloney (17-0, 14 KOs) will compete without his twin brother Andrew on the same night. There has been an obvious shift in surroundings and sole focus on their maiden world title challenge.
Tolj, who manages both Jason and Andrew, reveals that it is a welcome change.
“This is his first world title opportunity, so make no mistake about it. This is the biggest fight of his career,” he explained.
“Jason fought as a top amateur internationally many times. He fought on the Green-Mundine card in Adelaide and over the last couple years he’s been flying from Kingscliff to Melbourne.”
“This is all part and parcel of the sport.”
“The adjustments have been made for the timezone, coming to Orlando three weeks out to acclimatise. I believe it will be [his best performance], and he’s never looked better.”
Confidence isn’t always a measure of success, but in some instances, it’s often a point in the right direction. Given the success of their long-standing relationship, it’s easy to see why Tolj speaks with such conviction.
While he didn’t offer a prediction, his closing sentence could be seen as famous last words.
“I’m no astronomer,” he quipped. “But the world will see a new star born on October 20th.”
Photo: Micky Capparelli/Betelgeuse Films