THE world stage beckons for Andrew and Jason Moloney.
The twin brothers from Victoria have carved a neat path through the professional boxing landscape here in Australia and now have their eyes firmly set on some of the biggest names in the sport.
Having gained world rankings in almost all of the major sanctioning bodies, and with the backing of Bob Arum’s Top Rank, both Andrew and Jason have the world at their feet.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at three possible fights that could define the careers of both men in the very near future.
1. Liborio Solis (29-5-1, 13 KOs)
With negotiations already underway, it looks as though Jason may once again get his chance at a title fight.
The WBA’s secondary ‘regular’ title will become vacant at the conclusion of the World Boxing Super Series final between Nonito Donaire and Naoya Inoue and it seems as though Moloney plans on being the man to take that crown.
Solis is ranked number one in the organisation with Moloney third which should be enough to ensure that should the fight indeed take place, a championship belt will be on the line.
Solis may well be 37 years old but he’s also a veteran of seven world title bouts and has held both the WBA and IBF crowns at super flyweight and while age is expected to play its part for Solis in a fight against Moloney, the Venezuelan has proven his class on the world stage many times over.
2. Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs)
Vengeance could be career defining for Moloney.
A loss to Emmanuel Rodriguez in October of last year was undoubtedly a bitter pill to swallow for Jason but his performance-most notably in the closing rounds of the fight-done little to diminish his credentials as one of the bantamweight division’s brightest prospects.
Still, the taste of defeat remains for the Aussie. Meanwhile, Rodriguez himself suffered a vicious knockout defeat this year at the hands of the rampaging ‘Monster’ that is Naoya Inoue.
A loss of such magnitude is often enough to derail even the hardest of fighters but should Rodriguez look to get his name back in the spotlight in the foreseeable future, a rematch with Moloney could light the way, especially should Moloney hold one of the divisional titles.
3. Carlos Cuadras (38-3-1, 27 KOs)
Carlos Cuadras made a name for himself as one of the best super flyweights in the sport in recent years but after six successive defences of his WBC crown, Cuadras’ winning ways ended at the hands of Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in September of 2016.
Two more losses followed for the Mexican warrior who now looks to make a name for himself in the bantamweight division.
Moloney’s ranking within the four major sanctioning bodies is likely to attract Cuadras’ attention and a victory over the Aussie would bolster his chances at another shot at world honours. Conversely, a win for Moloney could solidify his place as one of boxing’s premier little men.
1. Kal Yafai (25-0, 15 KOs)
Andrew Moloney has been vociferous in the past about his desire to face British WBA champion Kal Yafai.
After beating Luis Concepcion back in September of 2018, Moloney was quick to call out Yafai and it’s quite obvious the Aussie feels he has the skills to defeat the champion.
Moloney is ranked at number two in the WBA’s super flyweight rankings and a mandatory position is likely to eventuate in the coming months.
Yafai is scheduled to face the number one contender for his title in Norbelto Jimenez in just a few weeks time and few give Jimenez much hope of victory. This puts Moloney firmly in the drivers seat for mandatory honours should Yafai be triumphant.
2. Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2, 21 KOs)
Ancajas first made an impression on Aussie fight fan’s radars when he stopped Japan’s Teiru Kinoshita on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight at Suncorp Stadium in 2017.
Since then a string of uninspiring defences of his IBF crown have followed. A prospective fight against Moloney would be Ancajas’ strongest defence to date and would bolster his dwindling reputation amongst fight fans.
With both Ancajas and Moloney fighting under the Top Rank promotional banner the fight would be an easy one to make and one that would put Moloney’s names in bright lights on the world stage should he be victorious.
3. Roman Gonzalez (47-2, 39 KOs)
Once thought of as the pound-for-pound number one fighter in boxing, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez is now thought of as a man on the outside looking in.
After losing back-to-back fights against Thai southpaw Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2017, Gonzalez has struggled with injuries in his attempts to come back.
Should the Nicaraguan choose to fight on, Moloney ranks highly enough to be considered a worthy opponent and should such a fight eventuate, a victory over the future Hall of Famer would become one of the biggest wins in Australian boxing history.
Words: Dan Attias/Follow Dan on Twitter