THE efforts of two Australian stars have been acknowledged on a global scale.
As the boxing world settles through a temporary off-season, respected industry experts and insiders alike are using this time to forensically dissect each division.
This includes award-winning American sportswriter Dan Rafael of ESPN, who discussed the landscape of each division with fellow ESPN broadcaster, Steve Kim, in an article released by the broadcasting giant.
During this series, two Australian competitors were labeled as a ‘potential dark horse’ in their divisions — being super flyweight titleholder Andrew Moloney (21-0, 14 KOs) and unbeaten lightweight George Kambosos (18-0, 10 KOs).
“Andrew Moloney, of Australia, has no profile in the United States, but he is very good,” wrote Rafael.
“He was elevated from WBA interim titlist to WBA “regular” titlist recently and was supposed to make his first defense — and his American debut — against former title challenger Israel Gonzalez in the main event of a card on April 17, but the show was postponed due to the coronavirus.
“A win there could’ve positioned Moloney for a possible unification bout with fellow Top Rank fighter Jerwin Ancajas.
“Not only should Moloney have opportunities for exposure in the U.S. when boxing resumes, but he should also find himself in the picture for bigger fights than he had before signing with Top Rank.”
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Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Kambosos, who is slated to face former featherweight titleholder Lee Selby in July, is a win away from solidifying his status as a legitimate threat at lightweight.
As Rafael notes, the telegenic Sydney-resident will be placed in an enviable position, providing he tops the Welshman in hostile territory. The division is currently ruled by pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko.
The Ukrainian, who currently holds the WBC, WBA and WBC lightweight crowns, will next challenge recently crowned IBF ruler Teofimo Lopez for undisputed status.
“I will go with Australian up-and-comer George Kambosos Jr. who gained some attention for being Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner,” added Rafael.
“Recently scored his biggest win when he dropped and outpointed former world titleholder Mickey Bey in a title elimination bout in December.
“It put Kambosos in position to face former featherweight world titlist Lee Selby for the right to become the mandatory challenger for Teofimo Lopez Jr.’s belt. Kambosos-Selby was set for May 9 but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.”