JASON Moloney has become hot property since a lively Vegas debut last month.
The likeable Australian continues to be mentioned in the bantamweight title picture, and is primed to secure a marquee slot abroad in his next stateside appearance.
Since securing mandatory status for WBO titleholder John Riel Casimero, Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) and promoter Top Rank have expressed interest in a potential September clash. However, discussions surrounding a mooted title unification between Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) and divisional ruler Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) have taken precedence.
But with the Filipino refusing to take a reduced purse in light of the global pandemic, Moloney is now in the box seat to secure a salivating match-up with Japanese knockout artist and unified IBF/WBA champion Inoue.
“Inoue has an appointment next week at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, it is an interview process,” promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.
“He’s gotten his visa approved but he has to do a final interview. Once he gets his visa, we’re going to bring him over here and get him going, probably in September.
“We talked to Casimero about a purse when the good times were rolling, and when Japanese high rollers were going to come in and watch the fight, and we could get enough money from the hotel casino to allow us to do it, that’s gone now.”
Arum concedes a reduced purse — and the likelihood of no gate revenue and site fees — make an agreed meeting between Inoue and Casimero increasingly difficult.
But as the iconic promoter reveals, an opportunity for Moloney to take Casimero’s slot could ultimately result in a better fight, given the fan-friendly styles of both fighters.
“We have to talk to Casimero,” he explained.
“Is he willing to take a reduction like Inoue is? If the answer is no, then we can put Jason Moloney in with Inoue, which may be an even better fight.”
The 27-year-old Inoue last fought in November, ousting future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire for a pair of world titles in the World Boxing Super Series final.