THE enormity of Jason Moloney’s looming challenge has been recognised on a global scale.
American journalist Steve Kim has labelled Moloney’s second attempt at world title honours against divisional leader Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) among the 10 best fights to be made for the remainder of the calendar year.
“Inoue isn’t just the premiere bantamweight in the world, but one of the very best fighters pound-for-pound,” wrote Kim in an article originally published on ESPN.
“He’s a dynamic offensive machine, and despite having just 16 fights on his record, Inoue has one of the best résumés in boxing.”
Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs), who has won four consecutive fights since a razor-thin decision loss to then IBF titleholder Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2018, is a beneficiary of the global pandemic, after WBO champion John Riel Casimero rejected a reduced purse to face lineal and IBF/WBA ruler Inoue.
Although the Tokyo-based superstar will enter the fight as a firm favourite in the betting markets, Kim has praised the ability of the hard-hitting Australian, citing his potential as a capable underdog.
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It’s Official! I’m fighting Naoya Inoue on October 31 in Las Vegas for the WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine World Titles 🏆🏆🏆 “To be the best, you’ve gotta beat the best” and that’s exactly what I’m coming to do! Thank you to Bob Arum, Carl Moretti, Brad Jacobs and everyone at Top Rank for this huge opportunity. Also a big thanks to my manager Tony Tolj for his incredible work and Don Majeski for his help putting this fight together. Time to shock the world!! 👀🇦🇺 #TeamMoloney
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“In Moloney, Top Rank has found a respected opponent in what will be Inoue’s promotional debut,” he concluded.
“Will Inoue be affected by ring rust? He hasn’t fought since last November. Moloney, on the other hand, fought on June 25.
“Moloney is good enough that if Inoue has a bad night, it could be a difficult night for the champion.”
The November 1st fight, which will be fought for a pair of world titles, along with Inoue’s regarded lineal championship, has drawn comparisons to the famous dual world title challenge of Lionel Rose five decades ago.
Rose famously dethroned Fighting Harada for the WBC and WBA bantamweight crowns in Tokyo to mark his name in Australian sporting folklore.
ESPN’s 10 can’t-miss fights for 2020
1. Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez Jr.
2. Jermall Charlo vs. Sergey Derevyanchenko
3. Jermell Charlo vs. Jeison Rosario
4. Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell
5. Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny Garcia
6. Daniel Dubois vs. Joe Joyce
7. Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz
8. Naoya Inoue vs. Jason Moloney
9. Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte II
10. Miguel Berchelt vs. Oscar Valdez/Yuniel Dorticos vs. Mairis Breidis (tied)
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