AUSTRALIAN duo Jason Moloney and George Kambosos will challenge for a pair of career-best wins on the world stage.
Former world title challenger Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) faces unified bantamweight kingpin Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) for bantamweight supremacy in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, unbeaten lightweight Kambosos (18-0, 10 KOs) will collide with former IBF featherweight titleholder Lee Selby (28-2, 9 KOs) in London, with the winner securing mandatory status for Teofimo Lopez.
As fight fans across the country continue to fiercely debate an outcome, we spoke to a slew of industry experts to get their opinion.
Will Tomlinson, former super featherweight champion/promoter
Moloney W12 Inoue: There’s no doubting that Jason is up against it. He’s up against a very dangerous fighter. But having said that, Jason is dangerous himself.
He’s also young and close to the prime of his career, if not already there. I wouldn’t be surprised here, as it’s certainly possible. I potentially see a massive upset and win for Jason.
Kambosos W12 Selby: I think Kambosos has a very strong chance of winning. He’s young, fresh, hungry and very confident. He’s got a lot of self belief, and they’re all the right attributes to win on this big stage.
Selby is a good fighter, but he’s not a killer. He should fine in that capacity, and I think George gets it done.
Chris McCullen, former two-time Australian champion
Inoue TKO10 Moloney: This is a weekend for Australian boxing, led by Jason Moloney. What a warrior for even wanting to take on a fighter of Inoue’s calibre.
Jason has one of the best sets of basics in the country, add that with his ticker, and the way he fights to a game plan, he’ll be in with a chance. I’m not sure if it’s enough to keep Inoue off him for the whole fight though.
I hope I’m wrong, but I’ll have to go with Inoue on points or late stoppage.
Kambosos W12 Selby: George does a lot of talking, and here’s a fight where he has the chance to back his words up.
I think George will need to use his speed and combinations. If he does, then Selby will find it hard to catch him. I’m leaning towards George, as he has some ability and is hungry. But I know it’ll be hard to win over there.
Justin Fitzgerald, trainer
Inoue TKO9 Moloney: It’s tough to say, and I would gladly accept being wrong, but I think Jason will go down fighting against a superstar in his prime in Inoue.
As he always does, Jason will fight with heart and pride. But I’m leaning towards a late stoppage for Inoue.
Selby W12 Kambosos: I believe George will have some good early moments, especially with his speed and timing.
Having said that, I think Selby’s toughness and experience will show and he will earn a points decision.
Jeff Fenech, former three-division world champion
Inoue W12 Moloney: Moloney is fighting the best fighter in the world today. It’s going to be a very hard task, and I wish him well.
Kambosos W12 Selby: I think Kambosos will be victorious I wish them both all the luck in the world.
Jamie Pittman, former world title challenger/trainer
Moloney W12 Inoue: I think Jason Moloney wins on points.
Kambosos W12 Selby: This a great fight, where Kambosos wins a close decision. It’ll be won in the back half of the fight.
Andrew Moloney, former WBA super flyweight champion
Moloney W12 Inoue: I’ve seen first-hand just how hard Jason has worked, and how well he has looked throughout this training camp. He’s on fire at the moment.
The closer this fight has got, the more confident I am that Jason is going to pull this off and shock the world. Tune in this Sunday to witness something truly special in Australian boxing history.
Kambosos W12 Selby: This is a very hard fight to pick. I think Selby’s best work has been at featherweight. But he does have the world championship level experience, that George hasn’t had at this stage.
On the other hand, Kambosos could be too hungry and determined for Selby, who has already achieved world title glory. I’ll have to back a fellow Aussie and predict we go 2-0 this weekend.
Marcos Amado, trainer
Moloney SD12 Inoue: This one is a fighter’s dream. I think Jason climbs into the history books when he pulls this one off.
I really think, and hope, he causes an upset by dethroning one of the pound-for-pound best in the world. I’m backing him by split decision.
Kambosos TKO11 Selby: George is hungry and ready for what comes next. I think he’ll be too slick and too aggressive for the former champion Selby.
In the end, it’ll be Kambosos by late stoppage due to accumulation of punches.
Luke Jackson, former Olympic captain and world title challenger
Kambosos W12 Selby: Kambosos is a very hungry and dedicated fighter. I think the experience at the highest level might play a big part in this fight.
But if George can get his combinations off, I think he can beat Selby on points in a good fight.
Trent Broadhurst, former world title challenger/trainer
Inoue W12 Moloney: I think Moloney will have a long reign as a world champion in the future — but not yet.
Inoue is a beast, and he’s in his prime. I hate to go against Moloney, and I hope he proves me wrong.
Kambosos W12 Selby: This is probably Selby’s last shot at getting back to the top, so I think he’ll be at his best.
It’s a tough pick, no one knows what Selby has left in the tank. But Kambosos is young, hungry, and exudes confidence. For that reason, I think he wins.
Adam Wilcock, promoter/manager
Inoue W12 Moloney: The biggest ask in boxing is getting in the ring with the Japanese superstar. Jason gets better and better, here’s hoping he can pull of an upset win.
Selby W12 Kambosos: The more I think about this fight, the more I’m confused. This is going to be a cracker. I’ll go Selby, as Eddie Hearn rarely gets these matchups wrong.
Gareth Williams, trainer
Inoue TKO7 Moloney: I rate Jason very highly, and I know he’ll win some rounds. But unfortunately, I can’t see him getting past the power of Inoue.
Kambosos W12 Selby: I think George is too hungry for this fight, and I think he’ll win on points.
In saying that, this is Selby’s last chance at the big time. He’ll know that anything other than a win will be the end of his career.
Paul Briggs, former two-time world title challenger
Moloney W12 Inoue: I think the way that Moloney and Kambosos will back themselves is key. They’ve both witnessed recently what is possible when belief becomes knowing with Lopez beating Lomachenko.
Kambosos W12 Selby: I’m backing the Aussie lads to win.
Sam Labruna, trainer
Inoue TKO Moloney: What a day for boxing, and hats off to Moloney for getting in at this level.
I think it’ll be competitive in the early rounds. But in the mid-to-late rounds, I think the power of Inoue will take its toll — I’m leaning to Inoue.
Kambosos UD12 Selby: Boxing is back and in a big way and I think there’s a huge reward for Selby or Kambosos.
This is a very interesting fight, I’m not going to waste time. But I’m cheering the Aussie home and I think he’ll get the job done by decision in a thriller.
Jay Gray, trainer
Moloney W12 Inoue: Jason is a patriotic Aussie that’s been managed exceptionally well by Tony Tolj. Credit to him for being in centre ring tomorrow night against an absolute phenom in Inoue.
I’ve always believed, given the right opportunity at the right time, once progressive development has been built — even the likes of Inoue can fall. He was exposed to have weaknesses against Donaire, but they weren’t capitalised on.
Jason has a team of exceptional boxing brains around him, namely Angelo Hyder. They’ll have an analytical plan to dethrone the Japanese sensation. I’m hoping they can do it as it will go down as a massive win in Australian boxing history.
Kambosos TKO10 Selby: A crossroads clash for both fighters. This is a massive opportunity for George to back up his brash words, and consolidate his unquestionable hard work ethic.
Selby is up in weight classes, but has been in some been battles with world class fighters. This includes Josh Warrington and Ricky Burns more recently, and he’s faired well. Selby has few knockouts on his record, which suggests that Kambosos will need to have some serious and relentless work-rate to get a stoppage.
Kambosos claims he’s been in the ring with the world’s best, yet I only see Micky Bey on that list, who hadn’t fought anyone of value for nearly four years. My prediction is that it’ll go the distance, with Kambosos winning on points. The difference here will be speed and innate hunger.
Patrick Kennedy, matchmaker
Inoue KO2 Moloney: Well, I’ve got to give Moloney a chance. Everything he’s saying is right on the money. But I think it’ll be Inoue by knockout in the second round.
Selby W12 Kambosos: My money is on a close fight. I think the best bet here would be a decision win by Selby.
Anthony Redward, trainer
Moloney TKO8 Inoue: A massive opportunity to shock the world here. It’s important that Moloney stays on the move, and doesn’t get caught up attempting to outgun Inoue on the inside.
I’m backing the Aussie — Moloney wins this by late stoppage.
Kambosos TKO7 Selby: This is a perfectly timed fight for Kambosos, who is fresh and sharp.
Even though Selby has been battle-tested, I believe this is George’s time.
Mateo Tapia, Australian super middleweight champion
Moloney SD12 Inoue: I’m rooting for Moloney, and I want the Aussie to bring it home.
If Moloney wins, I think it’ll be the biggest win in Australian boxing for a while.
Kambosos TKO10 Selby: I haven’t seen a lot of footage on Selby. But I think George will come out on top — his drive is too much.
Ben Mahoney, unbeaten light middleweight prospect
Moloney TKO10 Inoue: I’ve got to back the boys from Down Under. I think Moloney takes it via body shot stoppage in the later rounds. I really think our man can shock the world!
Kambosos TKO10 Selby: I’m not super knowledgeable on Selby. But the way Kambosos has been training and performing in every outing is nothing shy of excellence. I’m backing him by stoppage — let’s go!
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