Jason Moloney set for blockbuster world title shot

THE American audience liked what they saw in Jason Moloney’s rampant Vegas debut.

The hard-hitting bantamweight made headlines last week, storming into the title picture after painting a masterpiece against lively Mexican Leonardo Baez in the fight capital.

Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) looks set to be rewarded for his eye-catching display, as a potential meeting with WBO ruler John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) inches towards fruition.

A mouth-watering collision between the two telegenic bantamweights looks set for the looming blockbuster card headlined by unified lightweight kingpin Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez on September 20th, according to broadcaster Ben Damon.

“There is a potential that Top Rank look to put Jason Moloney either against John Riel Casimero or someone else on the Lomachenko-Lopez undercard in America in September,” Damon told Hurt Business Radio.

“That would be a huge opportunity for him if that was able to happen. It’s just initial conversations around that at the moment. To fight his way onto a card like that, potentially in a world title fight as well and certainly in a prominent position would be an amazing thing for Jason Moloney.

“It’s exactly what he deserves after what we saw from him last week. It was as close as a perfect boxing performance as you can imagine, given all the circumstances. Given his brother being beaten a couple of days earlier, he was fighting on the other side of the world.

“The last time he fought in America, he lost in a really tough fight. For him to go out and do what he did, was just something else. An outstanding performance, and let’s hope that he does get huge opportunity next, because he well and truly deserves it.”

Having secured a maiden US win, the 29-year-old erased any doubt over his potential at world level, after dropping a razor-thin decision to Emmanuel Rodgriguez in his American debut almost two years ago.

Recapping his latest stateside effort, Damon believes the Kingscliff-based pocket dynamo put together an almost perfect performance in his second showing on foreign soil.

“It couldn’t have got much better than it was, that’s for sure,” he added.

“He came out so strong early on and Leonardo Baez is a tough guy. You can tell that he didn’t mind taking the shots that Jason was giving him, but he just kept stepping it up further and further.

“That left rip the body and the straight right hands were really starting to take their toll. To see them (Baez’s corner) pull him out shows how hard of a puncher Jason Moloney is, and how relentless it was. He just stepped it up time and time again.

“It was a fight where you could only make a case for Baez winning round three… the rest of the rounds were pure domination by Jason Moloney. It was one of the best international performances by an Australian seen in recent times.

“A perfect way to end what had been a disappointing week for the family. It sets him up for huge opportunities, the good thing for the boys is that both of their shows ranked really well.

“Plenty of eyeballs, plenty of interest, and Top Rank are really excited about working with them.”

As boxing attempts to gather momentum, having locked down in an attempt to contain a global pandemic, a meeting between Moloney and the aforementioned Casimero looking most likely.

Despite the litany of titleholders at bantamweight, the recently-crowned Filipino, who dethroned Zolani Tete last November, appears to be the most viable option.

“He has some huge opportunities ahead,” Damon concluded.

“Casimero is the one they want, and the one that makes sense, the WBO world title. It is a tough division, Naoya Inoue is there of course, who has a couple of world title belts. That’s an extremely difficult fight for anyone, I know that Jason fancies himself in that fight if it could be made.

“Luis Nery and (Nordine) Oubaali as well have world titles. Whatever happens, it’s going to be big for Jason Moloney.”

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank