Underdog Moloney out for shock world title

Oliver Caffrey
·2-min read

After falling agonisingly short in his first world title fight, Australian underdog Jason Moloney is ready to stun Japanese champion Naoya Inoue in Las Vegas.

The 29-year-old enters Sunday's fight as the outsider with the undefeated Inoue (19-0) one of the world's best pound-for-pound fighters.

The WBA and IBF bantamweight world title-holder, Inoue last set foot in the ring in November when he tamed Filipino veteran Nonito Donaire in an epic.

Known as the Monster, Moloney's second shot at a world title comes two years after he controversially lost by a split decision against American Emmanuel Rodriguez.

But the Melburnian (21-1, 18 KOs) hasn't put a foot wrong since and believes his first experience will enable him to take down Inoue, despite him being rated by the bookies as a $8 longshot.

He set-up his chance at duelling Inoue by claiming a seventh-round stoppage win over Mexican Leonardo Baez in June.

"I think that everything happens for a reason, and that loss that I suffered against Rodriguez showed me how much I want this," Moloney said.

"I will not let myself lose again. Nothing will stop me, and I will become the best bantamweight in the world."

"I know I can win this fight. I don't care if some people think that I can't win this fight.

"He has never faced a fighter as relentless as me. I'm going to take him to places he has never been before."

"There has been a lot of talk about 'The Monster' coming to Las Vegas, but people haven't seen what I can do inside those ropes."

Two days out from his showdown, Moloney received a call of encouragement from undisputed lightweight world champion Teofimo Lopez.

Inoue has battled injuries since his last fight almost a year ago and COVID-19 has setback his preparations.

But the understated warrior feels ready to keep his perfect record intact.

"This past year, my injuries have healed very well," he said.

"It has been tough training (through COVID-19 restrictions), but it has been the same for everyone else.

"We still have to go out there and perform at a high level. I see (Moloney) as a high-level, all-around fighter."