Jason Moloney fights "The Monster" Inoue on Halloween
By Anthony Cocks
Most people run away from danger when they see it.
Bantamweight contender Jason Moloney 21-1 (18) isn’t most people.
The 29-year-old Australian has accepted the most dangerous assignment in boxing, signing on to face the aptly-named Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue 19-0 (16) at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 31.
Moloney goes by the nickname ‘Mayhem’ but perhaps a more fitting moniker would be "The Fireman."
He sees the flames and runs towards them.
Inoue, 27, was the breakout star of the second instalment of the World Boxing Super Series.
The Japanese superstar rolled through former world champions Juan Carlos Payano and Emmanuel Rodriguez in a total of just 2:20 to earn a berth in the final against former four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire.
The Filipino-American veteran turned back the clock to deliver a vintage performance, fracturing Inoue’s eye socket only to come up short on the scorecards after 12 rounds at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan last November.
Inoue deserved the win, but he certainly didn’t have it all his own way. Still, it was enough for him to unify the WBA and IBF 118-pound belts and hoist the Muhammed Ali Trophy in victory.
Moloney is hesitant to say he sees flaws in Inoue but relishes the challenge of going after the big dogs in the division.
“I guess that’s just the way I operate,” Moloney said in an exclusive interview with Maxboxing.
“When I see the biggest and toughest challenge there is I say ‘bring it on!’. I’ve dedicated my life to this sport and I want to test myself and be the best that I can be.
“As the great Muhammad Ali once said, "He who is not brave enough to take risks will achieve nothing in life."
“Inoue is an exceptional fighter, but he is just another man with two arms and two legs. I believe that I have got what it takes to beat him and I’m ready to give this everything I’ve got.”
Moloney doesn’t believe the year-long layoff for Inoue will affect the unified champion at all.
“I don’t really think that this is much of a factor,” he said.
“I know Inoue is the sort of fighter who is always in the gym and he keeps himself in great shape so I don’t think that the time off will be much of an issue. I’m prepared and ready to face Inoue at his best.”
Moloney was last in action on June 25 when he delivered a one-sided beatdown to Leonardo Baez at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, stopping him in seven frames.
“I think that was my career best performance but there was still lots of things I learnt and took away from that fight which I have been working on and improving in the gym,” he said.
“I’m never satisfied, I strive to get better every single day.”
The fight against Baez came just two days after his twin brother Andrew was dethroned of his WBA ‘regular’ super flyweight title on points by Joshua Franco.
Both bouts represented the debut for the twins under new promoter Top Rank.
“Yes, there was a lot of pressure on me to perform in my last fight,” Moloney admitted.
“I felt like people were definitely writing us off after Andrews defeat and I was so determined to get the win and prove that we are the real deal.
“I think that it is extremely important to be able to perform at your best when under a lot of pressure, so it was a great feeling to have such a dominant win.
As for the Inoue fight, Moloney told fans what to expect.
“The fight of the year and the upset of the year. I’m preparing for war and I believe that I’m going to shock the world,” he said.