Waiting and surviving
By Daniel Smart with Andrew Moloney and Jason Moloney
It’s a strange feeling to wake up and suddenly realise the Olympics have been cancelled. Or at least postponed for a few months, which is what they’re saying for now. Yet the whole world knows the chances of any global sporting event going ahead this year in the face of a fast-spreading and potentially deadly viral pandemic are hovering somewhere around zero. Time will tell – the fear being there may not be enough of it.
For fans of all sports, it’s a somewhat sobering reminder of how big a role it plays in our everyday lives. From all the football codes to the Olympic Games showcase, and of course to our very own sport, boxing.
It’s an unusual feeling. An empty one at that. The couch potato’s worst nightmare. No televised professional sport of any kind, and it’s anyone’s guess as to when that changes.
But what about the athletes, our brave warriors who dedicate their lives and sacrifice everything to achieve that world title dream, to put food on the table, to pay the bills, to provide for families? They are suffering, and it’s simple, no fight no pay.
115lb WBA world champion Andrew Moloney and his highly ranked 118lb twin brother Jason are no exception. I personally have known these outstanding young men since they were amateurs. The sacrifice and their dedication to their respective careers is unparalleled. This is an insight as to how this global pandemic has brought their outstanding careers to date to a grinding halt.
“The corona virus has had a massive impact on everyone. Obviously there are many people that have been affected far more than myself however it really has been a huge disappointment that my first World Title defence had to be canceled just days before we were set to leave for America.
I was scheduled to headline a huge show in Oklahoma on April 17 and I was finally going to be rewarded financially after so many years of making almost nothing from boxing but now I sit here not knowing just how long it could be before I am able to fight again.
This makes for a stressful time with me having an 8 month old son and a wife on maternity leave, so I’m now picking up some labouring construction work to help pay my bills and to keep my young family afloat until I am able to fight again.
I’m very lucky that I have my own private gym so myself and my twin brother Jason are still training hard every day and will be ready to fight as soon as it’s possible”
Andrew’s twin brother Jason reiterated his brothers thoughts.
“The corona virus is having a massive impact on us all. Last week I was supposed to be getting on a flight to Las Vegas to achieve a dream of mine and fight in front of a sold out crowd at the Mandalay Bay for a likely shot at Inoue (118lb unified champion Naoya Inoue)
This week instead of preparing for the biggest fight of my life, I’ve been forced to get back on the tools and work in construction.
My wife is also on maternity leave with my one year old daughter and we rely on me fighting to pay the bills and put food on the table.
With all of this uncertainty and no idea how long we will be unable to fight, I’ve had to pick up a few weeks labouring to help pay the bills.
After 16 years of hard work, I was confident that 2020 was my breakthrough year. I was going to become world champion and finally get some financial reward for all of my hard work and sacrifices. Picking up a part time job to help pay the bills is certainly not what I had planned.
It’s obviously very disappointing that my fight against Joshua Greer had to be postponed. I was so excited for this huge opportunity and I was ready to make a big statement.
However, this fight is postponed, it is not canceled so I’m staying positive and I’m staying ready. Luckily, I have my own private gym so I will still continue to train hard everyday and I won’t let all of my hard work go to waste. As soon as we are given the green light to fight, I will be raring to go. This set back, frustration and struggle will only make this victory taste even sweeter”
These current times of fear and uncertainty don’t discriminate. From the nine to fiver who has been told there is no work, to our professional athletes and those laying in hospital beds, this is something we have never seen in our lifetimes. We are all feeling it.