Anthony Cocks engages in an interesting Q and A with contender Jason Moloney
Bantamweight Jason ‘The Smooth One’ Moloney 20-1 (17) was looking forward to a big year until the global coronavirus pandemic hit.
The 29-year-old Australian powerhouse was scheduled to return stateside in an intriguing match-up against fellow contender Joshua Greer Jr 22-1-1 (12) in Las Vegas on April 25 on the undercard of the 118-pound unification bout between Naoya Inoue and John Riel Casimero.
Moloney shot to prominence in 2018 when he went within a whisker of defeating then-IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series, finishing strongly only to lose a razor-thin split decision.
Now signed to Bob Arum’s promotional outfit Top Rank, Moloney is champing at the bit to get back in the ring to prove he belongs at world class level.
Strap yourself in, it’s time to go 15 rounds with Jason Moloney.
Round 1: What attracted you to boxing in the first place?
Moloney: I started boxing when I was 13 to help give me a bit of an edge in fitness during the preseason of [Australian Rules] football. At this stage my dream was to play AFL. Eventually I fell in love with boxing that much that I decided I’d quit footy and focus 100% on boxing.
Round 2: Toughest fight in the amateurs or pros?
Moloney: Would have to be my world title fight against Emmanuel Rodriguez. My only loss as a professional and certainly a rematch that I’d love to have.
Round 3: Biggest puncher you’ve faced?
Moloney: Geez, honestly, I’m not sure. [Vasiliy] Lomachenko is definitely the best fighter I’ve ever been in the ring with, by an absolute mile too. I wouldn’t say he was a devastating puncher though, just very accurate and extremely smart.
Round 4: What are the best and worst thing about being a boxer?
Moloney: I love boxing so I feel blessed to wake up every day and do something I love. The feeling of winning a fight is something which is hard to describe and for me it far outweighs the thrill of winning in any other sport. Having your hand raised after working so hard towards something is incredibly rewarding. The worst part of boxing is the enormous amount of sacrifices and discipline it requires. You have to be quite selfish at times too which is hard. Luckily, I have very supportive people around me who understand what it takes.
Round 5: What is your most defining win of your career?
Moloney: Amateur – beating Michael Conlan at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Professional – probably beating Kohei Kono. He was a two-time world champion and I knew before the fight that I needed to beat him to enter the WBSS so there was a lot of pressure on me to perform. That win felt good.
Round 6: What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Moloney: To become world champion.
Round 7: What are some your hobbies away from the ring?
Moloney: I like going to the beach, surfing, fishing, spear fishing and spending time with my fiancé Jorja, my daughter Isla, friends and family.
Round 8: Who is always ringside for you fights?
Moloney: Too many people to mention, the support I get from my family and friends is phenomenal. Special mention to my fiancé Jorja who is so supportive and my dad. My dad’s never missed any of my fights, amateur or professional.
Round 9: Who has been biggest influence on your career?
Moloney: My dad. From a young age my dad taught me the importance of hard work, discipline and commitment. I have a note at home which he gave me about 12 years ago which I read often, one thing that it says is ‘Anything you want can be yours if you truly want it!’. I really believe that and it applies to everything in life, not just boxing. For me I really want to become world champion and that’s why I work so hard.
Round 10: What fight have you learnt the most from?
Moloney: My world title fight against IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez. The experience of having a fight like that is priceless and it really enforced in me that I have what it takes to be a world champion. I’m very confident that if I had that fight again I would win, so I can’t wait for another crack at a title.
Round 11: What is something our readers would be surprised to learn about you?
Moloney: I lost my first three fights and my twin, Andrew, lost his first seven fights. A lot of people would have given up at this stage and said maybe this isn’t for me. Luckily, we aren’t quitters!
Round 12: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you follow in the lead-up to fight night?
Moloney: No, I think superstitions are generally a weakness. I don’t want anything playing with my head, I just make sure I never take any shortcuts and I prepare 100%. I put in the hard work and make all the sacrifices required to give myself the absolute best chance of winning. After that it’s all down to performing on the night.
Round 13: What is your favourite post-fight feed?
Moloney: I love all food but I’d probably say pizza. I do love a good lasagne too.
Round 14: Why would we find you when you’re away from the gym?
Moloney: Generally at home with my family, but boxing really is a full time job. In between training sessions I’m busy cooking, eating, doing recovery work like massage, stretching, foam rolling, salt baths or napping. Then I’ll be watching fights or studying opponents. There really isn’t much down time. After a fight I might have a week off but I train all year round.
Round 15: If you weren’t boxing, what would you be doing?
Moloney: Honestly, I’d probably either be a plumber or a landscaper. I did an apprenticeship in both trades but finding the balance between work and boxing was very hard. I decided to quit work so I could give boxing everything I’ve got! I never want to have any regrets. When I’m finished boxing, I’ll know that I gave this sport absolutely everything and hopefully I’ll be happy with what I’ve achieved.
Note: A version of this article originally appeared at MJAPlatinum.com in May 2019.