Fearless Moloney eyes world title shot

Jason Moloney comes up against Naoya Inoue arguably the world's best pound-for-pound fighter.
Jason Moloney comes up against Naoya Inoue arguably the world's best pound-for-pound fighter.

He's known as the Monster for good reason but Australian contender Jason Moloney can't wait for his world title shot against Naoya Inoue on Sunday.

Arguably the world's best active pound-for-pound fighter, Inoue (19-0) will put his perfect record and the WBA and IBF bantamweight world title belts on the line inside the "bubble" at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The Melbourne product (21-1) is at long odds to get a glove on the Japanese star, but that's only fuelling his mission.

"I love being the underdog and proving people wrong and going out here and shocking the world," he said.

"I know a lot of people don't give me a chance in this fight and that just gives me extra motivation.

"People place some of these fighters on a pedestal and think they're unbeatable, but they're not.

"I'll show what having the guts to be brave enough, and daring to be great, can do."

Moloney scored a seventh-round stoppage win over Mexican Leonardo Baez in June to set up his second world title chance.

Inoue hasn't been in the ring since last November, when Nonito Donaire pushed him all the way in what was later deemed the Boxing Writers Association of America's Fight of the Year.

The Australian came close to a world title in Florida in 2018 when he controversially lost a split decision against American champion Emmanuel Rodriguez.

Legendary Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said while others had dodged the opportunity, his Australian talent had come knocking for it.

"We know Inoue is tremendous in the bantamweight division but Jason Moloney is the one fighter I believe that has the opportunity to upset him," he said.

"He's a real tough guy, knows how to fight, is not afraid and I know the Australian fans feel that way."

Moloney mused that he'd attempt to fill the MCG for his next fight if he can produce the upset in what's been an extraordinary year.

"I'm in the peak of my career and champing at the bit to get a chance at a world title and couldn't fight (because of COVID-19)," he said.

"It was scary times, but Top Rank didn't let the pandemic stop boxing.

"They brought it into the bubble and I've been given two of the biggest opportunities of my life.

"I took the first but this one is going to be even better."

Australian Associated Press