Moloney not done, wants piece of ‘insane’ boxing moment

Murray Wenzel |

Bantamweight Andrew Moloney is as confident as ever and hoping for another title shot.
Bantamweight Andrew Moloney is as confident as ever and hoping for another title shot.

Andrew Moloney wants to be part of Australian boxing’s “insane” uprising, ignoring calls from those inside and outside his circle to retire to stand on the brink of another world title shot.

The former WBA super flyweight champion’s American promoter Top Rank is pushing for Japanese star Kosei Tanaka to fight the Australian on the George Kambosos-Vasiliy Lomachenko May 12 card in Perth.

That’s assuming Tanaka takes care of Mexico’s Christian Bacasegua in Tokyo this Saturday when the pair fight for the vacant WBO belt.

Moloney (26-3-1) is the No.3 WBO contender behind that duo and is banking on the status of the Perth card to drag Tanaka out of Japan to build his global audience with an Australian defence.

Last May Moloney suffered a brutal final-round knockout in his Las Vegas world title fight with Junto Nakatani, who will fight Alexandro Santiago up a weight for Santiago’s WBC bantamweight belt on the Tanaka card.

Moloney then defied advice of keyboard warriors and close family alike to hang up the gloves, beating Filipino Judy Flores in December to get back into the conversation.

“After a loss and KO like that it feels like the world’s going to end,” the 33-year-old told AAP.

“A lot of people thought my career was over; I had a few tell me and saw a lot of comments that I should call it a day.

“But I’ve got more to give and it just made me more determined.

“Another world title shot seemed a world away, but it could come in less than 12 months.”

Andrew Moloney and Norbelto Jimenez.
Norbelto Jimenez tries to defend against Andrew Moloney during their 2022 fight in Melbourne. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

A Commonwealth Games champion in 2014, Moloney has been rated among the country’s elite professionals since his overseas debut in 2019.

Twin brother Jason won his WBO bantamweight title a week before the Vegas knockout, Andrew in his corner in Canada last month for his incredible defence against Saul Sanchez.

Jason was likely to feature on the Kambosos card but AAP understands he could now command his own headline act instead, potentially in Japan.

Tim Tsyzu, Michael Zerafa, Jai Opetaia and potentially Liam Paro, who is close to locking in a date with Puerto Rico’s IBF junior welterweight champion Subriel Matias, will also fight to win or defend world titles in the first half of this year.

Moloney said his brother’s defence, as well as Rohan Murdock’s stoic loss on that Canadian card, had turned heads.

“I reckon every promoter watching that Canada card walked away thinking, ‘We need Aussies in our shows’,” he said.

“Australian boxing is flying; we could have six or seven men’s world champs by the end of the year. That’s absolutely insane.

“Things have changed; we can be a powerhouse.”

AAP