Naoya Inoue To Earn $1 Million Dollars For His Upcoming Fight Against Jason Moloney
When it comes to fighters from Strawweight to Featherweight, a serious argument can be made that IBF/WBA “Super” World Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) is “that guy”. 17 of his 19 bouts as a pro have taken place in his native Japan. However, his profile is as high as anyone among the sport’s little giants.
Inoue is preparing to defend his titles against Jason Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) on October 31 at the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas on ESPN. Meanwhile, his manager Hideyuki Ohashi took part in an online interview with the Japanese media to discuss the upcoming fight.
The most eye-opening aspect of the interview was not about training, but what his fighter will earn. As originally reported by Asian Boxing, Ohashi revealed Inoue’s purse for the Moloney fight will be an astonishing $1 million dollars!
Inoue was originally set to face WBO Bantamweight world champion John Riel Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) April 25 in Vegas. The bout would eventually fall through during negotiations. Ohashi figured they would have to take a pay cut when the opponent changed from Casimero to Moloney. But as Ohashi explained, that was not the case.
“I thought it was unavoidable that the opponent changed and it would be 30% to 50% down in the unattended game, but it is as it is”.
According to the manager, the payday to face Moloney is equal to what he would have made against Casimero!
AN EMERGING CASH COW?
This speaks to the talent, value, and pull of Inoue. Top Rank is the promoter of record for the upcoming Moloney bout. For Top Rank to dole out this amount of cash speaks to their willingness to invest in the Japanese superstar.
It is also a testament of how boxers have benefited in the age of social media and streaming. The Japanese star has greatly benefited from this over the years as his cache and popularity continues to grow.
It is extremely rare for boxers this small to earn this kind of coin. The last fighter in this weight area to earn a seven-figure purse in recent memory was current IBF World Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (39-2, 26 KOs). He earned $1.2 million for his successful title defense against Akira Yaegashi (28-7, 16 KOs) in December 2019.
If there is anyone within the smaller weights who has earned the right to get paid in this manner, it’s certainly the fighter they affectionately call “Monster”. He has shown himself to be one of the best Pound-For-Pound fighters in the sport right now. And most boxing fans would surely agree, Inoue is rightfully being paid his worth.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.