Naoya Inoue Set To Face Jason Moloney On October 31 In Las Vegas
Boxing fans patiently waiting for the 2020 debut of IBF/WBA World Bantamweight “Super” champion Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) will not have to wait too much longer. His will next face Jason Moloney (21-1, 18 KO) on October 31 at the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas. Inoue held an online press conference on September 8 in Tokyo to announce the fight. His father/trainer Shingo Inoue and co-promoter Hideyuki Ohashi were also present for the announcement.
The champ told the local media he’s looking forward to the fight. Inoue says he has great respect for Moloney. Yet, he is intent on leaving the ring victorious with the world belts around his waist.
“I want to put on a fight that gets the people watching on video pumped up. The catch is there won’t be a crowd. Whether I end it decisively or not, I want to fight with great expectations.
Moloney has stamina, and if we get tangled up in the second half of the fight it’s going to turn into a mental battle.”
A CASE OF PERFECT TIMING?
For Inoue, this will be his first fight in nearly a year. His last outing was a hard-fought win over Nonito Donaire on November 7, 2019. Their match rounded off the finals of the WBSS Bantamweight tournament. The Japanese superstar would unfortunately suffer a fractured right orbital bone in the match.
He was originally on schedule to fight in Las Vegas on April 25 against WBO World Bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs). However, the COVID-19 pandemic would see the bout postponed. With the forced layoff, the man who is affectionately called “Monster” views this a blessing in disguise.
“I thought a lot about April’s postponed bout but it ended up being good timing for me because of the eye injuries I got in the previous fight. I’ll be in perfect condition.”
The 27-year-old says he views this as the second phase of his career. Being arguably the most popular fighter in Japan and regularly fighting in front of huge crowds in his home country, he admits there is some anxiety.
“I fought in front of 20,000 people last year in November, but the next fight is without any spectators.
Each of us will have the same conditions, but how to stay focused and keep calm when I’m in a tough spot or how I’ll feel when I come up to the ring without any fans around is the stuff that’s on my mind.”
Rumors of Inoue – Moloney have been bandied about since negotiations fell through for a bantamweight unification fight with Casimero.
3KingsBoxing had in fact previously reported Top Rank boss and Inoue co-promoter Bob Arum telling Australian media outlets it would take place in November. On paper, this has the potential to be a very good fight.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.