Australian bantamweight contender Jason ‘Mayhem’ Moloney 21-1 (18) will take on the most dangerous assignment in boxing when he faces Japanese superstar Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue 19-0 (16) at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 31.
The 29-year-old has long harboured ambitions to face the destructive and dynamic Inoue, who shot to global fame with his impressive series of wins in the World Boxing Super Series.
“I guess that’s just the way I operate,” Moloney said in an exclusive interview with Maxboxing.
“When I see the biggest and toughest challenge there is I say ‘bring it on!’. I’ve dedicated my life to this sport and I want to test myself and be the best that I can be.
“As the great Muhammad Ali once said, ‘He who is not brave enough to take risks will achieve nothing in life’.
“Inoue is an exceptional fighter, but he is just another man with two arms and two legs. I believe that I have got what it takes to beat him and I’m ready to give this everything I’ve got.”
Inoue was initially in discussions to face WBO 118-pound champion John Riel Casimero 29-4 (20) in his Las Vegas debut.
That fight fell through for various reasons – including a fractured orbital bone in his win over Nonito Donaire in his last fight in November – but the 27-year-old says Moloney is a highly credentialled challenger.
“He’s tough and has stamina. I think he’s a highly skilled player… Overall, he is a fighter who is higher than Casimero, I think it’s a dangerous opponent unless I take counter measures in the next month and a half,” Inoue said during a virtual media conference last week.
”It’s been eight years since I made my professional debut, and I think it’s eight years from now to the goal. It’s a turning point. You can think of this as the second chapter. Departing from Las Vegas, we’ll have a good fight there.”
Moloney doesn’t believe the year-long layoff for Inoue will affect the unified champion at all.
“I don’t really think that this is much of a factor,” he said.
“I know Inoue is the sort of fighter who is always in the gym and he keeps himself in great shape so I don’t think that the time off will be much of an issue. I’m prepared and ready to face Inoue at his best.”
Moloney was last in action on June 25 when he delivered a one-sided beatdown to Leonardo Baez at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, stopping him in seven frames.
“I think that was my career-best performance but there was still lots of things I learnt and took away from that fight which I have been working on and improving in the gym,” he said.
“I’m never satisfied, I strive to get better every single day.”
The fight against Baez came just two days after his twin brother Andrew was dethroned of his WBA ‘regular’ super flyweight title on points by Joshua Franco.
Both bouts represented the debut for the twins under their new promoter Top Rank.
“Yes, there was a lot of pressure on me to perform in my last fight,” Moloney admitted.
“I felt like people were definitely writing us off after Andrew’s defeat and I was so determined to get the win and prove that we are the real deal.
“I think that it is extremely important to be able to perform at your best when under a lot of pressure, so it was a great feeling to have such a dominant win.
As for the Inoue fight, Moloney told fans what to expect.
“The fight of the year and the upset of the year. I’m preparing for war and I believe that I’m going to shock the world,” he said.