Home Boxing News Jason Moloney: “Naoya Inoue only has to be perfect for one second...

Jason Moloney: “Naoya Inoue only has to be perfect for one second to win Stephen Fulton fight”

Naoya Inoue vs Jason Moloney. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBO bantamweight champion Jason ‘Mayhem’ Moloney 26-2 (19) has praised Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue 24-0 (21) for picking the best super bantamweight in the world to face in his first bout at 122-pounds when he takes on WBC and WBO champion Stephen ‘Cool Boy’ Fulton 21-0 (9) at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan on July 25.

The 30-year-old Inoue has a remarkable record of 19-0 (17) in world title fight dating back almost a decade and spanning three weight classes. All but his first five bouts were for world championship honours.

Australian Moloney, 32, was denied the IBF and WBA bantamweight titles when he challenged knockout machine Inoue three years ago, going down in seven frames. This past May he claimed the vacant WBO strap with a majority decision victory over Vincent Astrolabio 18-4 (13).

Despite the loss to Inoue – or perhaps because of it – Moloney remains a fan.

“I’m super excited about the fight, you gotta give both fighters a lot of respect for making it happen.” Moloney said to ProBox TV.

“Obviously it is Inoue’s first fight at 122. For him to go after the best fighter in that division in his first fight is very exciting, a lot of people are excited to see what he can do in the new division.

“I think Fulton is a very good fighter and it is exciting because he brings a different style which will ask Inoue a few questions that we haven’t seen before. He’s the bigger guy, Fulton is a big 122 pounder. I think he spoke that he is going to move up, it will probably be his last fight at 122.

“It is a challenge for Inoue in the sense that he is fighting a bigger guy than he is used to. And he is pretty slick, he’s pretty crafty Fulton. He’s got good movement, he’s quite a good counter puncher, good hand speed and he will test Inoue. It is an exciting fight for that reason but I don’t think he has enough in the kit to give Inoue too much trouble.

“That’s not taking anything away from Fulton, I just think Inoue is a very special fighter and I don’t see him losing for quite some time. I think we see him move through this new division pretty quickly. He will pick up two belts here in his first fight in the division and I think he will be undisputed before the end of the year. That is just how highly I rate Inoue.

“Fulton will no doubt have a bit of a height and reach advantage, but nothing Inoue hasn’t seen before.

“Inoue has come up against some tall guys like Jamie McDonnell and those sorts of guys back in the day. But he is a big guy! Inoue is not as big in his physical frame and will have a ceiling on how far he goes through the weight divisions, but I think he won’t have any trouble with 122.

“Inoue has got big thick legs, big thick calves and broad across the back. He will be able to move into this new division no problem. Whether he can go beyond featherweight? That may be his limit in terms of size, but he was a strong bantamweight and cleaned up there.

“For me he will just be too fast, too explosive and too technically good for Fulton. I think Fulton is a great fighter, both the [Brandon] Figueroa fight and the Daniel Roman fight are both great wins and he has beaten everyone they put in front of him, so you got to give him that respect. But there are levels and Inoue is just a special, special fighter.

“People rank him in the top three of the pound-for-pound rankings, but I think this fight we will see just how good he is. This is that big name from America where he will get that real respect from everyone.

“I think when he becomes undisputed at 122, you have to put him right up there as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet at the moment. When you get hit by Inoue you feel it.

“I think he stops Fulton late in the fight. I think Inoue will catch him around round eight or nine maybe. I think the lack of power Fulton has got will be the downfall. He may have moments, he may even pick up a round or two, but I don’t think he has the power to stop or hurt Inoue.

“He would have to be perfect for every second of every round to get the victory. Inoue only has to be perfect for one second to win the fight. That is the advantage of having the power that man has.”