Home Boxing News Andrew Moloney closing in on world title shot on Vasiliy Lomachenko vs...

Andrew Moloney closing in on world title shot on Vasiliy Lomachenko vs George Kambosos Jr undercard

Andrew Moloney. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Super flyweight contender Andrew Moloney 26-3 (16) believes he is on the brink of another world title shot.

The 33-year-old Australian is expected to return to action on the undercard of the vacant IBF lightweight title fight between George Kambosos Jr 21-2 (10) and Vasiliy Lomachenko 17-3 (11) at the RAC Arena in Perth, Western Australia on May 12.

And the man he would like to be standing across the ring from is Kosei Tanaka 19-1 (11) providing the 28-year-old Japanese boxer is successful in claiming the vacant WBO 115-pound champion against Christian Bacasegua 22-4-2 (9) at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday night.

Moloney’s US promoter Top Rank is pushing to bring Tanaka to Australia and The Ring magazine’s number eight ranked super flyweight is down for the plan.

Moloney had mixed results in 2023, winning one fight and losing another. He was one half of the KO of the Year but on the wrong side of the ledger after his 12th round knockout loss to Japanese southpaw Junto Nakatani 26-0 (19) in their fight for the vacant WBO belt in May.

In December he rebounded with a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Filipino Judy Flores 14-2 (8) in his hometown of Melbourne.

The nature of the loss to Nakatani was hard to take, but the win over Flores helps wash the bitter taste out of his mouth.

“After a loss and KO like that it feels like the world’s going to end,” Moloney 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.”

If Tanaka does come away victorious as expected over Mexico’s Bacasegua, 26, he will become a four-division champion and have plenty of options on the table, including a rematch with the only man to beat him, WBA champion Kazuto Ioka 31-2-1 (16) who stopped him in eight rounds on New Years’ Eve 2020.

But Tanaka says he is not overlooking Bacasegua.

“It would be best if I could get a KO,” Tanaka said to The Japan Times. “I don’t want to win in an anticlimactic showing.

“The important thing is to prevent an opponent who comes forward from hitting me. I want to win overwhelmingly and go to the next stage.”

Moloney is part of a recent surge of Australian boxers winning world titles in performing admirably on the biggest stage.

Last month his twin brother, WBO bantamweight champion Jason Moloney 27-2 (19), turned in an early frontrunner for Fight of the Year when he retained his title by majority decision in a seesaw battle against American Saul Sanchez 20-3 (12) in Quebec City, Canada.

That fight, along with fellow Aussie super middleweight Rohan Murdock’s belligerent stand against Chrisitan Mbilli on the same card, turned heads.

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

In other Moloney news, the whisper doing the rounds is that Jason’s next fight could take place in Japan.

The obvious opponent would be WBA 118-pound champion Takuma Inoue 18-1 (4), who is set to defend his strap against Filipino southpaw Jerwin Ancajas 34-3-2 (23) on the same card as Tanaka-Bacasegua this Saturday.