By Boxing Bob Newman
Photo: Team Moloney
Boxing is always looking for a new storyline, something to grab the public’s attention. One angle that has played well over the years are boxing brothers. Early pioneers were the Baer brothers Max and Buddy, with Max reigning briefly was heavyweight champ. In the seventies were the Brothers Spinks- Leon and Michael. The eighties saw the Curry brothers Bruce and Donald, The Canizales crew Gaby and Orlando and the Thai twins Khaosai and Khaokor. More recently, the twin theme has played out with the Charlo Twins Jermall and Jermell both reigning simultaneously at super welterweight, holding the belts of rival organizations.
While at the recent WBA convention in Medellin, Colombia, Fightnews.com® was fortunate enough to meet Australian boxing manager Tony Tolj, who steers the careers of the latest prospects from Down Under, the Moloney Twins- Jason and Andrew. After the convention ended, and call was arranged so we could introduce the rest of the world to the latest twin sensations- Andrew and Jason Moloney.
We’re here with the Moloney twins, Jason and Andrew out of Melbourne, Australia. Jason is a world ranked Super Bantamweight while Andrew is a world ranked Super Flyweight.
Guys, welcome and thank you for taking the time to talk with Fightnews.com.
Talk a bit about how you got your start in boxing and your amateur backgrounds. I read that it was to get more fit for Rugby.
Not for Rugby, none of that sh*t!
Oh, Aussie Rules Football! Sorry, it’s all the same to us Yanks up here, HAHAHA! I guess if you play one, you don’t like the other?
Yeah, that’s right!
Did you ever have your eyes on representing Australia in the Olympic games in either 2008 or 2012?
Yeah, were were hoping, but things didn’t work out and we, unfortunately, missed out on the Olympic Games in 2012. We weren’t really prepared to hang around for another four years as amateurs in order to turn professional. So we turned our sights to the 2014 Commonwealth games instead. (Andrew) I managed to make that team and win the gold medal there so I decided it was time for me to turn professional and join Jason who had turned professional about a month or so earlier, just after the games had finished. So we did hope to go to the Olympics but things didn’t go that way. We did have a good amateur career. We both had about 80 amateur fights. We had good experience there, traveled to a lot of different countries. So we got the experience we thought we needed and turned professional which was our main goal. We want to win world championships as professionals.
You both turned pro in 2014, but Jason turned pro before Andrew, and actually had two pro fights before Andrew turned pro. What were the circumstances behind that situation?
That’s right. I turned pro before Andrew because unfortunately I missed out on those Commonwealth Games in 2014. I got robbed. So I decided to turn professional.
Andrew, you finally caught up by the end of 2014 and since then, your next thirteen fights have all been on the same card. How is it decided who gets to headline? Do you flip a coin?
Oh, it’s just kind of automatic. Last time I was the main event, next time he’ll be the main event.
Tell us about your nicknames. Andrew, you’re “The Monster” and Jason, you’re “The Smooth One.” Does it have to do with your styles?
(Manager Tony Tolj) Jason just likes peanut butter! (Laughter all around) (Andrew) The monster nick name came just recently when I moved down in weight, my trainer said I’d be a “Monster” at the new weight. (Jason) I don’t really know where that came from. I guess it was just about my style, which is sort of smooth. I also do like peanut butter, so it goes with it!
But Jason has two more knockouts, not bad for a smooth one…
Yeah, that’s right!
You guys were scheduled for 10 round bouts in only your fifth fights. Pretty ambitious pace?
Yeah, no need to muck around! (Tony Tolj) That’s the management that did that!
(Jason) As professionals we started with a six rounder, Andrew’s second fight was scheduled for eight. Our manager put us in a title fight in our fifth fight. We were successful and since then just about every fight has been for a title.
Speaking of pace, you both have kept a busy pace with ten fights in the last two years. How does that pace suit you both and have injuries been a problem?
We have been fairly busy. One year we had three fights, then the next twelve months we had seven fights. We’ve moved up the ratings quite quickly. Now the fights are ten or twelve round title fights, so we probably will fight only four fights on the year. That’s just because the fights are getting bigger now. We need a little more time to prepare in training camp.
Before your most recent fights in October, you both came to the States to train for a couple weeks. Talk about that experience.
Yeah, that was unbelievable. We went over there for two weeks. We spent one week in L.A. where we trained at Legends Gym. We got awesome sparring there. Then we moved on to Las Vegas. (Jason) I sparred Nonito Donaire twice there. Those rounds and that experience was unbelievable. I think sparring that caliber of fighter takes us to another level. We’re looking to sort of get over to America, anywhere, international overseas. Try to get that sort of experience at that level. It’s really hard for us to get good sparring over here in Australia. Obviously, we’re lucky we’ve got each other and we do a lot of sparring with each other but we’d like to have other people involved as well.
You both started out heavier and in recent fights have come down a division. What was behind that move?
Earlier in our careers, we weren’t training full time. So that’s part of it. Now we can dedicate 100% full time to training, getting our diet and nutrition spot on to make that weight. We’ve got a new trainer now, Angelo Hyder. Since we’re with him, we’re doing slightly different training. So we can move down comfortably and still be strong at that weight or even stronger. So we made the move down and so far so good. We feel great at the new weight.
Andrew, in your second-to-last fight, you won the WBA Oceana super flyweight title, but had to climb off the deck to do it. You did so in style, stopping your opponent Ray Tagubon in the very next round. How hurt were you?
I actually haven’t had a chance to watch it back yet. I have to watch the replay on T.V. I actually wasn’t hurt. It was a sort of flash knockdown. He was sort of throwing things wild and trying to knock me out with everything he threw. I made a mistake and got caught. We know why and I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. (Tony Tolj) It’s been nominated for fight of the year in Australia.
Did that knockdown play a role in you knocking him out in the very next round? Were you pissed off?
I wasn’t pissed off. I didn’t come out crazy and try to stop him or anything like that. I actually was being more careful. But I caught him with a shot that I saw hurt him and so I jumped on him and got him out of there. He had just put me down in that round before so I knew he was dangerous. Once I had hum hurt I made sure that I finished him.
I imagine you’re both students of the game and pay attention to the champions in your respective divisions. Assuming nobody loses their titles in the next 18 months or so, are either of you eying a particular world champ, or are you gunning for WBA titles since you both hold regional WBA belts?
(Andrew) Definitely we keep an eye on all the champions but the one I’ve got my eye on is the WBA champion Kal Yafai, from England. He’s the one we want. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we get a shot at him. Same goes for Jason. (Jason) The WBA title. We want it.
Let’s test your boxing twins knowledge! How many sets of twins have held world titles at the same time?
I think the Charlo brothers might be the only ones.
Ah, you’re showing your youthful exuberance! The Galaxy twins Khaosai and Khaokor held the WBA Super Fly & WBA Bantamweight titles simultaneously in 1988- the same weight class and belts you could both potentially win!
Wow, we never knew that! We’ll have to look that up.
Who were some of your boxing heroes growing up? Did you pay attention to the sport of boxing before you took it up or afterward?
Probably more so after I think. As we said earlier, when we started out, it was more to help us with our football. We didn’t know a lot about it until we got involved. Then we really got stuck into watching it. The first fighter we really kind of looked up to and enjoyed watching was Danny Green, who our coach now (Angelo Hyder) also trained.
Danny Green was a kind of rugged, boxer/puncher. Is that the kind of style you both try to emulate or is there a style that either of you prefer?
Well We like to try a little bit of everything. We like to adapt when we need to. We like the knockout, but you need to be able to box as well.
When do you plan to get back in the ring?
(Tony Tolj) We’re looking at possibly February. There are several different options for us. Either way it’ll be early 2018.
In closing, any words for your fans on what’s to come in 2018?
(Jason) We thank our fans for all their support throughout the year. It was a good year for me and Andrew to finish the year with four impressive wins. We’re undefeated and we finished the year where we’re both ranked in the top ten in the WBA. We’re really looking to have a massive 2018. We hope they all continue to support us and follow our journey. Hopefully we can finish the year as world champions.