By David Finger
There is no question that ever since Jeff Horn scored a decision over Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane back on July 2nd that boxing is in the midst of a renaissance in Australia. But for the undefeated Moloney brothers, two hard hitting twins from Victoria, they are poised to show the world that boxing in Australia doesn’t end with Jeff Horn. Andrew (13-0, 8 KOs) and Jason (13-0, 11 KOs) will both fight for separate WBA Oceania titles on August 19th in Victoria, Australia, the first step towards possibly positioning themselves for world title fights before the end of the year.
Jason Moloney, the WBA #8 and WBO #12 ranked super bantamweight, will take on the dangerous Lolito Sonosa (21-1-4, 9 KOs) from General Santos City. Jason, who is making his sixth defense of his title, has already turned heads with his power, but the slick boxing Filipino has shown a solid chin in the past and is expected to be a substantial test for the undefeated 26-year old.
“This is our second fight under our new head trainer Angelo Hyder and things could not be going any better,” Jason said of his upcoming fight with Sonosa. “I am improving everyday in the gym and feel I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in both physically and mentally. I am very excited that I am now ranked in three of the four major sanctioning organizations and can see all of our hard work starting to pay off.”
But despite his confidence, Moloney is not looking past Sonosa, a fighter he recognizes will be a dangerous opponent on August 19.
“I know that Sonosa will definitely be my toughest test to date but we have left no stone unturned in our preparation.”
Jason Moloney’s fight with Sonosa will be a ten rounder.
In the co-main event Jason’s twin brother, Andrew Moloney, will move down in weight as he takes on Raymond Tabugon (20-7-1, 10 KOs), also of General Santos City. Moloney, the WBA #10 ranked bantamweight and reigning WBA Oceania bantamweight champion, has elected to move down to super flyweight, a move his manager promises will pay huge dividends in the near future.
“Andrew will now go by the name of Andrew ‘Monster’ Moloney,” manager Tony Tolj said of the move. “Andrew was a beast at bantamweight. (But) at 115-pounds the world will see a monster unleashed!”
Despite the hype from Tolj, there are legitimate questions as to if Andrew Moloney will look as dominant at 115-pounds as he has at 118-pounds, and he hasn’t drawn an easy opponent for his first fight in a lower weight class. Although Tabugon lost four of five fights from November of 2015 to January of 2017, he nonetheless is a recognized contender in the weight division, having most notably lost to Mexican Luis Nery in a fight for the vacant WBC Silver bantamweight title back in December. If Andrew ends up struggling with the additional weight loss, his Filipino opponent could capitalize on it.
“This has been a great training camp and I’m boxing better than ever right now,” Andrew said of his upcoming fight. “I believe I am boxing better than ever right now and I’m in the best shape of my life.”
Rounding off the card will be aother WBA Oceana title fight, this one in the bantamweight division. Ibrahim Balla (11-1, 7 KOs) takes on Silvester Lopez (28-13-2, 19 KOs) for the title once held by Andrew Moloney. Balla has shown flashes of brilliance, but in his only other regional title fight he was upset by Filipino brawler Neil John Tabano back in June of 2016 in a fight for the WBO Oriental featherweight title. A loss would all but end Balla’s run as a regional prospect, something not lost on the 26-year old Australian.
Also on the card is an intriguing six round middleweight fight featuring Tim Tszyu (6-0, 5 KOs). Tszyu will have his first potential test as he clashes with fellow undefeated prospect Emmanuel Carlos (3-0, 3 KOs).
Also featured is super flyweight prospect Brock Jarvis (10-0, 9 KOs) as he takes on Ghalatry Sonny (5-3, 3 KOs) in a six round clash. Rounding off the card is a middleweight fight between Damien Lock (2-2) and Sherwyn Watkins (4-2) in a four round affair and Adm Kaoullas (2-1) clashing with Joel Bennett (2-1) in a four round super lightweight fight.
The fight card will take place at the Function Centre in Melbourne Park, Victoria on August 19th. The doors open at 6:30 PM with ticket starting at $80. Tickets can be obtained by going to Eventopia.