Interview: Jason Moloney

By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing

Photo: Team Moloney

WBO #1, WBA #3, IBF #4, WBC #5 bantamweight Jason “Smooth One” Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) spoke to® about challenging Pound For Pound Best Naoya “Monster” Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) on October 31 and how the Japanese was exposed by Nonito Donaire also how Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum predicts the Inoue v Moloney could be “Fight of the Year.”

“We believe we can defeat Inoue,“ said Jason Moloney. “That’s why we have taken the fight. We have had our eye on this fight for a long time. It has always been a fight that I have wanted. I have got the opportunity now so I am very excited and we are going into the fight truly believing we can beat him. Obviously, they are a lot of other people have already written me off but that doesn’t bother me at all. It gives me extra motivation to get out there and shock the world.”


“Bob Arum is an absolute legend who believes that the Inoue v Moloney is going to be the “Fight Of the Year “ To have him believing in me and backing me also giving me this massive opportunity and obviously showing a lot of excitement for the fight is just unbelievable so he is a smart man and he has been around boxing for a long time – I think he is right – it is going to be the “ Fight Of the Year”. It is great to be part of it. I am in this sport and have dedicated my life for the sport for seventeen years and this is what I want – I want the Big Fights. I want to achieve something special in my career. This is the opportunity to achieve maybe one of the biggest things for Australian Boxing.”


“I don’t start and stop camps really – we train all year round. I always try to keep myself in great shape. Between fights I am always trying to improve as much as I can. I don’t particularly stop and start camps. Obviously things have ramped up a little bit now. We are doing a lot more sparring but I am always training. I had a week off after my last fight (Leonardo Baez) in June – but I was straight back in the gym – I am already in great shape. I am sparring ten rounds and feeling fantastic.”


“We are flying out to Las Vegas on the 29th (of September) We will be there for a month before the fight. It will be the same as last time I believe- once we have landed – we will be staying in a private house. They advise that we will self quarantine for two weeks. It’s not like here in Australia where it is policed and you are put in the hotel. For us – we are being very careful anyway- obviously if any of us got Covid-19 by chance the fight would be off. We would miss a massive opportunity. When we are over there we are staying in a private house and we will be careful. We don’t really go out. We just train in the Top Rank Gym and come home and keep to ourselves. Obviously the week before the fight we go into the MGM Top Rank Bubble where you are completely isolated.Strict measures are put in place that nothing happens on the week of the fight.”


“After Inoue’s last fight against Nonito Donaire where he was extended – it was shown he is beatable- I have always felt that. A lot of people thought he was going to walk through Donaire but I always thought that wouldn’t be the case. Donaire is obviously a great fighter and has achieved a lot. I thought it would be one of those fights. Donaire had plenty of good moments during that fight. He hurt Inoue a couple of times. He definitely showed that Inoue is human and that he is beatable. That does give me confidence because I have done sparring with Donaire in the past and done very well. I sparred him on two occasions in Las Vegas. Going back two years ago. It was a 36-year-old Donaire that boxed Inoue- the fight was close. (Respected judge Robert Hoyle scored the fight 114-113) I plan on pushing Inoue even harder. I thought Donaire let him off the hook a couple of times throughout that fight and didn’t put enough pressure on him that I plan on doing. I plan on winning the fight clearly and not have a close fight like Donaire did.”


“Inoue’s power is not over exaggerated – he is a devastating puncher. At the real top level you do not want to be wearing your opponents clean shots. Most guys at the top elite level have that KO power. I know there will be times where I will have to wear a couple of shots. This is boxing. As they say – you don’t swim without getting wet. I don’t plan on letting him land his explosive knockout punch that he has landed on other opponents. I plan on being smart in there and seeing the shots and being completely focused also confident throughout the whole fight. Taking control of the fight. I do rate his knockout power so I am well aware I don’t want to be taking his best shots. I will be switched on a focused at all times. That is what you have to do at the elite level.”


“I think I have the edge in skill and work rate. We will find out. At times he is reckless. I am probably a bit more calculated also better defensively. He does back his power so much. He is very impressive but he opens himself up to be caught himself. I plan on being very smart and pulling the trigger when I need to and also being smart enough to not get hit as much as his other opponents.”


“I felt strong against Leonardo Baez. My trainer Angelo Hyder does all my strength and conditioning. I think I am coming into my absolute peak. I am feeling really strong at bantamweight and I feel I will be much stronger than Inoue. I felt strong in my last fight. Baez was a very big guy who had been fighting at super bantamweight but I was physically stronger. That is a big asset of mine. I am going Into this fight even stronger again. I have developed the “ Man Strength “ that people talk about. I am in the peak of my career at 29 years of age. I am going to put it all on the line. I am backing myself all the way.”


“We have got some good sparring organised when we are in Las Vegas. I have also had some good sparring in Australia locally. Today I boxed Luke Boyd and Sam Goodman as well. Another very talented guy. We are making the most of what we have here. We are getting plenty of rounds with the best bantams and super bantams we have here in the country. When we get to America we will have world class sparring for the last month of preparation.”


“My trainer Angelo Hyder has prepared a Plan A – Plan B and a Plan C for the fight. Angelo reads a fight better than anyone else. Together we have knuckled down on Inoue and Angelo and me have sat down many times over the past few years about Inoue because we have had our eyes on him for a long time. We have always seen things with Inoue but I can’t go into to much detail because it could get back to him. There are things that we see that we think that I do very well and we have put together a really good game plan.Plan A – Plan B – Plan C. We are going in there and giving it everything we have got.”


“Inoue has been beaten six times(75-6 record) in the amateurs and my brother Andrew was at a couple of International tournaments where Inoue competed at and saw him fight as an amateur. I was beaten a few times as an amateur also and you are improving all the time. The amateurs are where you do your apprenticeship. Obviously he is a completely diferent fighter now. I plan on being the first professional to beat him.”


“It’s hard to say if nearly 12 months in activity will effect his performance. 12 months out of the ring for some people who blow up in weight and don’t do much training – obviously that 12 months is going to be a burden. You are going to show some ring rust. I think Inoue is the kind of guy who keeps himself in the gym and stays in good shape. Like myself very professional. It won’t be a major factor in the fight but I guess he might show a bit of rust. We have to prepare for the best Naoya Inoue.”


“Inoue is regarded as one of the best Japanese boxers ever.( Fighting Harada is regarded as the greatest Japanese boxer) I plan on being the third Aussie to beat a great Japanese boxer. It’s very exciting to have that history. Lionel Rose and Johnny Famechon achieved what I am trying to do. (Rose and Famechon defeated Harada) Inoue is rated in the same class as Harada. Obviously Rose went over to Japan as a big underdog in 1968 and did what I am trying to do in 2020. To have that opportunity to go over to Las Vegas and repeat history for our sport.”


“My manager Tony Tolj does a fantastic job. Obviously since we signed the deal with Top Rank everything has been sensational. The opportunities we have been given in a year like 2020 where a lot of Australian fighters haven’t been able to fight where me and Andrew have been able to go and fight on the biggest stage in Las Vegas and been given the opportunities of a lifetime. Tony and Top Rank have done a fantastic job. Obviously training with Angelo Hyder and Tony Nobbs who is our assistant coach we have been going from strength to strength. It is very exciting. Andrew and I want to fly the flag for Australia in boxing and try and achieve something special. Danny Green is a great mate who promoted our last fight in Australia. Greeny is always supportive to me and Andrew. He is the one who connected us to Tony Tolj and Angelo Hyder. I speak to Greeny on a weekly basis and he is always there to offer the best advice. We have a great team.”


“I am confident that I will shock the world on October 31 in Las Vegas and defeat Naoya Inoue to become the IBF/WBA bantamweight champion.”

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  • He does seem to be very good but has also been promoted very well. Inoue does seem to be in a class by himself and probably takes this.

  • He has every right to be confident.He is in his prime and knows that anyone can be beaten on any given day.There have been many so called invincible fighters in boxing history and 99% have one thing in common and that is that they tasted their first defeat when it wasn’t expected.

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