Takei upsets Moloney, wins WBO 118lb belt

Takei Moloney01 1

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda 

Unbeaten southpaw Japanese Yoshiki Takei (9-0, 8 KOs), 117.75, captured the WBA bantamweight belt as he surprisingly upset prohibitive favorite Jason Moloney (27-3, 19 KOs), 117.75, from Australia, and scored a unanimous decision over twelve rounds on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. Scored: Benoit Roussel (Canada) and Ellis Johnson (US) both 116-111, and Lou Moret (US) 117-110, all in favor of the lefty challenger. Referee was Steve Willis (US).

Moloney inexplicably stayed too cautious to positively throw combinations as usual, while Takei, formerly K-1 kickboxing titlist, remained more aggressive to the more experienced champ.

Takei was penalized a point for his repeated low blows in round two.

The lanky Japanese southpaw kept his hit-and-run strategy to pile up points steadily. Jason was making his second defense since he acquired the vacant belt by defeating Filipino Vincent Astrolabio (who once upset Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2022) last May. The champ kept stalking the puzzling southpaw with his high peek-a-boo guard without throwing many punches only to lose point after point.

Jason, in the last session, suddenly woke up to desperately attack the challenger in order to keep his belt. Yoshiki was in great trouble with Jason’s last surge to be saved by the final bell. Should there be the thirteenth round, Moloney might have scored a knockout victory.

Promoter: Ohashi Promotions in association with Top Rank and Teiken Promotions.


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    • Moloney usually in good fights but has proven to be not at championship level. Had Takei at +160 but gave some of that back taking Kuwahara +200 over Akui.

  • The point deduction in the 2nd round due to a low body shot was a bad call.
    Takei controlled the distance, with speed, jabs, and body shots.
    Courageous Moloney in the 12th round, Takei was tiring.

  • Japan goes from having the undisputed 118lb champion to now having ALL FOUR bantamweight champions in like two and half years.

  • Not a long time ago, Japanese boxers were average boxers. A few years ago they become monsters. Something we don’t know is happening….

  • Japan is developing wonderful methods/systems for the smaller weights. I wonder what kind of training, therapy and/or nutritional methods are used – they can write it up and sell it to the boxing world. But then again, I would not blame Japan’s boxing community(ies) if they kept it a secret.

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