Andrew Moloney books 'life changing' Vegas title shot

April 11, 2023 06:51 AM AEST | By AAPNEWS
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Andrew Moloney will step onto the biggest stage in boxing for his redemption shot, with the Australian's world-title fight against Junto Nakatani locked in on a Las Vegas mega-card.

A week after twin brother Jason fights for his own world title in California, Andrew will vie for the vacant WBO super flyweight belt against the undefeated Japanese talent at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20.

Headlining the night will be undisputed world lightweight champion Devin Haney's title defence against former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko.

It will be the third time Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs) has fought on a Haney card, scoring wins when the American star twice defeated Australian champion George Kambosos Jr.

The fight signals a return to the city where it all came unstuck for Moloney after he had been elevated to full WBA champion, beaten by Joshua Franco in 2020.

He was then controversially denied in a no-contest in their rematch, before losing to the US fighter again.

Those two defeats are the only blemishes on Moloney's resume. The 32-year-old has since won four straight to force his way back into world-title contention as the WBO's No.2 contender.

"I really feel like I need to redeem myself after the Franco trilogy," Moloney told ProBox TV. 

"I believe I'm a much better fighter now ... I'm going to show everyone against Nakatani what I'm really all about."

Nakatani (24-0, 18 KOs) is the WBO's No.1 contender, the 25-year-old moving up a weight class after two successful defences of his flyweight world title.

Moloney has been sparring with compatriot Paul Fleming, who he sees as a like-for-like for a rival considered one of the hardest punchers in lighter-weight boxing.

"(Nakatani) is undefeated and clearly an avoided fighter, as we saw from Kazuto Ioka giving up the belt rather than fight Nakatani," Moloney said. 

"I don't believe he's been in the ring with anybody on my level yet, so we will see how good he really is on the night.

"I plan on bringing absolutely everything to win this fight. I know this fight changes mine and my family's life.

"This is mine and my brother's story; we've always dreamed of being world champions at the same time. 

"One week apart and one weight division apart, it's all meant to be."


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