History, recognition awaits Moloney double boxing act

May 11, 2023 12:12 PM AEST | By AAPNEWS
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Jason Moloney's banking on five years of hunger to hold up his end of a two-part deal with twin brother Andrew that would reshape the Australian boxing scene.

The bantamweight will fight for the vacant WBO world title in Stockton on Sunday (AEST), a co-headline act that is the talk of the town just inland from San Francisco.

A week later Andrew hunts his own WBO super-flyweight world title belt on a Las Vegas mega-card at the MGM Grand.

Almost a decade of professional toil has boiled down to this fortnight, an opportunity not missed by Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum who sat them down in his office last month.

"He wants to do a big double-header back in Australia," Moloney told AAP on Thursday of their meeting with the Top Rank boss.

"In the moment you have to stop and pinch yourself and realise how crazy it is and how far we've come."

No Australian brothers have held world boxing titles at the same time.

If they can secure them it would be the ultimate re-entry into a flourishing Australian boxing scene they've mostly observed while carving out long careers in the United States.

"That's our dream, to be defending world titles and putting on big shows in Australia," Moloney, 32, said.

"I still feel like I haven't achieved anything yet, and that's what spurs me on.

"Hopefully once we achieve what we're about to achieve, the whole country gets behind us."

The Moloneys were stopped for photos and autographs before and after their flights on Thursday, with Jason's fight against Filipino Vincent Astrolabio (15-3) set to attract two million sets of US eyeballs.

It's a sign of Moloney's (25-2) standing in the US, his only two losses in a nine-year professional career both coming in world title chances.

The first was against Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2018, before Japanese superstar Naota Inoue proved too good in the Las Vegas bubble in 2020.

Moloney still shakes his head remembering the one that got away in Orlando five years ago, where all three judges scored the fight 115-113 to Rodriguez.

"To come that close to achieving your dream - I was one round away from becoming world champion - to ride the rollercoaster for five years to get back to this position," he said.

"It's been a long time coming.

"Astrolabio, this is his first time and he'll be hungry but there's no way he'll be as hungry as I am.

"I've been here, come as close as you can possibly come to win, and have fallen."

Undisputed champion Inoue's move to super-bantamweight has opened up the division and, four wins on since a loss to him, Moloney knows this is his fork in the road.

"It's the third and final opportunity," he said.

"There's not many people in the history that have had four chances.

"This is it, it's make or break and I know winning this fight will catapult me, set up my reign.

"Or it's a huge setback ... and I can't afford a setback again because it's a long journey back from a loss in this brutal game."


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