Tszyu leads wave of Australian boxing title hopes

March 14, 2023 12:40 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Tim Tszyu's world title breakthrough is the tip of the iceberg for Australian boxing, with Moloney twins Andrew and Jason also on the cusp and George Kambosos Jnr's ring return looming.

Tszyu's stoppage of Tony Harrison on Sunday earnt him interim WBO super-welterweight honours and a date with undisputed divisional king Jermell Charlo, likely for Las Vegas in June.

But Australia could boast at least two new world champions before that.

First, Jason Moloney will likely have to go through Manny Pacquiao to earn his belt, the Australian set to fight one of the Filipino great's proteges for the WBO bantamweight strap.

A rift between promoters meant Moloney's WBC bantamweight world title fight with Nonito Donaire was cancelled.

So Moloney (25-2), ranked No.1 by the WBO, switched focus and will instead fight Vincent Astrolabio (18-3) for the vacant title, according to the organisation's website.

His promoter Top Rank is yet to confirm the match-up, which is likely to take place on May 13 at a location still to be revealed.

Astrolabio is part of legendary Pacquiao's MP Promotions stable and is ranked No.2 by the WBO in Moloney's division.

Moloney's twin brother Andrew could then fight for his own world title a week later, Junto Nakatani the rival on a yet-to-be-confirmed blockbuster Las Vegas card headlined by Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko.

George Kambosos Jr grew up training with Tszyu before forging his own path overseas.

He held the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring lightweight titles until last June after upsetting the previously unbeaten Teofimo Lopez in New York in October 2021.

Beaten twice by Haney, Kambosos is also eyeing a May fight in his return against highly-rated Brit Maxi Hughes in what would serve as an IBF world title eliminator.

"It's a great time in Australian boxing," Kambosos told AAP.

"Hopefully it lands in Sydney."

IBF and The Ring cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia is still to defend the belts he courageously secured last year, while world-ranked heavyweight Justis Huni hasn't fought since his move to high-profile British promoter Eddie Hearn.

Liam Paro, Paul Fleming and Sam Goodman are knocking down the door for title shots, while Paulo Aokuso and Alex Winwood have both declared an ambition to beat Jeff Fenech's Australian record and win a world title in seven fights or less.


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