By Kristian Stojanov – Undefeated Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue will be making his debut under the Top Rank banner after agreeing on terms to take on Australia’s Jason Moloney in a unified title fight. The bout scheduled for October 31st at the MGM Grand Conference Centre dubbed “The Bubble” in Las Vegas, will be Inoue’s first fight in the boxing capital.
Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) had been scheduled for a unification title bout in April earlier this year against Filipino John Riel Casimero, but the Las Vegas showdown was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rescheduling was put on hold for the time being as Casimero opted to take his opportunity elsewhere and take on Ghana’s undefeated Duke Micah, which is scheduled for September 26th.
Inoue’s last fight dates to November 2019 where he defeated Nonito Donaire by a unanimous decision in the World Boxing Super Series final held in Saitama, Japan. The fight went on to be voted ‘Ring Magazine’s fight of the year’ with what went down as a modern-day boxing thriller. The undefeated Japanese fighter added the WBA (Super) bantamweight title in his bid to become unified champion and claim an opportunity to fight on a Top Rank card.
Jason Moloney (21-1, 18KOs) will make his second appearance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas after his impressive performance against Leonardo Baez, winning by 7th round TKO in June. The bout took place in Top Rank’s first event since the COVID-19 pandemic, in which he had twin brother Andrew also fight on the big stage two days prior. Baez had taken the fight on short notice after initial opponent Oscar Negrete pulled out 11 days prior due to an eye injury, however Moloney wasn’t stopping in any sights and produced a dominant punching performance.
After putting in the best performance of his career, The Australian who is still under the radar for most of the boxing world, now has the biggest test of his career to place his name in the boxing world map.