American journalist Steve Kim has labelled Moloney’s second attempt at world title honours against divisional leader Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) among the 10 best fights to be made for the remainder of the calendar year.
“Inoue isn’t just the premiere bantamweight in the world, but one of the very best fighters pound-for-pound,” wrote Kim in an article originally published on ESPN.
“He’s a dynamic offensive machine, and despite having just 16 fights on his record, Inoue has one of the best résumés in boxing.”
Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs), who has won four consecutive fights since a razor-thin decision loss to then IBF titleholder Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2018, is a beneficiary of the global pandemic, after WBO champion John Riel Casimero rejected a reduced purse to face lineal and IBF/WBA ruler Inoue.
Although the Tokyo-based superstar will enter the fight as a firm favourite in the betting markets, Kim has praised the ability of the hard-hitting Australian, citing his potential as a capable underdog.
Since securing mandatory status for WBO titleholder John Riel Casimero, Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) and promoter Top Rank have expressed interest in a potential September clash. However, discussions surrounding a mooted title unification between Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) and divisional ruler Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) have taken precedence.
But with the Filipino refusing to take a reduced purse in light of the global pandemic, Moloney is now in the box seat to secure a salivating match-up with Japanese knockout artist and unified IBF/WBA champion Inoue.
“Inoue has an appointment next week at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, it is an interview process,” promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.