WBSS: Moloney on bantamweight rivals
Luke G. Williams
Ahead of his upcoming World Boxing Super Series quarter-final showdown with Puerto Rico's Emmanuel Rodriguez, Australian bantamweight Jason Moloney gives Boxing Monthly his views on the eight-man field in the competition...
Moloney on ... Jason Moloney (17-0, 14 KOs):
"I’m over the moon to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the [WBSS] tournament. Now I’ve got my chance to achieve my dream, become a world champion, progress in the tournament and look to unify the division and win the Muhammad Ali trophy, which would be an absolute dream come true. I guess you’d probably describe my style as a bit of a boxer-puncher. I like to think that I’ve got a technically pretty sound style. I do all the basics very well and I’ve got a very high knockout ratio. Definitely as a bantamweight I’m one of the biggest punchers in the division and I think that brings great excitement to all my fights. I always come 100 per cent prepared and I will do whatever it takes to win, which is very pleasing for the crowd to watch. I like to think that all my fights are quite exciting. I’ve got a fan friendly style, which now the world will get to see, and hopefully they will like what they see!"
Moloney on ... Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0, 12 KOs):
"Everyone in the tournament is a great fighter, but stylistically Rodriguez would probably have been my choice of opponent if I got to choose. I think stylistically we match up well. Obviously at the top level at the end of the day if you don’t perform to the best of your ability it’s probably not going to be good enough but I believe that my best is certainly good enough to beat Rodriguez on the night."
Moloney on ... Ryan Burnett (19-0, 9 KOs):
"He’s a great fighter, a two-time world champion. Another young guy like myself. But every fighter in the world has some sort of weakness or holes in their game which you can exploit. I’ve watched him over the years. Obviously he’s a world champion and I like to keep a close eye on everyone in my division, and I think it’s definitely a fight I could win. I think when I’m at my best I can beat anyone in the tournament. I’ve just got to work hard and make sure I perform on the night."
Moloney on ... Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24 KOs):
"Donaire was an interesting choice by Burnett, I think he’s picked a fairly tough fight considering he had the first choice out of the group. Nonito I’ve sparred on two occasions last year, he’s obviously a great talent and I’ve got a lot of respect for him and what he’s been able to achieve in his career. Some people would say he’s aged a bit, but I think he still performed well in his last fight against [Carl] Frampton [loss by unanimous decision in April]. He’s moving down two weight divisions. Like he has said himself, he was probably just not big enough or strong enough for the featherweight division, but I still think he poses quite a threat to the bantamweights. I’m confident that if I was to fight Nonito that I can beat him - I take nothing away from him as a fighter, I just believe that I’ve got what it takes to beat all these other guys. It will be interesting to see how he goes – he hasn’t made the bantamweight limit in many years , whether that will affect him or not we will find out."
Moloney on ... Zolani Tete (27-3, 21 KOs)
"He is a very good fighter but he hasn’t really had too many tough tests of late. Since he’s been champion he hasn’t really fought anybody who’s been much of a threat. Stylistically he’s quite different to the other guys in the tournament, being quite long, quite tall and quite rangy. It’s going to be interesting to see how he goes against the best fighters in the division. He has been calling for some of the other champions and bigger names to step up and fight him and now it’s his chance, so I guess we’ll see how good he really is. I think from some of his defeats earlier in his career – I know they were a long time ago – but sometimes I think he struggles a bit with someone who puts a lot of pressure on him [Tete's last defeat was in 2012 against Roberto Domingo Sosa]. I guess we will just have to see how he copes fighting some of the top level fighters. Again Tete would be a tough fight for me, but one I’m confident I could win."
Moloney on ... Mikhail Aloyan (4-0, 0 KOs)
"I really don’t know much about him as yet. Obviously he’s only had the four fights as a professional but he had 300-odd amateur fights and was quite successful. I can’t remember exactly what he achieved, maybe a silver at the worlds or the Olympics it may have been? [NB. Aloyan won gold at the 2010 European Championships, bronze at the 2012 Olympics, and golds at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships]. So obviously, he was a great amateur, but he’s yet to really fight anyone or prove himself as a professional. Obviously, this is his chance. I think he will have a hard fight against Tete in the first round, but we will find out how good he is. If he’s able to beat Tete then he’s a very good fighter."
Moloney on ... Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14 KOs)
"There is a huge amount of hype around Inoue and I like what I’ve seen from him as well. But again, similar to what I said about Tete, he’s yet to fight anyone who’s really tested him. He’s a three-weight world champion now but he hasn’t fought any of the superstars in any of the divisions that he’s been through. We really haven’t seen him tested and I think he’ll be tested in this tournament and we will find out if the hype is real. Whether [quarter-final opponent Juan Carlos] Payano can be the man to test him, I’m not quite sure. In Inoue's last fight he obviously blew out [Jamie] McDonnell [won TKO in round one in May]. But I think Inoue is quite small for the bantamweight division. There was obviously a huge size disadvantage when he fought McDonnell and I was looking forward to seeing how he went against a good sized bantamweight. I thought maybe the size would be too much, but McDonnell had trouble making the weight and he just wasn’t there on the night, so he really didn’t test Inoue. We will see in this tournament if the hype’s real and how good Inoue really is. I’m actually really excited and I hope I get to fight Inoue and see for myself how good he is. That’s definitely a fight I’m confident I could win. I know it would be a big upset, but me and my coach have watched a fair bit of Inoue and the match-up of me fighting him really excites me. I think if I can beat someone like him who is regarded as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport, if I can beat someone like him, that’s how you achieve greatness – by beating champions and beating legends. If I can beat someone like him then that’s going to do wonders for my career. So the match-up of me and Inoue really excites me. If I can get past [Emmanuel] Rodriguez – and obviously I’m just focused on him right now – and progress to fight Inoue that’s something I’d really look forward to."
Moloney on ... Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9 KOs):
"I’ve watched a few of his fights. Obviously he’s a former world champion. He has an exciting sort of style, he comes forward and throws a lot of punches. But yeah, he’s a fighter I’m confident I could beat if that match-up happens but we’ll have to see how he goes against Inoue in the first round.'
A full interview with Jason Moloney will be published in September on the Boxing Monthly website.