New Faces: Jason Moloney
Hometown: Kingscliff, New South Wales, Australia.
Weight class: Bantamweight
Height: 5-foot-6 (168 cm)
Amateur record: 53-19
Turned pro: 2014
Pro record: 14-0 (11 knockouts)
Trainer: Angelo Hyder
Manager: Tony Tolj
Promoter: Hosking Promotions
Best night of pro career and why: Moloney feels his best outing to date was his most recent performance.
“It would be against Lolito Sonsona (which took place in August),” Moloney told RingTV.com. “This was only my second fight with my new coach Angelo Hyder. I really feel like I am learning and improving everyday under Angelo and I’m very excited about our future together.”
Worst night of pro career and why: Early in his career, Moloney appeared on the undercard of Danny Green-Roberto Bolonti. The fight took place in front of an enormous home crowd and the occasion was a touch overwhelming for the young Australian.
“I’d probably say my fourth fight, which was against Danilo Gabisay, was my worst,” Moloney said. “I was fighting in front of approximately 30,000 people and I was very eager to put on a great performance.
“In the second round, I was being reckless and was dropped by a big right hand. I wasn’t overly hurt and I got up to win the fight by TKO, but it certainly taught me a good a lesson. You must block out the crowd and focus 100 percent on the opponent in front of you.”
Next fight: Moloney meets Julias Kisarawe (27-4-1, 14 KOs) at his home away from home, the Function Centre at Melbourne Park, on Saturday.
Having plied his trade exclusively at 122 pounds, he intends to drop down a weight class.
“This will be my first fight at bantamweight,” explained Moloney, who will be having his fourth fight of 2017. “I’m very excited to be headlining the event. I’m training very hard to make a statement and show that I am right up there with the best bantamweights in the world.”
Moloney will be a big favorite over Kisarawe, who has been a professional since 2012. The Tanzanian is naturally the smaller man, having previously fought at flyweight. Kisarawe has fought away from home on two occasions and lost both times, in Thailand and Russia.
Why he’s a prospect: Moloney was a good domestic amateur, winning four National titles. He gained experience at the 2010 Commonwealth games. He also represented his country in tournaments in the USA, Cuba, Russia and India.
Moloney also attempted to go to the London 2012 Olympics, however, he lost in the selection trials.
“I learned a big lesson,” he said. “I wanted to go to the Olympics so badly. I trained so hard for the trials that by the time the finals came around, I was over trained and had nothing left. All my best work had been left in the gym. Now I know how important it is to listen to my body and to make sure that I peak right on fight night.”
His best win in the unpaid ranks came at the Commonwealth games when he beat future Olympic silver medalist and world championship gold medalist Michael Conlan. In a separate tournament, he fought Georgy Balakshin, losing by one point to the three-time European champion and Olympic bronze medalist.
Last month, Moloney and his twin brother, Andrew – also a boxer – traveled along with their manager Tony Tolj to America. During their stay, they went to the “Super Fly” show in Carson, California, and then to Las Vegas for Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez.
Moloney has enjoyed high-class sparring with the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko and Nonito Donaire.
Experiences like those in America will stand him in good stead going forward. Moloney appears very determined to succeed.
“I think my passion for the sport is my best attribute,” he said. “I’m so determined to achieve my dreams and I’ll do whatever it takes to achieve them. I actually love to train and I wake up every day excited to go to the gym and improve.”
Tolj, who previously worked with, amongst others, former WBA featherweight titleholder Chris John is encouraged by how his young fighter is progressing.
“I believe Jason’s greatest strength is his ability to adapt to styles,” explained the venerable Australian. “To listen to instructions which is a lost art these days.
“Jason has the discipline, drive and determination to become world champion and has the ability to unify the division.”
Why he’s a suspect: Moloney has been pro for three years (69 professional rounds) and is already at 10-round level. He needs more grooming. That will come over the next 12 months when his team increase the level of opposition and attempt to move him up the rankings.
Moloney doesn’t appear to be supremely blessed in any single area, however, he’s very determined. He could make up for any shortfalls with his will to win. That remains to be seen.
The next year will be crucial. Moloney will either establish himself as one of the fighters to keep an eye on at 118 pounds or he’ll be found wanting.
“I don’t think there is one certain area of weakness,” Moloney said. “I am always striving to improve in every aspect of my game.”
Tolj feels Moloney is getting better and better with each fight.
“Jason is improving every day,” he said. “He has gone from becoming a good boxer with potential to be a great boxer. Everybody has talent, but ability takes hard work and he has been putting in overtime.”
Storylines: Moloney grew up in a regular middle-class background in Mitcham, a small town on the outskirts of Melbourne.
“I had a great childhood,” he explained. “I was brought up by my very supportive parents who always placed great emphasis on sport and always encouraged me to chase my dreams.”
The twins were always interested in boxing and were extremely competitive.
“We would put our gloves on and fight each other for hours in our living room at home,” Moloney recalled. “When we were 13 years old, we asked our dad to take us to a boxing gym. From there, we fell in love with the sport.”
Moloney admires several fighters, including Alvarez, Jorge Linares and Lomachenko.
Away from boxing, he has a fiancé, Jorja. Moloney enjoys spending time with her, his family and his dog, Archie. He likes to go to the beach, surf and go fishing.
Aug. 19 – Lolito Sonsona – UD 10
June 3 – Emanuel Armendariz – TKO 5
Feb. 3 – Marco Demecillo – UD 8
Dec. 10 – Enrique Bernache – TKO 6
Oct. 8 – Gerpaul Valero – TKO 7
Aug. 3 – Jeffrey Francisco – UD 6
June 24 – Virden Rivera – KO 3
May 20 – Matias Agustin Arriagada – TKO 5
March 19 – Junior Bajawa – TKO 4
Dec. 18 – Markquil Salvana – RTD 5
Aug. 19 – Danilo Gabisay – TKO 5
March – Alvin Bais – TKO 3
Oct. 17 – Egy Rozten – TKO 1
Aug. 15 – Chatri Sariphan – TKO 1
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On the cover this month: Mikey Garcia