Rejuvenated Jason Moloney readies himself for Joshua Greer Jr challenge
Former two-time bantamweight title challenger Jason Moloney will look to bounce back from a loss to The Ring, WBA and IBF titleholder Naoya Inoue last October when he faces Joshua Greer Jr. in a 10-round bout at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.
Moloney, who is rated No. 7 by The Ring at 118 pounds, is highly motivated and physically primed for his return to action.
“I see this is a must-win fight for both myself and for Greer,” Moloney (21-2, 18 knockouts) told The Ring. “I’m expecting and I’m prepared for a hard fight. I just believe that I will be too good for Greer.
“I’m working very hard and I’m extremely determined to get myself back into the mix for a world title. I want this so bad and I’m not letting anyone stop me.”
Moloney believes Greer is a good fighter and respects the American for taking the challenge.
“I think I’ve fought and beaten the better opposition and my greatest asset is that I am constantly working and hungry to improve,” he said. “I feel like I keep getting better and I’m looking forward to showing my best performance yet.”
The 30-year-old Australian had initially been tabbed to face Greer last April before the pandemic struck. That led to both men going in different directions but they’re now on a collision course.
“It’s a fight that I’ve wanted for a long time,” said Moloney. “We have both taken a loss since then and we are both hungry to get back in contention for a world title.
“The winner of this fight should be right in line for a title shot and it will be a major setback for the loser. I think the fight has even more on the line this time around.”
Looking back, Moloney is disappointed with his performance against Inoue but he has taken positives from that setback.
“I feel like I really learned a lot from that fight,” he said. “I really improved as a fighter after my loss to [Emmanuel] Rodriguez in 2018 and I worked my way back up to the No. 1 position and earned my shot against Inoue.
“I didn’t get the result I wanted but I feel like it has made me a much more complete fighter. I’m ready to put in the hard work and I’m determined to do whatever it takes to become world champion.”
The defeat clearly hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm and belief that he can come again.
“I was straight back in the gym after that loss – so hungry and so determined to improve,” stated Moloney. “I feel that I’ve really gone to another level since the Inoue fight and I’m really excited to show that in my performance against Greer.
“I feel like a new fighter now and this will be the start of a very successful journey to the top.”
Moloney’s manager, Tony Tolj, had hoped to have both Moloney twins fight at home before returning stateside but was unable to make that happen due to circumstances beyond his control.
“We worked very hard and had the support of the Victorian government, but there were no exceptions and everyone that was entering Australia was required to do a mandatory two-week quarantine,” said Tolj, who spent close to five months in various quarantines last year while travelling with his fighters. “That was the deciding factor to have the fights revert back to America, which is still great as we consider America our home away from home.”
Tolj now hopes that he can help maneuver his fighter into a position to challenge for a world title once again.
“I believe in and will always back Jason’s ability and work ethic for him to go straight back into the mix with the elite of boxing,” he said. “The plan is to get Jason back into world title contention.
“Bob Arum was so impressed with Jason’s ability and determination against Inoue that he said, ‘I promise Top Rank will get you another opportunity.” With talk of Inoue unifying then moving up in weight we would be ready for whoever Top Rank puts forward.”
Greer Jr. turned professional in 2015. He got his big break when he stopped Glen Dezurn (TKO 8) on ShoBox. That win got the attention of Top Rank, who quickly signed the 27-year-old Chicago resident. Among his five subsequent victories, Greer got off the canvas to knock out Giovanni Escaner (KO 8), he edged Nikolai Potapov (MD 12) and got off the floor again to outpoint Antonio Nieves (UD 10).
However, Greer Jr. (22-2-2, 12 KOs) did hit a couple of speedbumps, surprisingly losing to unheralded Mike Plania (MD 10) and drawing with Edwin Rodriguez (D 8) in his most recent outing.
The ESPN tripleheader will also feature the Joshua Franco-Andrew Moloney junior bantamweight bout, and junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza faces Antonio Moran. The broadcast will begin at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT.
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Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright
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