Moloney-Nakatani and Nico Ali Walsh’s return scheduled in Haney-Loma undercard
A world title fight and the grandson of “The Greatest” take center stage on Saturday, May 20 as part of the ESPN-televised prelims to the PPV main event headlined by undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney’s title defense against former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The two-fight telecast is headlined by the vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title showdown between Australia’s former world champion Andrew Moloney and Japan’s undefeated former WBO flyweight titlist Junto Nakatani.
Opening the broadcast will be undefeated middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of Muhammad Ali, in a scheduled eight-rounder against a to-be-determined foe.
Moloney-Nakatani and Ali Walsh’s return will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
The Haney vs. Lomachenko main card will stream live on Top Rank on ESPN+ PPV, the event’s exclusive digital distributor in the United States, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Additionally, it will be available via cable and satellite pay-per-view providers and is priced at $59.99 across all distributors.
The PPV undercard features a 10-round junior lightweight co-feature between two-division world champion Oscar Valdez and Adam “BluNose” Lopez in a rematch of their 2019 battle.
In the PPV opener, rising lightweight Raymond “Danger” Muratalla will take on big-punching Namibian contender Jeremia Nakathila in a 10-round clash.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Devin Haney Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, tickets starting at $104, plus applicable service charges, are on sale now at axs.com.
Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs) hopes to become a two-time world champion in the city where Joshua Franco upset him by unanimous decision back in June 2020. The two fought twice more, with a controversial no contest and second Franco decision victory closing the chapter on their trilogy. Following the third Franco fight in August 2021, Moloney regrouped in December 2021 with a clear points victory over Froilan Saludar. In 2022, he fought three times, including a pair of homecoming appearances on the Devin Haney-George Kambosos Jr. cards in Melbourne, Australia. Moloney, ranked No. 2 by the WBO at 115 pounds, earned the title shot with a 10-round decision over Norbelto Jimenez last October for the WBO International strap.
WBO No. 1 junior bantamweight contender Nakatani (24-0, 18 KOs), a 25-year-old southpaw from Inabe-gun, Mie, Japan, ranks among the hardest lighter-weight punchers in boxing. An eight-year pro, Nakatani captured the vacant WBO flyweight world title in November 2020 with an eighth-round knockout over Giemel Magramo. Nakatani defended his flyweight crown twice, bloodying and stopping Angel Acosta in four rounds and knocking out Ryota Yamauchi in eight. He vacated his title to move up to junior bantamweight and scored a one-sided decision over former unified world champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr. last November.
Ali Walsh (8-0, 5 KOs) moves up to his first scheduled eight-rounder nearly two years removed from his pro debut. He made his Las Vegas debut last April at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, obliterating Alejandro Ibarra with a left-right combination in the first round. Ali Walsh righted the only blemish on his record last August, stopping Reyes Sanchez in the second round of their rematch with a body shot. Sanchez lost a majority decision to Ali Walsh in December 2021. He made his 2023 debut in February, outlasting the rugged Eduardo Ayala en route to a convincing six-round unanimous decision.
A press release by Top Rank was used in this article.