By: Ste Rowen
This Saturday is packed with a number of intriguing matchups across the world, starting in Australia with the ‘Battle on the Goldfields 3’ card, headlined by exciting prospect, Andrew Moloney vs. former world champion, Luis Concepcion in a scheduled superfly 10-round bout.
‘Monster’ Moloney, 17-0 (10KOs), the current commonwealth super-flyweight champion, has been making moves since his 2014 debut. Though yet to fight outside of Australia professionally, the 2014 commonwealth gold medallist has picked up the OPBF, formerly held by the likes of Kohei Kono and Takuma Inoue; the WBA ‘Oceania’ and of course, the rainbow, Commonwealth title. And though he’s hit the canvas more than once, his unblemished record so far shows the grit the Australian will need in future fights.
Photo Credit: Andrew Moloney Twitter Account
Last time out, Andrew rose from the canvas to earn a 10-round unanimous decision over Filipino, Richard Claveras – a man who was then stopped inside 4 rounds two months later by Sho Ishida.
Speaking to ‘news.com.au’, Moloney is keen to impress this time out in a real step up of opposition,
‘‘Concepcion applies a lot of pressure on his opponents and throws a lot of punches…I need to be extremely fit for this fight and that is why I am training so hard.’’
‘‘I want to show everyone what level I’m at by beating Luis Concepcion and then we will set our sights on Kal Yafai…I have done my apprenticeship and I’m now ready to take on the best in my division.’’
His opponent on Saturday, Concepcion, 37-6 (26KOs), is just three fights removed from his 2016 loss to Kal Yafai for the vacant WBA super-fly strap, a belt the Panamanian held briefly, earlier that same year.
Since then, former ‘interim’ WBA flyweight titlist has scored two 2nd round KO’s over limited opposition in, Luis de la Rosa of Colombia and 17-9-1 (15KOs), Luis Carillo; either side of a 2017 unanimous decision loss to then, 12-2-2 (5KOs), Iran Diaz.
But despite the underwhelming run of fights since his last attempt at world honours, ‘El Nica’ is ready to re-establish himself as one of the world’s best 115lbers,
‘‘Fighting inside and out, we have things clear…I’m motivated to win the fight and seek to crown myself again.’’
‘‘I’m sure of the work we are doing to get out with the hand up.’’
Moloney has yet to step into the ring with a fighter of the calibre of Concepcion and the Panamanian’s erratic pressure style and wild power punches when he gets a sniff of blood, will certainly provide the perfect gateway fight to potential title bouts.
But if ‘The Monster’ is as good as he believes, and fights with the same confidence he’s displayed in his previous 17 bouts, Andrew will take great faith in the way the current WBA champion, Yafai handily dealt with ‘El Nica’ two years ago.
Also, on Saturday’s Bendigo card is, son of Kostya Tszyu, Tim, who, in his last outing just over a month ago, took less than two minutes to bizarrely knock out journeyman, Stevie Ongen Ferdinandus. The junior middleweight, 10-0 (8KOS), comes up against Marco Jesus Cornejo of Argentina in another scheduled 10 rounds.
Cornejo, 19-3 (18KOs), has fought and lost, twice already in 2018, dropping an 8-round decision to unbeaten fighters, Damian Jonk in April and then a subsequent 3rd round KO from Christian Mbilli a month later.
‘‘It’s been a very busy fight schedule, but that’s Timmy.’’ Tszyu’s manager, Billy Jennings told the ‘Bendigo Advertiser’. ‘‘One of the difficulties now is, with 10 fights for 10 wins, finding opponents.’’
‘‘When you look at Tim in what he represents in Australian boxing, he’s the marketers dream. He comes from a legendary family, he’s 10-0, clean-shaven, articulate and proud to be a fighter.’’
Northern Irish amateur standout, Conor Wallace will make his professional debut, taking on 19-71-4 (7KOs), Aswin Cabuy. The 21-year-old southpaw was unexpectedly deselected for the Commonwealth games earlier this year, which accelerated his intentions to turn pro. His Indonesian opponent on Saturday, Cabuy is a journeyman whose last victory came via DQ in 2016 against an 11-1, Andrew Green.