By: Hans Themistode
Jason Moloney sat alone in a hotel room, sequestered from the rest of the world. From the looks of it, you would have no idea that he just destroyed an opponent inside of the boxing ring just three weeks prior on ESPN.
Yet, that is exactly what happened.
On June 25th, at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Moloney made it look easy against Leonardo Baez. The Australian born contender needed only seven rounds on the night to take care of business. But while most victories are welcomed with a night of partying and hugs from loved ones, Moloney’s was met with the quietness of a hotel room.
The new COVID-19 induced world we live in, forced Moloney to stay quarantined for 14 days after his contest.
Sacrificing time away from both his fiancé and newborn was difficult in the beginning, but with a peak crowd of 430 thousand watching him beat the living daylights out of Baez from the comforts of their homes, Moloney can live with his decision.
The fanfare and attention he’s receiving for his performance is appreciated, but the bantamweight contender could care less about the near half million that tuned in. He’s just hoping that WBO title holder John Riel Casimero had his eyes glued to the television screen.
“That’s the fight that I want,” said Moloney to BoxingInsider.com. “I feel like I’m ready and I’ve earned it. He’s the champion and he doesn’t have an opponent so I feel like I deserve that shot. That’s the fight that I want. It’s my dream to be world champion and I believe that I’m ready.”
This isn’t the first time that Moloney believed he was ready for a world title opportunity. In March of 2018, the Australian contender came up just short in his matchup against then champion, Emmaunel Rodriguez, losing via split decision. The heart breaking defeat only fueled him however, as he began to break the faces of his opponents.
With four straight victories coming before the final bell, Moloney has a whole different perspective of how things would play out in a rematch.
“I think I would win that fight comfortably right now. I think I’ll even stop him.”
Nevertheless, with no world title wrapped around his waist, a rematch with Rodriguez isn’t exactly appealing. Revenge is always enticing, but at the moment, Moloney has bigger things in mind.
“My goal is to become number one in my weight division,” explained Moloney. “First and foremost is to become world champion and then my dream is to become the undisputed champion at 118.”
Defeating the likes of Casimero and Rodriguez will give Moloney both a world title and credibility as a great fighter but the boxing world will collectively point its finger to one man when asked who is the best in the division.
The WBA, IBF and Ring magazine champion has shown exactly why he was nicknamed “The Monster”. But while the rest of the world watches in awe, Moloney sits back, squints and mutters to himself “I can beat him.”
“I don’t think he’s as good as other people do,” said Moloney. “Don’t get me wrong, I think he is an excellent fighter. I’ve watched him over the years and liked watching him fight. I’m a fan of his, but I just believe in what I can do. If I get the opportunity to fight him, then I’ve got what it takes to beat him. I want to be number one in the division so common, let’s go.”
No matter how badly Moloney wants to jump into the express elevator and hit the up button to face Inoue right away, he has chosen to slow his roll and take the stairs instead. The bantamweight contender has mapped out his entire career, and sooner rather than later, he’ll find himself face to face with Inuoe.
“If I end up getting the fight that I want against Casimiro, I can win the WBO title. Once I do that, then I know that Inoue would want to try and get my belt off me. So that is how I would love things to play out. I would love to be champion and beat Casimero. Then I can finish off the year by facing Inoue and take two of his belts. From there, I would become the number one bantamweight in the world.”
The road to becoming the best is oftentimes camouflaged. Fighters have eschewed the competition on numerous occasions in order to avoid defeat. But to Moloney, he could care less. The money and fame that are associated with wins are important, but if the bantamweight contender continued his career without testing his limits, he wouldn’t be able to live with him.
“I’m willing to test myself against the best which I believe a lot of guys aren’t. I’ll face anyone, I’m not afraid to take a loss. I just want to see how good I can be. Whether you make it or not at least I won’t go out wondering. I gave this sport everything that I got and there will be absolutely no regrets. If that’s the top, then fantastic, if I don’t reach the top then at least I know that I gave it everything that I got.”
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