It has just been announced by Bob Arum’s Top Rank that Andrew Moloney will face Junto Nakatani for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight title. The fight takes place on the Devin Haney vs Vasyl Lomachenko undercard at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, May 20.
Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs) spoke exclusively to ProBox TV News moments after the announcement.
“I’m very happy and feeling good about it.” Moloney said. “Top Rank have held off on the announcement, but we’ve known about it for a while now, so I’ve had lots of time to prepare. It’s been on the WBO website for a weeks now and with Kazuto Ioka vacating, it was pretty obvious what was going to happen.
Moloney faces quite the task in Nakatani, a former flyweight world champion with a record of 24-0, 18 KOs.
“I’m expecting a very tough fight.” Moloney said. “He’s a very good fighter, obviously he was a world champion. He’s undefeated and clearly an avoided fighter, as we saw from Kazuto Ioka giving up the belt rather than fight Nakatani. I don’t believe he’s been in the ring with anybody on my level yet, so we will see how good he really is on the night. I plan on bringing absolutely everything to win this fight. I Know this fight changes mine and my family’s life, I’m going to leave it all in that ring. I’m preparing 100 percent to make sure that I will defeat Junto Nakatani for the world title. America is like a second home now too, I’m looking forward to getting back over there.”
Moloney was elevated to full WBA champion ahead of a disastrous trilogy with Joshua Franco, resulting in one no-contest and two losses on his record.
“I really feel like I need to redeem myself after the Franco trilogy.” Moloney added. “I believe I’m a much better fighter now and I learned a lot from it. I’ve improved a hell of a lot since then, so I’m looking forward to showing the Americans and viewers around the world that I’m a better fighter than that. I really want to show everyone the progress that I’ve made in this fight. I’m going to show everyone against Nakatani what I’m really all about.”
The Australian’s twin brother, Jason Moloney fights just one week before him for a world title in the weight class above taking on Vincent Astrolabio.
“I really feel like this was all meant to be!” Moloney continued “This is mine and my brother’s story, we’ve always dreamed of being world champions at the same time. The way it has all worked out now with us both fighting for a title so close. One week apart and one weight division apart, it’s all meant to be.”