Andrew Moloney: Ready to 'chase' Kosei Tanaka in pursuit of world title at super flyweight

Andrew Moloney is back in the conversation for a world title at super flyweight following victory over Judy Flores in Melbourne, Australia, last weekend. 

The 32-year-old Aussie bounced back from a devastating knockout defeat to Junto Nakatani, earning a unanimous decision over Filipino Flores. The win sees Moloney become further reinstated within the top of the world rankings in a 115-pound division that is about to see an exodus of many of its best fighters. 

“It was a good setup at the Pullman hotel in Melbourne, it was a really good night,” Moloney told ProBox TV. “I really didn’t want to wait until next year to fight again, I just wanted to get back in the ring as soon as possible. The lead up was really good, I had a good training camp and I still feel like I’m getting better as a fighter. I know I‘m 33 soon but I still feel like I am improving every camp and I’m getting better with every fight. I still feel like the best is yet to come.

“The performance at the weekend was not as dominating of a performance as I really wanted. He was a tricky opponent. He fought off the back foot and moved quite a lot, so it made it difficult for me to really get to work on him. I didn’t take too many big shots, but like all Filipinos he was pretty heavy handed, so I had to be on my game. He land a few shots, which for me was obviously good coming off a knockout loss. I’ve done some pretty intensive sparring but it is very different to fight night when you go in with the little gloves on.”

Moloney (26-3, 16 KOs) had a rough night when he went up against Nakatani in May in Las Vegas. The Australian warrior suffered three knockdowns on his way to a crushing 12th round stoppage. 

“If I’m being honest, there is always that little concern in the back of your mind, ‘can I take the shot?’” Moloney continued. “Yeah he [Flores] caught me with a couple of good shots but I took them real well. I was never dazed or buzzed at all, so that was a real positive. I felt really good, extremely fit. I remember getting off my stool for the 10th round and not breathing one bit. I’m just happy to get that win now and get my career back on track. That win should put me back up high within the rankings and get me a shot at the world title in early 2024.”

Current WBO super flyweight champion Nakatani is poised to move up to bantamweight, reportedly to face WBC champion Alexandro Santiago next February. The division’s recent leaders Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada also appear to be on their way up a division.

“There is going to be a lot of movement at super fly in the next couple of months I think.” Moloney added. “We’ve got a lot of guys moving up in weight so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. With Nakatani, Estrada and Chocolatito all moving up, I do feel like it is a division that is there for the taking, for a new king of the super flyweight division to take over and I plan on that being me.

“I’ll take the fastest route to the world title right now, we do feel that is the WBO due to Nakatani moving up but we will just have to wait and see. I’m also quite high in the WBC and it looks like I will be ranked with the WBA after the Flores win. It looks like [Kosei] Tanaka will face [Christian Eduardo] Bacasegua for the vacant WBO title. I’m pretty sure Tanaka will have zero problem winning that fight, but then I really fancy my chances against Tanaka. I feel like his style would suit me. That’s a fight that really interests me, so that will be the one we will chase.”