Andrew Moloney dreaming of Kosei Tanaka world title bout on Lomachenko-Kambosos bill in Australia

Andrew Moloney has returned from Canada with a world title in his sights. 

The Aussie super-flyweight was in Quebec City to watch twin brother Jason Moloney make the first defense of his bantamweight world title in a barnburner with Saul Sanchez two weeks ago and Moloney has plans to add to the family's trophy cabinet.

“It was really good, really good over there,” Moloney said in an exclusive interview for ProBox TV. “I had a bit of a nightmare on the flights getting over there, but I got there in the end, and watched Jason retain his title. He put on a cracker of a fight that the fans enjoyed watching. I’m really happy for him to get that first defense out of the way and now move onto bigger and better things. I had troubles on the day back as well. I was supposed to get a three-day break in Hawaii with the team but I only ended up with one. 

Moloney (26-3, 16 KOs) returned to winning ways against Judy Flores in December following an unsuccessful title challenge against Japanese slickster Junto Nakatani.

The 33-year-old sits on the cusp of glory once again in an ever-moving 115-pound division. Moloney is well perched in WBO rankings, the vacant title to be contested by Kosei Tanaka and Christian Bacasegua Rangel next month in Tokyo.

“I’m set at No. 3 in the WBO rankings,” Moloney explained. “No. 1 and 2 will fight for the vacant belt in February, so I’ll move to No. 1 after they fight, which is very exciting. We are just trying to work out the next move, whether we can get the winner of that fight, which I believe will be Kosei Tanaka. I would love the opportunity to fight him as soon as possible. If he could come and fight me on the [George] Kambosos-[Vasyl] Lomachenko card in May it would be unbelievable. 

“I’ve watched footage of Bacasegua, I don’t think Tanaka will have any problems with him. I think he will win that fight in a pretty easy night. I think it is about 12 weeks after that date, Kambosos-Lomachenko. Hopefully he stays fresh so he can come out to Australia to fight me for that belt.”

Kambosos Jr takes on Lomachenko for the vacant IBF lightweight world title, the bout reportedly scheduled for Perth, Australia on May 12. Both Moloney brothers expect to join the festivities having built their careers in the city. 

“If we can’t get Tanaka there is the possibility of me dropping down to flyweight,” Moloney added. “That WBO title will also become vacant soon I believe. There is talk that Bam Rodriguez will be moving up in weight and vacating the belt. Riku Kano is the No. 1 at flyweight, so that is also an option. Maybe he can come out to Australia and fight for the vacant title instead. I said to my team that I don’t mind fighting at flyweight or super-flyweight, whoever we can get to fight for a world title on that card. It would be a dream come true. I really hope we can make it happen. 

“When we started talking about moving down, I started watching the top three guys [in the WBO]. They are decent fighters, but I believe in myself and I back my ability to beat all of them. Some exciting times ahead. I’m just desperate to get my hand on a world title. Whatever weight it is, I’m happy to fight anyone, and on the Kambosos-Lomachenko card, it would be a dream come true.”

Twelve weeks could be an ambitious time frame in which to lure the expected new champion, Tanaka, to Australia. In typical Moloney fashion, he is keen to fight in boxing’s lower weight capital of Japan. 

“I would 100 per cent be keen for that,” Moloney said, of the prospect of fighting in Tokyo. “I’ve always wanted to go to Japan anyway, so if I can get over there for a fight and become a world champion at the same time, then absolutely I would be down for that. It would be a shame to miss the Kambosos-Lomachenko card, but if the timing means I have to go to Japan to fight Tanaka for his title, then yeah, absolutely. Depending on his time frame and how much time he needs off, we could do a fight here in Australia and then get ready to fight him in Japan as soon as possible. I want to stay busy and become world champion.”