PHOTOS: Naoya Inoue and Jason Moloney Face off Ahead of ESPN+ Showdown

Naoya Inoue and Jason Maloney face off (Photo: Mikey Williams – Top Rank)

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By Chris Robinson

On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Naoya “Monster” Inoue, the three-weight world champion from Japan, will defend his IBF and WBA bantamweight world titles against Australia’s Jason Moloney. The fight will air on ESPN+, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.

This will be Inoue’s first bout since his 2019 Fight of the Year victory last November against Nonito Donaire.

Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) and Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) met face-to-face for the first time Thursday at the final press conference, and you can tell the champion is ready for business as usual.

“This past year, my injuries have healed very well,” said Inoue. “With COVID-19, it’s has been tough training, but it has been the same for everyone else. We still have to go out there and perform at a high level. I see him as a high-level, all-around fighter.”

There are many who look to Inoue as the future of the sport, given his recent great run of success.

“There are a lot of expectations, and I want to meet those expectations,” he said. “I take those big expectations, and I use them as motivation and power to keep getting better with every fight.”

For Moloney, he isn’t letting his underdog status deter him in the slightest.

“I think that everything happens for a reason, and that loss that I suffered against [Emmanuel] Rodriguez showed me how much I want this,” Moloney said. “I will not let myself lose again. On Saturday night, nothing will stop me, and I will become the best bantamweight in the world.”

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Chris Robinson can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com

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