Australian boxer Jason Moloney has vowed to reclaim the world titles once owned by Jeff Fenech and Lionel Rose after signing off to fight Japanese megastar Naoya Inoue.
In easily the biggest fight for any Aussie in 2020, Moloney will challenge the undefeated Inoue in a Las Vegas headliner on November 1.
The fight comes 52 years after fellow Australian bantamweight Rose won the WBA world title in a huge upset over Japanese hero Fighting Harada.
Undefeated in all 19 fights, Inoue also boasts both the Ring Magazine and IBF titles – the latter of which was placed around the waist of Jeff Fenech in 1985.
Speaking for the first time since the world title blockbuster was announced, Moloney revealed he was ready to “shock the world” in a fight where he will start a heavy outsider.
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“This will go down among the greatest wins of any Australian fighter ever,” the 29-year-old said.
“I know that already, people are writing me off. Outside my team, they’re saying I’m no chance.
“But that’s fine. It actually makes me smile.
“Because I win this fight and it catapults me towards superstardom. It changes my life.
“And to win back those belts once owned by Jeff Fenech and Lionel Rose, that history is just going to make this even more special.”
Of course, Moloney is well aware of the challenge presented by Inoue.
Considered the second coming of Fighting Harada, the Japanese star is already a three-weight world champion and ranked third best of any fighter on the planet.
Dubbed Monster because of his punching power, Ring Magazine currently ranks the 27-year-old on the pound-for-pound podium, behind only Mexican middleweight Canelo Alvarez and Ukrainian lightweight Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Of his 19 victories, Inoue has won all but three by KO.
Asked about the synergy between his own fight and that of Rose, who was himself unknown in 1968, Moloney continued: “Like with Lionel, this is the opportunity of a lifetime for me.
“Overseas, they actually calling Inoue the second coming of Fighting Harada too.
“So it’s awesome.
“Growing up, I used to hear all the stories about Lionel Rose. Got shown all those photographs with 100,000 people lining the streets of Melbourne when he returned home.
“(Laughs) And I know there mightn’t be that many when I get back.
“But still, this is my chance to shock the world like he did.”
Moloney and his team are expected to arrive in Las Vegas roughly a month before the fight.
“Because I have to get this right,” he added. “This is why I’ve devoted my life to the sport, for this opportunity I have right now.”