Horror Show: Naoya Inoue stops Jason Moloney in seven
SAN DIEGO, Calif., October 31, 2020 – Undefeated pound-for-pound, three-weight division champion Naoya “The Monster” Inoue of Japan (20-0, 17 KOs) is so talented, it’s scary.
Australian Jason Moloney (21-2, 18 KOs) stood in bravely before The Monster for seven rounds before Inoue closed the fight with a massive right hand to the jaw Moloney never saw coming. Moloney was counted out at 2:59 of the round. Inoue successfully defends his WBA/IBF/Ring Magazine bantamweight titles after a year out of the ring.
“The final punch I had, the finished punch, I’m very happy and satisfied with that punch,” said Inoue after the fight.
Inoue proceeded patiently in the first few rounds. His conservative approach let him gauge whether he felt rusty. He was smart to be cautious, given his orbital bone fracture a year ago in his last bout against Nonito Donaire. But it was apparent earlier how much stronger and faster he was than Moloney immediately; Moloney was right there to be hit. Inoue’s defense kept him out of harm’s way. He was able to parry most of Moloney’s attempts to hit him with his pinpoint counterpunching.
By the third round, Inoue kicked into gear. He began landing more combinations of punches, mixing right and left hooks with uppercuts and body shots. Moloney is a solid opponent, but he had little to offer to slow Inoue down. Inoue landed his first knockout level punch in round five, a hard right with 30 seconds left in the round. It wasn’t enough time to finish Moloney off.
No matter. It gave fans two more rounds to enjoy Inoue’s skills – and listen to color commentator Andre Ward gushing about him in a way he rarely does about another fighter. As the seventh round came to a close, thoughts turned to whether Moloney’s corner might stop the fight. No need, as Inoue caught Moloney making a mistake dropping his guard and struck with a perfect straight right hand, dropping Moloney hard to the canvas. Referee Kenny Bayliss counted Moloney out, but it was a courtesy,
“Moloney has a great defense. It was very difficult to get through,” said Inoue. Still just 27 years old, Inoue added, “As you go through fight to fight, you learn things from the previous fight. I think I’m getting wiser and better.” Lord have mercy on Inoue’s future opponents.
“The Monster is a special fighter,” said Bob Arum after. “I haven’t seen a young fighter like that in a long time. And credit to Jason Moloney for fighting like a warrior. He gave it his absolute best.”
Mikaela Mayer wins her first professional title
Mikaela Mayer of Los Angeles (14-0, 5 KOs) is the newest American world champion in boxing, winning the WBO junior lightweight title by unanimous decision over Ewa Brodnicka of Poland (19-1, 2 KOs). Scorecards were 100-88 X 2 and 99-89.
Brodnicka lost her title on the scale Friday by missing the weight limit. Nevertheless, she was determined to make the fight as messy and difficult as possible. Referee Celestino Ruiz had to dock Brodnicka one point in the sixth round for excessive holding as she did her best to smother Mayer’s punches. Mayer was far busier and didn’t let Brodnicka play the bully.
“Like Coach Al said, her movement and her holding was a little tricky for me to catch onto,” said Mayer after the fight. “I still did feel like I won every round, but there were things I could have done a little bit better.”
The real victory went to Mayer’s longtime trainer, Coach Al Mitchell. Saturday was his 77th birthday; and October 30 is his late mother’s birthday.
“I was talking to my coaches, Coach Manny (Robles) and Coach K (Kay Koroma) about the strategy. I said if you win this, this is what I worked for all my life.
“You’re only as good as your memories. I gotta lot of memories. I’ve got Coach K, Coach Manny, Buddy McGirt. These are exception coaches. She’s an exception boxer. She gets hard-headed sometimes, but she’s getting better and better. I’ll give her a B.”
Mayer said she’s now eager to unify the women’s junior lightweight division, starting with Terri Harper of Great Britain. “I don’t want to wait around a couple of years,” calling on Top Rank and Matchroom Boxing to get it done.
Undercard Results from The Bubble
Luis Coria of Moreno Valley, California, (12-4, 7 KOs) put a scare into Brazilian Olympian Robson Conceição (15-0, 8 KOs) in their ten round junior lightweight bout, scoring a knockdown in round X. A frustrated Conceição was deducted three times for low blows in the second, fourth, and sixth round.
But boxing is bedeviled by interesting scorecards. The judges still managed to give the fight to the undefeated Conceição by 95-92 X 2 and 95-94 – meaning Conceicao won eight of the ten rounds, which is almost mathematically impossible.
“The Real Big Baby” Jared Anderson of Toledo, Ohio (7-0, 7 KOs) blew out Luis Eduardo Pena of Oxnard, California (6-2, 6 KOs) in 2:45 of the first round. The fight could have been stopped a minute earlier. Pena had nothing to offer except a stubborn will to finish on his feet. Finally after the fourth knockdown, referee Mike Ortega has seen enough.
Jose Eduardo Lopez of Mexico (30-7-2, 16 KOs) hurt Julian Rodriguez of New Jersey (20-1, 13 KOs) nearly from the opening bell, then took his time before dispatching him with a TKO win in the third round. It was Rodriguez’s first loss as a pro and the big surprise of the evening.
Junior welterweight Andy Hiraoka of Japan (16-0, 11, KOs) started the card with a fourth-round TKO win over Rickey Edwards of New Jersey (12-5, 3 KOs).
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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