Naoya Inoue and Jason Moloney said they were ready for their Saturday fight during a press conference held in Las Vegas this Thursday afternoon. The Japanese boxer will defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) Bantamweight Super Championship and IBF title against the Australian in his first appearance.
Inoue will reappear after almost a year of not fighting. Last November he beat Nonito Donaire to snatch the black and gold belt in the final of the World Boxing Super Series and will now return after the long pause due to the pandemic.
“This last year my injuries have healed very well. With COVID-19, it’s been hard to train, but it’s been the same for everyone else. We still have to go out and have a high level performance. I see him (Moloney) as a complete top-level fighter,” Inoue said in his speech.
The Japanese is considered one of the best pound-for-pounders at the moment. The audience expects him to win every fight, but beyond that, they want him to look good and win decisively, a pressure that the Asian boxer knows how to use to his advantage.
“There are a lot of expectations and I want to fulfill those expectations. I take those high expectations and use them as motivation to keep improving with every fight,” he said.
For his part, the Australian challenger was full of confidence and with a remarkable conviction. He has clear objectives and can’t find a better fight to be in than the one that is coming.
“I think that everything happens for a reason, and that loss that I suffered against Emmanuel Rodriguez showed me how much I want this. I will not let myself lose again. On Saturday night, nothing will stop me, and I will become the best bantamweight in the world,” said Moloney.
Despite not being the favorite, the Australian gave little importance to what people think. “I know I can win this fight. I don’t care if some people think that I can’t win this fight. I believe, and I know that I can win it. He has never faced a fighter as relentless as me,” he said.
“I can’t wait. There has been a lot of talk about ‘The Monster’ coming to Las Vegas, but people haven’t seen what I can do inside those ropes,” added Moloney.
Now all that remains is the weigh-in ceremony this Friday, which will be the final step in Saturday’s fight at the MGM Grand Bubble.