The bantamweight king from Down Under is ready to bring a little mayhem up north. Jason ‘Mayhem’ Moloney will defend his WBO world title against Mexican-American challenger Saul Sanchez on Saturday, January 13next year, at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
Moloney-Sanchez will stream LIVE & exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ before the ESPN-televised doubleheader (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) featuring Artur Beterbiev’s WBC/IBF/WBO light heavyweight title defence against Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith and undefeated super middleweight knockout artist, Christian Mbilli against Rohan Murdock.
Moloney (26-2, 19 KOs), from Melbourne, Australia, traveled the long road to world title honours.
In October 2018, he dropped a split decision to Emmanuel Rodriguez for the IBF bantamweight world title. Two years later, he fell to Naoya Inoue in seven rounds in a bid for the WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine titles.
The former amateur standout stayed the course, reeling off victories over contenders Joshua Greer Jr. and Aston Palicte to position himself for a third crack at the brass ring. In May, he bested Filipino puncher Vincent Astrolabio by majority decision to claim his WBO title.
“Saul is coming off an impressive win against an undefeated opponent in Japan, and I’m sure he will be hungry to fight for a world title, but this is my era, the era of ‘Mayhem,’” Moloney said.
“I achieved my dream of becoming world champion, but 2024 is the year I prove I’m the best bantamweight in the world. I want a very active year, and I plan to take out all the other champions.
“My mission is to become the undisputed champion, but first things first, an impressive knockout victory over Saul Sanchez. Canada, get ready for Mayhem!”
Los Angeles native Sanchez (20-2, 12 KOs) enters his first world title challenge riding a wave of momentum.
After dropping a split decision to Eros Correa last June, Sanchez returned a year later to knock down Mexican puncher, Franklin Gonzalez four times en route to a sixth-round stoppage victory.
Sanchez rode that momentum to an October assignment against Filipino southpaw RV Deniega in Japan, where he won an eight-round unanimous decision.
Sanchez said, “I am excited about this opportunity. I am going to come in the best shape I have ever been in to get the victory and become the new world champion.
“I want to thank my manager Nomaan Ali at GOAT Management for securing and presenting this opportunity. I have won back-to-back fights, and I will be ready for this fight.”
Credit: Top Rank