The trainer of Jason and Andrew Moloney should be dead. But after avoiding death by 3mm, Angelo Hyder will be by Jason’s side for his maiden world-title defence.
He is the forgotten world champion of Australian boxing.
While Tim Tszyu and Jai Opetaia have stolen headlines over the past month with brutally brilliant wins, Australia‘s other, third male world champion, Jason Moloney, is quietly plotting unification domination.
‘Mayhem’ Moloney (26-2, 19KO) will ramp-up his status as one of Australia’s best pound-for-pound fighters when he makes his first world-title defence against Saul Sanchez (20-2, 12KO) in Canada on Sunday, January 14.
It’s been six months since Moloney reached his version of Mt Everest. After almost a decade on the grind and two failed attempts, the 32-year-old finally scaled the summit, beating Vincent Astrolabio in May to claim the WBO bantamweight world title.
But like Tszyu and Opetaia, Moloney isn’t satisfied with one world strap.
The Melbourne-born mauler is ranked the world‘s No.1 bantamweight by the Ring Magazine and stopping Sanchez is the first step in Moloney’s quest to be his division’s undisputed top dog.
The Moloney-Sanchez bout will be screened on Fox Sports with a view to Mayhem winning more gold on Australian soil.
“It’s Jason’s dream to beat this guy, Sanchez, and then he’ll start unifying all the belts,” said his manager Tony Tolj.
“He has definitely gone to another level since winning the world title.
“In my eyes, Jason is the best bantamweight on the planet and he wants to prove it.
“Jason definitely hasn’t got enough credit for what he has achieved.
“Jason twice lost world-title fights but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He came back at the third attempt and won a world title. That shows his mental toughness. He scratched and clawed until he finally got that world-title belt.
“He is on par with the most dedicated people that I have ever seen in boxing.”
Such is his dedication, Jason and twin brother Andrew moved 1600km from Melbourne to the NSW north-coast and Gold Coast respectively in April 2017 in a relentless quest to be the best.
The duo joined forces with legendary trainer Angelo Hyder, who is lucky to be alive.
Hyder has since steered the Moloney brothers to world titles, but seven years ago, he was nearly killed after a large tree fell on his head during land clearing at his Kingscliff property.
Hyder suffered a pierced brain, broken jaw, busted cheekbone, fractured leg and had nerves to his eye severed.
Doctors told Hyder he was 3mm away from death.
Hyder was still recovering from the horrific accident when the Moloneys moved north to chase their world-title dreams.
“Angelo said, ‘Boys, I’m on crutches, I can’t move anywhere’, so within the week Jason and Andrew packed their bags and left Melbourne,” Tolj said.
“That’s total dedication. It was blind ambition. Whatever it took to win a world title, that’s what Jason and Andrew wanted to do.
“Jason and Andrew’s professionalism is next level.
“I remember one of their first camps away with Angelo, they were about to have dinner. They pulled out food scales and were weighing every bit of food going into their system.
“Their preparation is second-to-none and that’s why Jason is only one of three current male world champions.”
A week after Jason‘s triumph, Andrew (25-3, 16KO) suffered a sickening knockout in his super-fly world-title loss to Junto Nakatani, but ‘The Monster’ has been cleared of career-threatening damage.
He will return to the ring against Filipino Judy Flores (13-1, 7KO) in Melbourne on December 9.
“Andrew is fine, he is flying at the moment,” Tolj said.
“We have done all the tests and seen concussion specialists.
“We have gone through every precaution to make sure Andrew is 100 per cent before fighting again.
“It was a brutal knockout, but he has recovered quicker than we all expected and he‘s going great in training.”
Credit: Peter Badel