Japan’s Naoya Inoue retained his WBA and IBF bantamweight title following a superior performance against Australia’s Jason Moloney.
“The Monster” defeated Moloney via KO in the seventh round in what was his “Top Rank” debut. Inoue floored his opponent twice before the fight was stopped at the 2:59 mark of the 7th round.
The Japanese came out gun blasing, as he was landing the jab at will. Moloney attempted to work on the inside with some left hooks to the body, but Inoue wasn’t stressed at all.
Moloney also tried to establish his jab in the second, but Inoue showcased his stellar defence skills and counter attacks. The 4th round was probably the best one for the challenger who connected with some good right hands that got the attention of the champ.
Inoue scored the first knockdown of the night early in round six. A counter left hook from the defending champion forced Moloney to the canvas, beating the count but spending most of the rest of the round regaining his faculties. Inoue stunned his challenger with a left hook with roughly one minute to go in the frame.
Inoue was poised at the start of round seven, content to box and find the perfect openings for his explosive power. Moloney paid the price dearly for leaving his chin exposed, shooting a jab but was too slow with the right hand behind it. Inoue slammed a right hand across Moloney’s chin, sending him crashing to the canvas.
Moloney bravely tried to climb off the deck, but never made it to his feet as the referee waved off the contest.