Bantamweight contender Jason Moloney stretched his record to 21-1 last Thursday, dispatching of Leonardo Baez inside seven entertaining rounds.
Speaking to Bad Left Hook, the Australian describes life inside Top Rank’s ‘Bubble’ and experience on the road amid COVID-19.
“The Bubble was great. It’s obviously a little tough being isolated, not being able to go outside or do your usual preparation,” Moloney said. “Still, the way Top Rank have set things up and been able to bring boxing back safely has been phenomenal. I’m extremely grateful that I have been able to return to fighting and keep progressing in my career.”
Of testing protocols, Moloney noted, “I was tested six or seven times during my time in Las Vegas (four or five times inside the Bubble).”
Asking whether Jason was fearful of catching COVID-19, he was candid in the precautions that were taken.
“Yes, absolutely,” he admitted. “We had flown to Las Vegas, trained extremely hard and been away from our family for over six weeks. The last thing we would want is to catch COVID-19 and not be able to fight. That’s why we were extremely careful and didn’t expose ourselves to any unnecessary risks. We stayed in our private house before entering the Bubble and only left to train or get some groceries. We were extremely careful with our approach.”
Underdogs have bitten harder behind closed doors than many expected, but Jason was happy with the set-up on ESPN. He also underlined the pressure he felt after watching his twin, Andrew, lose two nights prior.
“It really didn’t feel too strange for me. The atmosphere is obviously different, but I still had goosebumps walking out to the ring,” Jason said. “The venue looks sensational and still gave me that sense of a big stage to perform on. Although there was no crowd, I still had in mind that there was a huge number of eyes watching my fight on television, the biggest viewing audience of my career and I really wanted to put on an impressive performance.
“I did feel that there was added pressure on me to perform, but I can handle pressure well. I felt people doubted both of us and our abilities after Andrew lost, and I wanted to prove that we are the real deal. I used Andrew’s loss as extra motivation for me to make a statement and deliver a great performance.”
A dream fulfilled in headlining at the MGM wasn’t lost on Jason, and he’s thankful for Top Rank facilitating this milestone in his career.
“It was unbelievable! Headlining the MGM was truly a dream come true. That victory is definitely one of the best moments of my life.
“Top Rank and all of the people in the Top Rank team are absolutely amazing. I cannot speak highly enough of them and how well they treated us. They really went above and beyond and made us feel right at home. I’m extremely grateful to be a part of the Top Rank team, and I’m very excited about our future together.”
Future goals for Moloney seem clear. But for now, quarantine rules as per the Australian government apply.
“My goal is to become world champion. I’m ready to take on any of the current champions, and I believe I’ve earned my shot,” he said.
“After landing, I’m currently doing a compulsory 14-day hotel quarantine. I am locked in a hotel room and can not leave at all for 14 days. I’m currently two days in, and it’s torture. I don’t like sitting still, and I generally don’t really watch much television, I like to be active, but this forced rest period may do me good.
“It’s a chance for me to rest and recharge my batteries properly. As soon as I get out of here, I will head home, and I’ll be eager to get back in the gym and ready to work as hard as ever.”