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Naoya Inoue vs Jason Moloney signed, planned for November

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The fight could be part of a double bill alongside Joshua Franco vs Andrew Moloney II

Naoya Inoue v Nonito Donaire - WBSS Bantamweight Final Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images

Top Rank’s “steady stream of major fights” is looking good.

Bob Arum tells ABC Grandstand that the previously discussed title fight between Naoya Inoue and Jason Moloney is “signed.” Top Rank hopes to stage the bout in November alongside Andrew Moloney’s rematch with Joshua Franco, which would be a terrific doubleheader.

Inoue (19-0, 16 KO), out of action since a grueling war with Nonito Donaire in the WBSS finals, had intended to face John Riel Casimero in a three-belt unification this past April, only for the coronavirus to interfere. With that matchup currently off the table, Casimero will instead face unbeaten Duke Micah on September 26th while Inoue takes on Moloney (21-1, 18 KO), who’s a top-five contender for both of Inoue’s belts.

Not that there’s much to complain about besides the lack of unification. Next to the heretofore unstoppable “Monster,” Moloney is as game and powerful as they come, and even his lone defeat saw him push Emmanuel Rodriguez to the limit. The only way this doesn’t end up an absolute slugfest for the ages is if one of them flattens the other right off the bat. Even if it’s not what we were expecting, I approve this bounty of bantamweight violence.