The undercard for Devin Haney’s October 15th rematch with George Kambosos Jr is starting to come together, as Top Rank announced yesterday evening that Jason and Andrew Moloney are set for meaningful matchups on the ESPN+ undercard.
Jason (24-2, 19 KO), who’s picked up solid wins over Joshua Greer Jr and Aston Palicte since falling to Naoya Inoue in his second world title bid, faces Nawaphon Kaikanha (56-6-1, 46 KO) in a WBC final eliminator. Kaikanha’s record is, well, extremely Thai; outside of knockout wins over faded countrymen Amnat Ruenroeng and Sonny Boy Jaro, his biggest fight to date was a three-round knockout loss to Juan Hernandez Navarrete in 2017.
The winner would ordinarily get a crack at Inoue, but since “The Monster’s” almost guaranteed to vacate and move to 122 if he beats Paul Butler, odds are that said winner will fight for the vacant belt, potentially against Naoya’s brother Takuma since he sits right behind them in the rankings.
“This fight is one final steps towards me achieving my dream and becoming world champion,” Jason Moloney said. “Nawaphon Kaikanha is a very experienced and capable opponent who has had 58 professional fights and only one defeat. To have this fight in Melbourne, at Rod Laver Arena, in front of all my family and friends, is amazing and gives me even more motivation. Thank you to my manager, Tony Tolj, Top Rank, and everyone involved for making this fight happen. I will grab this opportunity with both hands and earn my shot at becoming the WBC world champion.”
Since his 0-2 (1 NC) trilogy with Andrew Franco, Andrew (24-2, 16 KO) has been making noise about challenging Kazuto Ioka for the WBO belt, and a win over Jimenez (31-9-6, 16 KO) would go a long way towards making that happen. “Meneito” is 29-1-5 since a disastrous pro start and isn’t far removed from a hugely controversial draw against Donnie Nietes in which Jimenez was taking over down the stretch before being told, apparently in contradiction to earlier word, that they were fighting for 10 rounds instead of 12.
“I’m hoping that an impressive win over Jimenez earns me a shot at one of the world champions next,” Andrew Moloney said. “This is exactly the type of fight I’ve been wanting, to show the improvements I have made and that I am ready to become world champion again. I’m coming to put on the best performance of my career.”
Olympic bronze medalist David Nyika (4-0, 3 KO), Hemi Ahio (19-0, 14 KO), and Amari Jones will be in action as well.