Janibek Alimkhanuly’s May 13th title defense against Steven Butler may be a dumpster fire, but the co-feature sure isn’t. Jake Donovan reports and GMA News confirms that Jason Moloney will face Vincent Astrolabio for the vacant WBO bantamweight title on the Stockton, CA show.
Moloney (25-2, 19 KO) has twice fallen short in bids for gold, losing a highly competitive decision to Emmanuel Rodriguez in the 2018 WBSS and suffering a 2020 knockout loss to Naoya Inoue. He’s currently on a solid four-fight winning streak that’s notably seen him beat Joshua Greer Jr, Aston Palicte, and most recently Nawaphon Kaikanha on the Haney-Kambosos 2 undercard.
The Philippines’ Astrolabio (18-3, 13 KO) is on a hot streak of his own following a 2-3 skid, winning six straight and five of those inside the distance. 2022 proved a true breakout year for him, as he upset Guillermo Rigondeaux in February before beating the tar out of Nikolai Potapov in an IBF eliminator.
This is easily the best fight yet revealed for that weekend, which also features Alberto Puello vs. Rolly Romero and KSI vs. Joe Fournier. It’s good to see the bantamweight division staying hot after Inoue’s exit.
The current belt status:
- Moloney vs. Astrolabio for the WBO.
- Emmanuel Rodriguez vs. Melvin Lopez for the IBF.
- Nonito Donaire vs. Alexandro Santiago for the WBC.
- Takuma Inoue vs. Liborio Solis for the WBA.