Inoue bulldozes Moloney in seven, Mayer claims first title

1283273532.5 - Inoue bulldozes Moloney in seven, Mayer claims first titlePhoto by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

“The Monster’s” Top Rank debut was the mauling we expected.

Naoya Inoue’s return to action was worth the wait. The Japanese dynamo was his customary destructive self tonight, beating down and extremely tough and game Jason Moloney over seven rounds.

Inoue (20-0, 17 KO) immediately took control of the bout with lancing jabs, keeping the infight-happy Moloney (21-2, 18 KO) at bay during the first two rounds. Once the third rolled around, however, he seemed to shift into seek-and-destroy mode; while this gave Moloney opportunities to land the heavy hooks he’s known for, the Aussie simply lacked the power to budge Inoue.

Inoue had no such difficulties. He rattled Moloney with a pump-fake right cross in the fifth, then caught him swinging with a perfect check hook a round later for the fight’s first knockdown.

To his credit, Moloney did an admirable job of moving and holding to survive until the bell. Having found success with the counter, however, Inoue reverted to his jab-heavy pressure in the seventh. His offense ultimately prompted Moloney to load up on a right hand in the last 20 seconds, which Inoue met with a crushing cross that folded Moloney in a manner reminiscent of Ivan Baranchyk’s collapse against Jose Zepeda. Unlike “The Beast,” “Mayhem” remained conscious, but proved unable to rise under his own power. resulting in a TKO finish at 2:59.

The win marked Inoue’s first since last November’s brutal war with Nonito Donaire.

“The Monster” will presumably look to once again set up a unification clash with WBO champion John Riel Casimero. The two were slated to meet in April before COVID intervened, and when rescheduling proved infeasible, Casimero stayed busy with a knockout of then-unbeaten Duke Micah. That one should be every bit the barnburner this one was.

@MikaelaMayer1 is wasting NO time. ➡️

Out to unify right away, @TerriHarper96 got the call-out before Mayer even got the WBO belt in her hands. #InoueMoloney | LIVE NOW on ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/KplR8Snzn0

— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) November 1, 2020

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