Former WBSS entrant Jason ‘Mayhem’ Moloney reveals the story behind his new moniker before facing Muhammad Ali Trophy winner ‘Monster’ Naoya Inoue for the unified bantamweight title in Las Vegas on 31st October.
Moloney is originally known as the ‘Smooth One’, but a new and more intimidating nickname has been connected to the fierce and ambitious competitor from Australia.
“Some people still call me the Smooth One and know some people call me Mayhem. I really don’t mind what I’m called but it all started with my daughter Isla,” says 29-year-old Moloney.
“I got home and the house was a bit of a mess and I asked my fiancée Jorja how her day was. She said, “Isla had been going Mayhem”.
“I thought that was funny and started calling my daughter Isla ‘Mayhem’ Moloney. It really rolls off the tongue and sounded like a good fight name.
“When I mentioned the story to my manager Tony, he loved it. We both thought this works well, we aren’t going to America to play games, we are coming over here to cause Mayhem and takeover the bantamweight division. From then on the name has stuck.”
Moloney and Inoue both left their clear mark on the bantamweight edition of Season II of the World Boxing Super Series.
Inoue went all the way to take home the Muhammad Ali Trophy, and Moloney lost his WBSS quarter-final to Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodriguez after an epic back-and-forth battle, the scores were 115-113 for Moloney and two times 115-113 for Rodriguez.
“To lose a split decision by just one round was heartbreaking but I believed I showed that I belong at the top of the division. I learned a lot from this fight,” says Moloney who rose from defeat to accumulate four consecutive victories, all by knockout.
Moloney’s impressive winning streak paved the way for a clash with the Japanese ‘Monster’, one of the sport’s most devastating punchers, the WBA & IBF titlist at 118 pounds.
Inoue-Moloney is the first encounter between to former WBSS-participants.
“This will be an incredible fight which will be talked about for a long, long time and will take a very special place in Australian boxing history,” says Moloney.
“Two guys fighting fire with fire and putting it all on the line to see who is the best. This is the type of fight which really excites me and I cannot wait to get in there and show everyone what I am capable of.”
Moloney fought in June at The Bubble within the MGM resort, Inoue’s latest fight was in November 2019, the WBSS final against Nonito Donaire, a slugfest known as the ‘Drama in Saitama’ – the consensus Fight of the Year 2019.
“That was an amazing fight! A great win for Inoue but Donaire did have his moments and was able to show some of Inoue’s vulnerabilities. Inoue is a great fighter but he is human and like all fighters, he does have weaknesses and he can be hurt.
“I believe I have what it takes to beat Inoue and this is my opportunity to prove it.”
Pound-for-pound star Inoue tells he has had time to fully recover from an optical injury dealt by Donaire and feels in perfect condition to face Moloney.
“He’s tough and has stamina. I think he’s a highly-skilled,” says 27-year-old Inoue about his opponent.
“It’s been eight years since I made my professional debut, and I think it’s eight years from now to the end of my career. So this is the start of the second chapter departing from Las Vegas, and I will show a good performance that will excite the people watching.”