Many of Australia’s top wrestling talents will bask in the Down Under spotlight as the highly anticipated rematch between undisputed lightweight world champion Devin “The Dream” Haney and former champion “Ferocious” George Kambosos Jr. on Saturday 15th. October (Sunday afternoon, October 1). 4 p.m. local time) at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
In the co-feature, two-time world title challenger Jason “Mayhem” Moloney takes on Thai veteran Nawaphon Kaikanha in a 12-round final eliminator for the WBC Bantamweight World Title.
Former world champion Andrew Moloney, twin brother of Jason, fights Dominican contender Norbelto Jimenez in a 10-round bout for the vacant WBO International junior bantamweight title. The Moloney Brothers grew up in Mitcham, a suburb of Melbourne, and will have home court advantage.
Haney-Kambosos 2 will air live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10:30 pm ET/7:30 pm PT. The fights on the undercard will be broadcast live and exclusively on ESPN+.
Jason Moloney (24-2, 19 KOs) fell short in both of his bantamweight title shots, dropping a split decision to Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2018 and succumbing via seventh-round knockout to Naoya Inoue in 2020. Inoue’s reverse, he has won three in a row, including an impressive third-round knockout of Aston Palicte on the Kambosos-Haney 1 undercard in June. Kaikanha (56-1-1, 46 KOs) has won 20 straight fights since a 2017 TKO loss to Juan Hernandez Navarrete for the vacant WBC flyweight world title. He has been campaigning at bantamweight for more than three years, winning 12 in a row by knockout. Kaikanha has never fought outside of Thailand and will make the nine-hour flight to fight Moloney in hostile territory.
“This fight is a final step in achieving my dream and becoming a world champion,” said Jason Moloney. “Nawaphon Kaikanha is a very experienced and capable opponent who has had 58 professional fights and only one loss. To have this fight in Melbourne, at the Rod Laver Arena, in front of all my family and friends, is incredible and motivates me even more. Thank you to my manager, Tony Tolj, Top Rank and everyone involved for making this fight possible. I will seize this opportunity with both hands and earn my chance to become the WBC world champion.”
Andrew Moloney (24-2, 16 KOs) briefly held the WBA 115-pound world title until Joshua Franco dethroned him in June 2020, but three fights against the American standout introduced him to an international audience. Moloney has been active since a decision loss to Franco last August, going 3-0 and moving up the junior bantamweight rankings. Like his brother, Andrew Moloney made the most of his return home in the Kambosos-Haney 1 bill. He shattered the right eye of Alexander Espinoza, who retired on his bench after the second round. Jimenez (31-9-6, 16 KOs) is a two-time world title challenger who is undefeated in four fights, a streak that includes a spirited draw last December against four-weight world champion Donnie Nietes. He has authored a remarkable turnaround in his career, as he started his career 2-8-1. Since that low water mark, Jimenez is 29-1-5 in the last 11 years or more.
“I hope that an impressive win over Jimenez will earn me the opportunity to be one of the next world champions,” said Andrew Moloney. “This is exactly the kind of fight I have been waiting for, to show the improvements I have made and that I am ready to be a world champion again. I’m here to give the best performance of my career.”
The card also features two of New Zealand’s world-class boxing prospects, Olympic bronze medalist David Nyika (4-0, 3 KOs) and heavyweight puncher Hemi Ahio (19-0, 14 KOs), who return to Melbourne after appearing in Kambosos. -Haney Preliminary Card 1. Nyika, who is campaigning at cruiserweight, is scheduled to fight six rounds. Ahio is looking for his sixth consecutive knockout in eight rounds.
Devin Haney Promotions-promoted prospect Amari Jones (7-0, 7 KOs) is set to go for knockout number eight in a six-round junior middleweight bout.