MANILA, Philippines – Vincent Astrolabio aims to become the next Filipino world champion when he tangles with Australian Jason Moloney for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight crown on Saturday, May 13 (Sunday, May 14, Philippine time) at the Stockton Arena in California.
The hard-hitter from General Santos City is determined to knock out Moloney, who’s making his third and probably last bid for the world title, in the 12-rounder.
Both Astrolabio and Moloney came in light at 117.2 pounds during the official weigh-in on Friday, proof that they’ve done the work and are thoroughly prepared for battle.
To add some spice to the weigh-in, Astrolabio brought a baby kangaroo stuffed toy, saying he likens Moloney to Australia’s famed marsupial.
According to Astrolabio, he will focus his attack on Moloney’s body before shifting to the head, which was what Naoya Inoue did when he stopped the Australian in their title clash in October 2020.
Moloney also lost by split decision to Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez in his world title attempt in October 2018.
Nonoy Neri, one of Manny Pacquiao’s former trainers and now Astrolabio’s head trainer, believes his ward has the power and the confidence to knock out Moloney in the same manner that he did to Nikolai Potapov last November.
According to Neri, Moloney is easy to counter, not that durable, and would be vulnerable to Astrolabio’s jabs.
Although Moloney and Astrolabio are both nearly 5-foot-5, the Australian holds a 2-inch reach advantage.
The 32-year-old Moloney holds a 25-2 record with 19 knockouts, while Astrolabio, 27, is 18-3 with 13 knockouts.
The current Filipino world champions are Melvin Jerusalem (WBO mini flyweight) and Marlon Tapales (WBA, IBF super flyweight titlist). Dave Apolinario is the reigning IBO flyweight champion. – Rappler.com
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