January 13: Jason Moloney To Defend WBO Bantamweight Crown Against Saul Sanchez At Quebec City’s Videotron Centre On The Artur Beterbiev-Callum Smith Undercard!
(November 2nd) The bantamweight king from Down Under is ready to bring a little mayhem up north. Jason “Mayhem” Moloney will defend his WBO world title against Mexican-American challenger Saul Sanchez on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
Moloney-Sanchez will stream LIVE & exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ before the ESPN-televised doubleheader (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) featuring Artur Beterbiev’s WBC/IBF/WBO light heavyweight title defense against Callum “Mundo” Smith and undefeated super middleweight knockout artist Christian Mbilli against Rohan Murdock.
Moloney (26-2, 19 KOs), from Melbourne, Australia, traveled the long road to world title honors. In October 2018, he dropped a split decision to Emmanuel Rodriguez for the IBF bantamweight world title. Two years later, he fell to Naoya Inoue in seven rounds in a bid for the WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine titles. The former amateur standout stayed the course, reeling off victories over contenders Joshua Greer Jr. and Aston Palicte to position himself for a third crack at the brass ring. In May, he bested Filipino puncher Vincent Astrolabio by majority decision to claim his WBO title.
“Saul is coming off an impressive win against an undefeated opponent in Japan, and I’m sure he will be hungry to fight for a world title, but this is my era, the era of ‘Mayhem,’” Moloney said. “I achieved my dream of becoming world champion, but 2024 is the year I prove I’m the best bantamweight in the world. I want a very active year, and I plan to take out all the other champions. My mission is to become the undisputed champion, but first things first, an impressive knockout victory over Saul Sanchez. Canada, get ready for Mayhem!”
Los Angeles native Sanchez (20-2, 12 KOs) enters his first world title challenge riding a wave of momentum. After dropping a split decision to Eros Correa last June, Sanchez returned a year later to knock down Mexican puncher Franklin Gonzalez four times en route to a sixth-round stoppage victory. Sanchez rode that momentum to an October assignment against Filipino southpaw RV Deniega in Japan, where he won an eight-round unanimous decision.
Sanchez said, “I am excited about this opportunity. I am going to come in the best shape I have ever been in to get the victory and become the new world champion. I want to thank my manager Nomaan Ali at GOAT Management for securing and presenting this opportunity. I have won back-to-back fights, and I will be ready for this fight.”
Super middleweight destroyer Christian Mbilli will defend his WBC Continental Americas and WBA International super middleweight titles against Australian contender Rohan Murdock on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. Mbilli-Murdock will serve as the co-feature to Artur Beterbiev's WBO/WBC/IBF light heavyweight world title defense against former world champion Callum Smith.
Promoted by Eye of the Tiger and Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing, tickets are on sale now via www.ticketmaster.ca.
Images of Mbilli's most recent performances against Nadjib Mohammedi, Carlos Gongora and Demond Nicholson have circulated around the world, positioning him as the #1 contender in the WBC, #2 in the WBA, and #3 in the IBF. Although these performances should open more doors for him in the super middleweight division, Mbilli (25-0, 21 KOs) faces the congestion created by undisputed world champion Canelo Alvarez.
Mbilli said, "Rohan Murdock is a quality opponent with a completely different style from my recent opponents. It will also be an opportunity to gain new fans before my crowning as a world champion. I look forward to starting training camp and can't wait to be in Quebec on January 13 to wow the crowd!"
Murdock (27-2, 19 KOs) has won three straight bouts since a TKO defeat to Zach Parker, most recently edging Isaac Hardman by split decision in March to win the IBF Australasian super middleweight belt.
Murdock said, "I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to the challenge. I have been in enemy territory before and learned my lessons. I know what it takes to win at this level, and on January 13, I will emerge victorious."
With his date to defend his WBC/WBO/IBF Light Heavyweight Champion, Artur Beterbiev after recently postponing the Aug. 19 title defense against former world champion Callum Smith, due dental surgery is on steady ground Saturday, Jan. 13 at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
“It’s a few months later than originally planned, but I am thrilled that Artur Beterbiev will have a chance to defend his titles in front of the incredible Quebec City fans,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Artur has a clean bill of health, and I know Callum, a supremely talented former champion, will be at his best on January 13th.”
“I’m very pleased that the camps came to an agreement quickly, so we can go ahead with this light heavyweight championship super fight,” said Eye of the Tiger president Camille Estephan. “It’s going to heat up this January in Quebec City.”
Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs), boxing’s only current world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio, has made seven title defenses since capturing the IBF strap in November 2017. He is coming off January’s stirring eighth-round TKO over Anthony Yarde in Yarde’s hometown of London. Smith (29-1, 21 KOs), from Liverpool, England, is the former Ring Magazine and WBA super middleweight world champion. He has won two fights since moving up to light heavyweight following a decision defeat to Canelo Alvarez in December 2020.
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