Six weeks ago Andrew Moloney was working as a handyman.
“Didn’t think I was any hope of fighting this year,” he says simply. “And I needed to keep the money coming in”.
Which is Australia’s only boxing world champion, he took a job.
Up to three days each week, this WBA Superflyweight king would arrive at one of the resorts near his Kingscliff home to paint rooms, stain decks and run loads of rubbish to the nearby tip.
Although for said tip runs, Moloney had to borrow a vehicle.
The Aussie slugger’s only option after also selling his car to help fund the boxing dream that, right now, sees him renting a one-bedroom unit with wife Chelsea and baby son Lee.
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Andrew Moloney with son Lee. Picture: Adam HeadSource:News Corp Australia
“But when it comes to getting around,” he laughs, “I’ve still got my pushbike”.
Although not this week.
No, on Wednesday morning (AEST), Moloney is set for one of the greatest transformations of any Australian athlete in 2020 – making his hyped US boxing debut in a world title headliner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas.
Only weeks after doing odd jobs for cash – convinced the coronavirus pandemic had halted his year – this Aussie undefeated in all 21 fights will defend his title for the first time against classy American challenger Joshua Franco (16-1-2).
Australian boxing champ Andrew Moloney. Picture: Mikey WilliamsSource:Supplied
Should Moloney win what is undoubtedly the biggest fight of his career, US promoter Bob Arum has already pledged to keep the 29-year-old Stateside for an even bigger defence before the year is out.
Moloney’s twin brother Jason also fights inside the MGM Grand later this week, with the No.2 ranked bantamweight headlining his own card against Mexican Leonardo Baez (18-2).
Apart from announcing themselves to US fight fans, the twins have also been given the perfect opportunity to grow their profiles in Australia – with both fights set to be shown live on Fox Sports.
“So I have to win,” Andrew says.
“Right now, I don’t have a car. I rent a one-bedroom unit with my wife and son.
“And while I’ve made some big sacrifices, it’s all got me to this point where I now have the opportunity to be in these big fights that are going to set my family up for the future.
“But again, I have to win – and win impressively.”
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Asked about the hype he has received since arriving Stateside, Moloney continued: “The media exposure is like nothing my brother or I have ever had before.
“Still, we need to keep the ball rolling.
“And if we do that’s going to be huge for our careers. Huge for Australian boxing, too.
“People love a winner … and we have to keep winning.”
As revealed by The Daily Telegraph in May, the Moloney twins have been chosen by Top Rank boss Arum to help relaunch the fight game in America following the COVID-19 lockdown.
Apart from flying Australia’s fight brothers halfway around the world, the famed US promoter has also put them up in a sprawling two-storey house complete with a pool, jacuzzi, games room and large grassed yard for training.
Since the weekend however, the pair have shifted to a Top Rank ‘bubble’ inside the MGM Grand. An entire floor of the casino has been set aside for fighters to live, eat and train in the days leading up to their respective fight cards.
Which sure beats staining decks, right?
“Absolutely,” Moloney laughs. “And I’ve never been much of a handyman anyway.”
TALE OF THE TAPE
WBA World Super Flyweight Title
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Wednesday, July 24
TV TIME: Card live on Fox Sports 505 from 9am
Record: 21-0-0 (14KO)
Record: 16-1-2 (8KO)
Originally published asWhy losing will never be an option for Aussie champ
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