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  Naoya Inoue Ready For Las Vegas Debut

Naoya "Monster" Inoue, the Japanese three-weight world champion and pound-for-pound talent, is two days away from his Las Vegas debut. He will defend his WBA/IBF/Ring Magazine bantamweight world titles against Australia's Jason Moloney (ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET), his first bout since his 2019 Fight of the Year victory last November against Nonito Donaire.

For as much noise as Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) makes inside the ring, he is quiet and measured behind the microphone. Inoue and Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) met face-to-face for the first time Thursday at the final press conference, along with the co-main event featuring WBO female junior lightweight world champion Ewa Brodnicka (19-0, 2 KOs) and mandatory challenger Mikaela Mayer (13-0, 5 KOs).

This is what they had to say.

Naoya Inoue

"This past year, my injuries have healed very well. With COVID-19, it's has been tough training, but it has been the same for everyone else. We still have to go out there and perform at a high level. I see him as a high-level, all-around fighter."

"There are a lot of expectations, and I want to meet those expectations. I take those big expectations, and I use them as motivation and power to keep getting better with every fight."

Jason Moloney


"I think that everything happens for a reason, and that loss that I suffered against {Emmanuel} Rodriguez showed me how much I want this. I will not let myself lose again. On Saturday night, nothing will stop me, and I will become the best bantamweight in the world."

"I know I can win this fight. I don't care if some people think that I can't win this fight. I believe, and I know that I can win it."

"He has never faced a fighter as relentless as me. I'm going to take him to places he has never been before."

"I can't wait. There has been a lot of talk about 'The Monster' coming to Las Vegas, but people haven't seen what I can do inside those ropes."
Mikaela Mayer

"I feel great. I feel like I'm deserving. I've been the No. 1 contender for a long time. This fight will put me a step {closer to} my goal."

"I think that she is concerned. She has never been in the ring with someone like me."

"This is a team effort. We have been together for a long time. It started 11 years ago with the Olympic trials. It will mean a lot to me to make {head trainer} Al {Mitchell} proud on Saturday night."
Ewa Brodnicka

"She is the No.1 contender, but I think this fight was going to happen anyway."

"I brought my belt just to show it to you. Look at it. I didn't bring this belt to give it to you. That's not happening. For sure."

"I have a lot of things against me. But I'm ready. I don't care if she says that she doesn't respect me. She makes a lot of mistakes, and I'm going to take advantage of all of them."

SATURDAY'S CARD

ESPN+, Approximately 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

Naoya Inoue vs. Jason Moloney, 12 rounds, Inoue's WBA/IBF/Ring Magazine bantamweight world titles

Ewa Brodnicka vs. Mikaela Mayer, 10 rounds, Brodnicka's WBO female junior lightweight world title

ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT

Robson Conceição vs. Louie Coria, 10 rounds, junior lightweight

Andres Cortes vs. George Acosta, 8 rounds, junior lightweight

Julian Rodriguez vs. Jose "Piston" Lopez, 10 rounds, junior welterweight

Jared Anderson vs. Luis Eduardo Pena, 6 rounds, heavyweight

Andy Hiraoka vs. Rickey Edwards, 8 rounds, junior welterweight



 

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