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  Andrew Moloney & Junto Nakatani Set For World Title Showdown On Haney vs. Loma Undercard

A new junior bantamweight champion will be crowned this Saturday as part of the two-fight ESPN-televised prelims to the Haney-Loma PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Australia’s former world champion Andrew Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs) and Japan’s undefeated former WBO flyweight champion Junto Nakatani (24-0, 18 KOs) will collide for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight world championship.

Opening the telecast will be undefeated middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh (8-0, 5 KOs), grandson of Muhammad Ali, in a scheduled eight-rounder against against Ohio-born veteran Danny Rosenberger (13-9-4, 4 KOs).

Moloney-Nakatani and Ali Walsh-Rosenberger will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The night will begin with an ESPN+-streamed undercard (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT) featuring the return of undefeated lightweights Emiliano Fernando Vargas (4-0, 3 KOs) and Abdullah Mason (7-0, 6 KOs). Vargas, son of former world champion Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas, returns in four-rounder against Rafael Jasso (3-0, 1 KO), while Mason, a Cleveland-born southpaw, will see action in a six-round clash versus Desmond Lyons (8-2, 2 KOs).

The undercard also features unbeaten junior featherweight Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (8-0, 3 KOs) in an eight-rounder and middleweight slugger Amari Jones (8-0, 7 KOs) in a six-round tilt.

Haney vs. Lomachenko will stream live on Top Rank on ESPN+ PPV, the event’s exclusive digital distributor in the United States, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Priced at $59.99 across all distributors, it also will be available via cable and satellite pay-per-view providers.

At Thursday's press conference, this is the fighters had to say:

Andrew Moloney


“It’s amazing. This is way better than anything I could ever imagine. To fight here in Las Vegas one week after my brother {Jason} became world champion in Stockton. You couldn’t write a better story. That’s why I’m excited about Saturday. This is destiny. I’m going to become world champion.”

“There’s no doubt that he is a good fighter. He was a world champion. He is undefeated. He has been avoided. But as you’ve seen with me and my brother, we will fight anyone.”

Junto Nakatani

“I’ve been training hard. All that is left is to demonstrate. I want to make a big impression on Las Vegas fans and all over the world. I’m confident that I will be going home with the belt.”

“I was able to spar with many different types of fighters. I sparred about 300 rounds. It was a lot of experience for me.”

“I feel that very confident because Rudy Hernandez [my trainer] is in my corner. I want to show what I’ve learned from him and Daisuke Okabe.”

Nico Ali Walsh


“This is business as usual for my first eight-round fight. I’m prepared for 12 rounds. The rounds don’t matter. l love more rounds because it’s more experience.”

“It’s super special. It’s not just that it will be in Las Vegas. It’s the fact that it’s at the MGM Grand. I’m standing where I used to hang with my family and my grandfather. It brings me so much nostalgia. it makes it more powerful.”

Danny Rosenberger


“I definitely have a lot of experience. I have a lot of fights. I may have nine losses, but don’t judge me by my past. I think my experience will give me an edge. We’ve put the work in and we’re excited to go out there and put a show on.”

Emiliano Fernando Vargas


“This is a truly a blessing. It rarely gets bigger than this, fighting at MGM Grand. This is a learning experience. We learn fight by fight. Having my father with me. Having Jorge Linares there with him, I’m learning a lot, and you will see Saturday night.”

“I’m only 19 years old. It’s going to get scary in a couple years. Then we’re going to get these belts.”

Amari Jones


“It means a lot. it’s another big card for the third {time} in a row. It feels good. Australia was far from home. But we got the job down. Now we’re here in Las Vegas. I moved here a couple years ago. I call it home. A lot of family will come out, and I can’t wait to put on a show for them. I improved a lot in my last fight. He was tough. It brought the best out of me. I like those types of opponents because it brings out the best out of me.”



 

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