Naoya Inoue knocks out Moloney on Saturday night

The Monster came to Las Vegas. He conquered. Naoya “Monster” Inoue, the pound-for-pound talent from Japan, defended his WBA/IBF/Ring Magazine bantamweight world titles Saturday with a seventh-round knockout over Australian contender Jason “Mayhem” Moloney.

Inoue (20-0, 17 KOs) improved to 15-0 in world title bouts, and at 27 years old, the three-division world champion is approaching his physical prime. Moloney (21-2, 18 KOs), who previously challenged for a world title in 2018, saw his four-bout winning streak come to an end.

Inoue said, “The final punch, the finishing punch, I’m very happy and satisfied with that punch.

“Moloney has a great defense, and it was very difficult to get through. The two punches you mentioned are something we really practiced in Japan a lot, and I was able to perform well and use it, and I’m very happy with that.”

Added Bob Arum, Top Rank Chairman: “The Monster is a special fighter. I haven’t seen a young fighter like that in a long time. And credit to Jason Moloney for fighting like a warrior. He gave it his absolute best.”

Mayer Claims World Title

Mikaela Mayer called for a world title bout for quite some time. When that time came, she took advantage of the opportunity. Mayer defeated Ewa Brodnicka by unanimous decision (100-88 2x and 99-89 ) to win the WBO female junior lightweight world title, a dominant outing for the 2016 Olympian.

Brodnicka (19-1, 2 KOs) lost her world title on the scale Friday after missing weight by .1 pounds, an unfortunate end to a title reign that included five successful defenses. The scores were indicative of the bout’s one-sidedness, and Brodnicka had insult added to injury when she was deducted points for holding in the sixth and seventh rounds. Mayer (14-0, 5 KOs), a Los Angeles native, has other big names on her radar.

Mayer said, “Like {head trainer} Coach Al {Mitchell} said, her holding and her movement was a little tricky for me to catch on to. I still feel like I did win every round. There were definitely some things I could’ve done a little bit better, but ultimately it was a good learning fight.

“I definitely want to unify this division. I don’t want to wait around. I don’t want to take a couple of years to do it. I want to do it right away. So, {WBC champion} Terri Harper told me to get a belt. Eddie Hearn told me to get a belt. I have the WBO belt now, so let’s make that fight happen. I want Terri Harper next.”

In undercard bouts:

Robson Conceicao (15-0, 7 KOs) UD 10 Louie Coria (12-4, 7 KOs). Scores: 95-92 2x and 94-93. Conceicao, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, remained unbeaten with a gut check victory over the Robert Garcia-trained Coria. Conceicao was knocked down in the second round and had two points deducted for low blows, but won the last three rounds on two of the judges’ cards to prevail. Coria lost a majority decision to Adam Lopez inside The Bubble on June 11, and once again, fell just short on the cards.

Julian Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs) TKO 3 Jose “Piston” Lopez (29-8-2, 15 KOs), 2:10. “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez dropped the hammer multiple times, knocking down Lopez four times before a body shot ended things for good in the third round. Lopez, a 10-year pro, entered the bout having not been stopped since 2016.

Jared Anderson (7-0, 7 KOs) TKO 1 Luis Eduardo Pena (6-2, 6 KOs), 2:46. “The Real Big Baby” notched the fifth first-round stoppage of his young career, as he pinned Pena to the ropes and unloaded until referee Mike Ortega stepped in near the end of the round. The 20-year-old Anderson, from Toledo, Ohio, is now 4-0 inside The Bubble.

Andy Hiraoka (16-0, 11 KOs) TKO 4 Rickey Edwards (12-5, 3 KOs). Hiraoka, a stalemate of Inoue’s, made his second Las Vegas fight a memorable one, as he knocked down Edwards three times en route to the stoppage.

Photot: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Inoue: ‘There are a lot of expectations, and I want to meet those expectations’

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.

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.”

Photo: Top Rank Boxing/Mikey Williams