Moloney sees chance for Japanese boxing takeover

Jason Moloney is big in Japan.

So big that the Australian, albeit typically politely, thinks he may even be the crowd favourite when he fights one of the country's own on a historic Tokyo card next month.

The WBO bantamweight world champion (27-2) will make his second defence of the belt against Yoshiki Takei (8-0) on May 6 in the Tokyo Dome.

It will be the Victorian product's first fight in the country, and it will come in grand fashion.

A full house of 55,000 is expected for what will be the first boxing event at the indoor baseball stadium since Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglas in 1990.

Moloney already has a huge following in Japan, attracting large media interest on previous training camp visits and winning the affection of fans during a 10-year professional career where nothing has come easy.

"It's surprised me ... I don't know if Takei is very well liked in Japan, but I'm getting a fair bit of support," the 33-year-old told AAP.

"It seems like quite a few Japanese want me to win.

"Maybe they don't think he's worthy possibly, after eight boxing fights.

"If I can notch an impressive win here I'll have plenty more fans. Who knows, I might be fighting out of Japan a bit more often."

Moloney's most recent loss came four years ago against Japan's Naoya Inoue, currently No.2 on The Ring's pound-for-pound rankings.

Japan's Naoya Inoue
Moloney's most recent defeat came four years ago against Japan's Naoya Inoue (pictured).

Nicknamed The Monster, the unbeaten Inoue has moved up to super bantamweight and will put all four belts on the line in the Tokyo headline act against Mexico's Luis Nery.

"I think they like the humble champions over there," Moloney said of the thriving Japanese boxing scene.

"They all seem to like my fighting spirit against Inoue and how I dealt with the loss. 

"No excuses; I showed respect and bounced back and improved and became a champion.

"They liked those characteristics and mentioned that they loved the fact I showed that I learned from the fight.

"Where guys like Stephen Fulton (who lost to Inoue last year) disappear and go off spending the money and aren't humble in defeat."

There are two other world title fights on the card, with gate takings to exceed $30 million and put the event on par with any Las Vegas blockbuster.

"They seem to respect the lighter weights in Japan, and Inoue has helped that," Moloney said of what will be a career payday. 

"Soon it could, in bantamweight, be me and three Japanese fellas with the titles.

"If I can establish myself with some good support, it's pretty exciting.

"It can all pay off, but I need to stay focused. 

"Twenty years of training and I'm in the position now where I can walk away having set up my family, which not many can say they have done." 

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