Andrew Moloney will receive a long overdue hometown showcase.

The former secondary WBA junior bantamweight titlist will return to the ring December 9, Tony Tolj—Moloney’s career long manager—told Moloney will face Philippines Froilan Saludar in the main event of the first of two boxing shows playing on back-to-back evenings at Newcastle (Australia) Entertainment Centre.

The fight will mark the first for Moloney (21-2, 14KOs) since his trilogy with Joshua Franco—in which he went 0-2 with one No-Decision in suffering his lone two career defeats and the end of his title reign. On a far more positive note, the event represents his first on home soil since the pandemic.

“I am extremely excited to be fighting in Australia for the first time in over two years,” Moloney told “I’m also very happy that I will be back in the ring again so soon.”

A press conference is expected Monday, November 8 to formally announce Moloney-Saludar along with the trailing December 10 show. The latter is topped by a heavyweight grudge match between Paul Gallen (11-1-1, 6KOs) and Josh Aloiai, a former National Rugby League star who will make his pro boxing debut in a bout scheduled for eight two-minute rounds.

Moloney has not fought in Australia since November 2019, when he scored an eighth-round stoppage of Elton Dharry to claim an interim version of the WBA junior bantamweight title. The event was shared by his twin brother and current bantamweight contender Jason Moloney (22-2, 18KOs), who has yet to fight in Australia since that night.

The title win by Andrew Moloney came with an upgrade to WBA “World” title status a few months later, though losing the belt in his first defense—a heartbreaking 12-round loss to Joshua Franco last June at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Moloney suffered his first knockdown and his first defeat, all coming in his U.S. debut.

The rematch less than five months later at the same venue left Moloney of the belief he had regained the belt via stoppage when Franco was unable to come out prior to the start of round three due to a swollen shut right eye. Moloney’s team was adamant in the sequence occurring as the result of a punch, only for referee Russell Mora to rule an accidental headbutt as the cause, rendering the fight a No-Decision.

The trilogy bout came nine months later, this time with Franco scoring a repeat decision win to retain his title. The good news for Moloney is that he’s not left to sit on the loss for very long. He returns home to Australia, which previously housed all but one career bout prior to his trilogy with Franco.

Saludar (32-4-1, 22KOs) travels to Australia for the first time in his 12-year career, with the fight marking his seventh overall outside of the Philippines. The 32-year-old former title contender is 2-4 on the road, including a second-round stoppage to current title contender McWilliams Arroyo and a July 2018 sixth-round stoppage at the hands of then WBO flyweight titlist Sho Kimura in Qingdao, China. He is 4-1 since his lone career title fight, including an eight-round shutout win in his most recent start this past March in General Santos City, Philippines.

A regional title is at stake for the bout, one which Moloney hopes to parlay into another major title run.

“I look forward to putting on a great performance, having my hand raised and starting my journey back to becoming world champion again,” stated Moloney.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox