TOKYO — Australian WBO bantamweight world champion Jason “Mayhem” Moloney may have to change his nickname to “The Road Warrior”. 

Moloney (27-2, 19 KOs) will defend his strap against Japanese former kickboxing world champion Yoshiki Takei (8-0, 8 KOs) on Monday, May 6 at the world-famous Tokyo Dome.

Since losing to Naoya Inoue in October 2020, Moloney has won six straight bouts, a run that began with a convincing decision over Joshua Greer Jr. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He then turned away Francisco Pedroza in Costa Mesa, California, before returning home to Australia and dominating Aston Palicte and Navapon Khaikanha. 

Moloney punched his passport again, outboxing Vincent Astrolabio last May in Stockton, California, to win the WBO bantamweight world title. He made his inaugural world title defense in January in Quebec City, Canada, edging American Saul Sanchez by majority decision in a Fight of The Year contender.

Moloney now takes his roadshow to Tokyo against a unique southpaw riddle in Takei. Days away from his Japanese debut, Moloney said: “I’m excited to be here and to be able to fight, especially on this, the biggest event in Japanese boxing history at the Tokyo Dome. This is a very exciting opportunity and one that I’ve trained extremely hard for to make it a very successful and memorable night in my life. And I’m very excited to be here, but I’m here for one job and that’s to defend my title and win this fight.

“I’m expecting a hard fight, but I’ve put in the hard work to make sure I’m victorious.”

Moloney understands that Takei will likely give him a different look given his experience from another sport, but the Australian star says he has covered all bases in the lead up to the fight, and he hopes a win over Takei will bring him closer to unification fights.

“His distance is different coming from a kickboxing background, so we prepared very hard for his unique style,” added Moloney. “He’s had eight fights and eight knockouts, and this is a big step up for him. It’s obvious his team has a lot of belief in his ability.

“I need to put on a great performance, win this fight, and then I’m ready to unify with any of the other bantamweight champions. I want the big fights, and I have to beat Takei to make them happen.”

Moloney-Takei is the co-feature to the super fight between undisputed junior featherweight king Naoya Inoue and Mexican puncher Luis “Pantera” Nery. Inoue-Nery, Moloney-Takei and two additional world title fights will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ starting at 4 a.m. ET/ 1 a.m. PT.