D4G Promotions continues to make the rounds this week.
On the heels of announcing an intriguing show to take place in November, the Dubai-based promotional outfit secured the rights to the IBF-ordered bantamweight title elimination bout between Lee McGregor and Jason Moloney. D4G Promotions was the lone bidder, submitting $201,100 during a purse bid hearing conducted Tuesday from IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey.
Per sanctioning body rules, McGregor—who is represented by MTK Global—is entitled to the favorable end of a 60/40 split of the winning bid as the higher ranked challenger. McGregor is currently ranked number-three in the IBF bantamweight rankings, while Australia’s Moloney (22-2, 18KOs) is number-four. In between the two, former titlist Paul Butler is already committed to a mandatory title shot versus reigning WBO bantamweight titlist John Riel Casimero.
The title eliminator will determine the next mandatory challenger for Japan’s Naoya Inoue, the reigning IBF/WBA bantamweight titlist who is due a voluntary title defense for his next fight. Inoue and Moloney are both promoted by Top Rank, having met last Halloween in Las Vegas where Inoue scored a one-sided seventh-round stoppage in one of his finer performances in an already stellar career.
D4G Promotions will have fifteen (15) days to provide the IBF with signed contracts along with a confirmed date and location for the fight, which must take place within the next 90 days.
Moloney rebounded from the knockout loss to Inoue with a strong win in his most recent start. The two-time title challenger from Australia outboxed Joshua Greer over ten rounds this past August in Tulsa, Oklahoma to position himself for another crack at a bantamweight title.
Prior to losing to Inoue, Moloney had won four in a row—all inside the distance. The streak followed a heartbreaking twelve-round, split decision defeat to then-unbeaten IBF bantamweight titlist Emmanuel Rodriguez in October 2018, the lone time in his career where Moloney has fought past the tenth round. It was also his U.S. debut, having since fought stateside in each of his last three fights after a trio of knockouts in his Australia homeland.
McGregor (11-0, 9KOs) has quickly surged to title contention in less than four years as a pro. The 24-year-old from Edinburgh, Scotland has scored three straight knockouts, including his climbing off the canvas to drop and stop unbeaten Vincent Legrand in the fourth round of their EBU bantamweight title fight this past August in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Despite his reputation as a finisher, the most significant win to date for McGregor is his only fight to go the full twelve-round distance—a split decision over Kash Farooq in their November 2019 battle of undefeated bantamweights. Interestingly, McGregor was previously aligned with a rematch versus Farooq as confirmed September 24 by the British Boxing Board of Control who ordered the regional title fight.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox