Joshua Greer Jr. was supposed to spend this week winding down his preparation for a fight against Jason Moloney.
ESPN was scheduled to televise the Greer-Moloney match Saturday night as part of the Naoya Inoue-Johnriel Casimero undercard from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. If Greer and Inoue would’ve won their respective fights, Greer would’ve remained in position to challenge Inoue for his bantamweight titles.
Chicago’s Greer expects the Moloney bout to be rescheduled once the COVID-19 pandemic ends, but the 118-pound contender still has a career-defining fight against Inoue in the back of his mind.
“This year, 2020, I’m looking to shock the world and keep going,” Greer told BoxingScene.com. “I’m in this game for legacy, and that’s definitely a fight I want. First, I’ve gotta take care of Moloney, and then that’s definitely the fight I want after that. We’re both with Top Rank. It shouldn’t be no delay or no wait. That’s the fight we should be going right into afterwards.”
Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. signed Inoue to a co-promotional agreement last fall. The Japanese star’s 118-pound championship unification fight versus the Philippines’ Casimero would’ve represented his Top Rank debut.
Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) holds the IBF and WBA bantamweight championships. Casimero (29-4, 20 KOs) is the WBO champ.
“From the looks of things, it’s a good fight with Casimero,” Greer said. “[Casimero is] an unpredictable, wild guy, very unpredictable. It’s a good matchup. I’m just looking for the winner, either or. I’m gonna take care of my business against Jason Moloney, beat him and I’m looking toward the winner, and I’m ready for either one.”
The 25-year-old Greer (22-1-1, 12 KOs) is the WBO’s number one contender for Casimero’s championship and the IBF’s second-ranked challenger for Inoue’s crown. Australia’s Moloney (20-1, 17 KOs) is ranked second by the WBO and fourth by the IBF.
The 27-year-old Inoue impressed Greer by the way he fought five-division champion Nonito Donaire in Inoue’s last fight.
Inoue defeated Donaire decisively on two scorecards (117-109, 116-111), but Donaire rocked the unbeaten champion with a right hand in the ninth round of a thoroughly entertaining 12-rounder November 7 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The hard-hitting Inoue made Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) take a knee when he landed a left to his body during the 11th round.
Donaire tested Inoue unlike any previous opponent and remained dangerous right up until the final bell. Judge Robert Hoyle scored Inoue a 114-113 winner, which means the 11th-round knockdown was the only thing that prevented Inoue from winning a majority decision in the final of the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight tournament.
“That was a great fight,” Greer said. “[Inoue] showed a lot of heart with Donaire. He showed some boxing skills, also, which people I don’t think really paid attention to or gave him credit for. Even when Donaire started putting pressure on him, started stepping on the gas, Inoue switched from coming forward to fighting on the back foot and boxed him pretty well. So, he did some good things. He’s done what he’s supposed to do up to this point and I’m just looking forward to when that opportunity presents itself.”
Greer didn’t read too much into Inoue getting buzzed by Donaire, either.
“It’s boxing,” Greer said. “Sugar Ray Robinson got buzzed. Muhammad Ali got buzzed. This is boxing. It’s about what you do after you get buzzed that makes a difference. It’s not just about you getting buzzed.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.