Palicte confident of beating Moloney: I feel much stronger fighting at 118
MELBOURNE, Australia — Aston Palicte had no problems at Saturday’s weigh-in, checking in well below the bantamweight limit at 117.06 pounds for their ten-round fight against Jason Moloney at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. , in Australia.
Moloney, from the state of Victoria in Australia, weighed in at 117.61 pounds for the fight, which will be the co-main event of the undisputed lightweight championship fight between George Kambosos Jr. against Devin Haney.
Palicte, a division giant at 5’7″, feels stronger and healthier now that he no longer struggles to hit the super flyweight limit of 115 pounds, like he did all throughout his career.
“I’m not very hungry like when I was at 115 pounds. I feel a lot stronger now that I’m fighting at 118 pounds,” said Palicte (28-4-1, 23 KOs) of Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines.
Palicte knows a win over Moloney (23-2, 18 KOs) will advance his cause for a third world title opportunity. Palicte was unsuccessful in his first two title fights, drawing with Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title in 2018 before being stopped in ten rounds by Kazuto Ioka the following year for the same title.
Palicte has won three straight fights in the Philippines and isn’t daunted by the prospect of fighting in his opponent’s home country, having fought in a dozen countries as one of the Philippines’ top young amateurs, including Cuba, China and Mexico.
He knows the 55,000-seat arena will be heavily partisan in favor of Moloney, but says that only serves to motivate him.
“I love fighting in my opponent’s home country. Because when we eliminate our opponent, it will make me proud,” said Palicte.
Palicte also finds inspiration in his four-year-old son, Diego Liam, whom he hopes to bring back the WBC and WBO International silver bantamweight titles.
Both fighters are 31 and have twice unsuccessfully challenged for world titles. Palicte is two inches taller than the 5-foot-5 Moloney and has a four-and-a-half-inch reach advantage at 69.5 inches.
Palicte reunited for this fight with head coach Nonoy Neri, under whom Palicte was unbeaten through ten fights between 2013 and 2015. He is also joined in Australia by assistant coach Ryan Songalia.
Moloney built his career largely against Filipino opposition, beating all nine Filipino boxers he faced. Palicte aims to end that streak on Sunday.
The referee and three judges are all from Australia, with Ignatius Missailidis getting the referee assignment. The three judges are Andrew Campbell, Brett Manton and Martin O’Malley.