GLENDALE, Arizona – All eyes are on the third act of one of the sport’s best trilogies in recent history.

Former secondary WBA junior bantamweight titlist Andrew Moloney will tune in from afar, as he is in prime position to challenge the winner of the Juan Francisco Estrada-Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez rubber match. The pair of little big men will collide for a third time Saturday evening at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona (DAZN, 8:00 p.m. ET), with Estrada’s lineal 115-pound championship and the vacant WBC title at stake.

A November 9 ruling by WBC Board of Governors during the ratings portion of its annual convention revealed that Saturday’s winner will be afforded a voluntary title defense while the next mandatory is determined. That’s where Australia’s Moloney enters the picture, as he was approved to enter talks with Mexico’s Pedro Guevara Pedro Guevara in a final eliminator, where a win would allow him to challenge Saturday’s victor at some point in 2023.

“The WBC has mandated that I fight in an eliminator against Pedro Guevara to earn my shot at the winner so that is what I am focusing on at the moment,” Moloney told “Meanwhile, I’m really looking forward to this fight. I have a feeling this fight will be the best of the three and that’s a big ask.

“It would be an absolute honor to face either of these two legends and I will be doing everything I can to position myself to face the winner in 2023.”

Moloney (25-2, 16KOs) has won his last four bouts since his own trilogy with Joshua Franco, going 0-2 with one No Contest in their odd series that saw the end of his secondary WBA title reign. The 31-year-old from Kingscliff, New South Wales has since advanced in the rankings of both the WBC and WBO, his positioning strengthened by a convincing unanimous decision victory over Dominican Republic’s Norbelto Jimenez on October 16 in Melbourne.

One discussed route was possibly landing a fight with four-division and reigning WBO junior bantamweight titlist Kazuto Ioka (29-2, 15KOs) on New Year’s Eve.

Moloney and his team—including manager Tony Tolj and representatives from Top Rank—attended the WBO convention with the intention of lobbying for the fight. The sanctioning body revealed its blessing for a previously agreed-upon Ioka-Franco WBO/WBA unification bout, with the winner mandated to next face former WBO flyweight titlist Junto Nakatani who is now the 115-pound mandatory contender for the Puerto Rico-based sanctioning body.

Better news was received by Team Moloney two weeks later during the WBC convention, where a Moloney-Guevara final eliminator was ordered along with Estrada-Gonzalez 3 being approved to come with the vacant title at stake.

Nicaragua’s Gonzalez (51-3, 41KOs) beat Estrada via unanimous decision in a terrific November 2012 WBA junior flyweight title fight, his final defense before both moved up to flyweight and beyond. Mexico’s Estrada (43-3, 28KOs) gained revenge more than eight years later, albeit in a disputed, split decision win over Gonzalez in their equally memorable rematch to unify the WBA/WBC 115-pound titles last March 13 in Dallas.

“I felt that Chocolatito won the second fight and was unlucky to not get the decision,” noted Moloney in a sentiment shared by many observers. “I think Chocolatito will be the hungrier of the two in this fight and will feel he has a point to prove after losing their last fight.

“I think this will make for a more convincing win for Choc and I expect him to win a decision. It would be an honor to face either of these two legends, though.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox