MELBOURNE, Australia — Aston Palicte had no issues at Saturday’s weigh-in, checking in well under the bantamweight limit at 117.06 pounds for his ten round bout against Jason Moloney at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
Moloney, a native of Victoria state in Australia, weighed in at 117.61 pounds for the bout, which will be the co-main event for the undisputed lightweight championship bout between George Kambosos Jr. vs. Devin Haney.
Palicte, a giant in the division at 5’7”, is feeling stronger and healthier now that he isn’t struggling to make the super flyweight limit of 115 pounds, as he had throughout his career.
“I’m not super hungry like when I was at 115 pounds. I feel much stronger now that I’m fighting at 118 pounds,” said Palicte (28-4-1, 23 knockouts) of Bago City, Negros Occidental, Philippines.
Palicte knows that a win over Moloney (23-2, 18 KOs) will advance his cause for a third world title opportunity. Palicte fell short 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 bouts in the Philippines, and isn’t intimidated by the prospect of fighting in his opponent’s home country, having fought in roughly a dozen countries as one of the Philippines’ top youth 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 knock out 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 silver and WBO International bantamweight titles to.
Both fighters are 31 years old and have twice challenged unsuccessfully for world titles. Palicte is two inches taller than the 5’5” Moloney, and has a four-and-a-half inch reach advantage at 69.5 inches.
Palicte reunited for this fight with head trainer Nonoy Neri, under whom Palicte was undefeated through ten fights between 2013 and 2015. He is also accompanied in Australia by assistant trainer Ryan Songalia.
Moloney has built his career largely against Filipino opposition, defeating all nine Filipino boxers he has faced. Palicte aims to end that streak on Sunday.
The referee and three judges are all from Australia, with Ignatius Missailidis getting the refereeing assignment. The three judges are Andrew Campbell, Brett Manton and Martin O’Malley.