A three-division world champion and a consensus Top 5 pound-for-pound fighter, Inoue makes his Las Vegas debut and his fourth bantamweight world title defense against a man who is ranked in the Top 5 by every major sanctioning organization. Inoue is coming off a unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire last November, a fight named by many outlets as the Fight of the Year. Prior to the Donaire bout, Inoue knocked out four consecutive opponents in three rounds or less, including a second-round stoppage over Emmanuel Rodriguez to win the IBF world title. Inoue’s ring return was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has a stiff test in Moloney, an Australian boxer-puncher who made his “Bubble” debut June 25 with a knockout over Leonardo Baez. Moloney has won four straight bouts, all by knockouts, since a controversial split decision loss to Rodriguez for the IBF world title.
Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), the pride of Omaha, Neb., has reigned as WBO welterweight world champion since June 9, 2018, when he stopped Jeff “The Hornet” Horn in nine one-sided rounds. He has since defended that world title three times, including a sixth-round demolition over former unified junior welterweight champion Amir “King” Khan in April 2019. Crawford has not fought since last December’s ninth-round TKO over Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas and will enter the ring against Brook coming off a career-long 11-month layoff. He has won seven straight bouts by knockout since a one-sided decision over Viktor Postol in a July 2016 junior welterweight unification bout. Prior to his welterweight world title campaign, Crawford was the lineal lightweight and undisputed junior welterweight world champion.
Brook (39-2, 27 KOs), from Sheffield, England, is a former welterweight world champion who made three successful defenses of the IBF title he won from Shawn Porter in 2014. His only defeat at welterweight came to Errol Spence Jr. in May 2017, a competitive fight that ended in the 11th round after he suffered a broken orbital bone. Since the Spence defeat, “The Special One” has won three bouts at junior middleweight, including February’s seventh-round stoppage over Mark DeLuca. Brook has long campaigned for the Crawford bout, and earlier this year, he ran into Crawford at the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury II weigh-in.