Saul Sanchez is a man of few words but made sure to say just enough to emphasize his desire to win a major title.
The bantamweight contender faces WBO titlist Jason Moloney, who attempts his first title defense. Despite having only twice gone the ten-round distance—both in narrow defeats—Sanchez doesn’t believe he’ll need that amount of time to get the job done, never mind the full twelve.
“I’m gonna knock him out,” Sanchez vowed to BoxingScene.com. “I really don’t see him lasting more than eight rounds.”
Moloney-Sanchez headlines an ESPN+ preliminary undercard preceding an ESPN-televised doubleheader this Saturday from Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada. Headlining the show, Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19KOs) defends his lineal, WBC, IBF and WBO light heavyweight championship versus former WBA super middleweight titlist Callum Smith (29-1, 21KOs).
Sanchez (20-2, 12KOs) is considered a live underdog, perhaps more so than anyone else on Saturday’s show—including Liverpool’s Smith in his bid to become a two-division titlist. The 26-year-old from Pacoima, California is listed at +250 by bet365 sportsbook, which has Moloney (26-2, 19KOs) as a -340 favorite to retain the title he won in a May 13 majority decision over the Philippines’ Vincent Astrolabio in Stockton, California.
Saturday will mark the first scheduled twelve-round bout for Sanchez, though he enters on a two-fight win streak versus relevant opposition. He rebounded from a stunning split decision defeat to Eros Correa with a sixth-round stoppage of Franklin Gonzalez last June and an eight-round points win over unbeaten RV Deniega last October 12 at Ariake Arena in Tokyo.
Deeper on his resume, Sanchez also owns a September 2021 first-round stoppage win over then-unbeaten Ja’Rico O’Quinn, who resurrected his career with a one-punch, upset knockout win over Peter McGrail last month.
“We’re war ready,” insisted Sanchez. “We’re bringing that title home to the SFV (San Fernando Valley).”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox