Lionel Rose won it all against Fighting Harada.
Two world titles.
Hell, Australia’s first indigenous world champion even went a released a hit single, aptly titled ‘I Thank You’.
So what chance another Aussie can do the same?
Almost 53 years since Rose shocked the boxing world – upsetting Harada via unanimous decision in Tokyo – emerging talent Jason Moloney is set to be pitched into his own world title blockbuster with a Japanese superstar, Naoya Inoue.
While the fight is yet to be confirmed by US promoter Bob Arum, News Corp understands contracts are now being finalised for a Las Vegas headliner on November 1 (EDT).
Considered by many as a second coming of the legendary Masahiko Fighting Harada, Inoue (19-0) is an undefeated three-weight world champion who also holds as many bantamweight crowns – the WBA (Super), IBF, and Ring Magazine titles.
Dubbed ‘Monster’ by fans, the Japanese slugger is renowned for his brutal punching power, having won 16 of 19 fights by KO.
Currently, Ring Magazine ranks the 27-year-old third on the world pound-for-pound list, behind only Mexican middleweight Canelo Alvarez and Ukrainian lightweight Vasiliy Lomachenko.
A fight with Inoue would be of huge interest to Australian sports fans, given the Japanese star not only holds the WBA belt once owned by Rose, but also the IBF title fellow Aussie legend Jeff Fenech won in Sydney back in 1985.
Apart from being a marketer’s dream, the fight would also double as the biggest fight for any local boxer in 2020 – allowing Moloney (21-1) the chance to steal that ‘New Face of Australian Boxing’ tag from countryman Tim Tszyu.
Undefeated in his past four fights, Moloney has suffered just the one defeat in his professional career – a controversial split decision loss in his 2018 IBF world title fight against Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez.
Back in June, and only days after twin brother Andrew lost his own WBA super flyweight title, Jason stopped Mexican Leonardo Baez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
If, as expected, the Inoue bout gets finalised in coming days, the Moloney twins will begin preparations for another US assault – with Andrew also tipped to get a world title re-match with American Joshua Franco.
The brothers are both signed to Arum’s Top Rank stable.
It is expected the siblings will head to Sydney later this month for a week of hard sparring before then flying into the US for at least a further month of preparations before the fight.
As with their last US visit, Arum will house Team Moloney inside a large two-storey residence just off the strip, while also granting access to his state-of-the-art Top Rank gymnasium.
While Moloney will likely start a heavy underdog with Las Vegas bookmakers, the 29-year-old will no doubt draw inspiration from the late, great Rose.
After winning both the WBC and WBA bantamweight titles against Harada, some 100,000 Melburnians lined the streets to welcome the Aboriginal fighter, then just 19, home.
So large was the crowd waiting for Rose at the airport, he famously asked the flight attendant if The Beatles were travelling up the front of the plane.
Apart from becoming the first indigenous person to be named Australian of the Year, Rose became such an overnight sensation he had requests for meetings from politicians, fellow athletes, even Elvis Presley.