Carlos Cuadras-Andrew Moloney & Nina Hughes-Cherneka Johnson Added To Lomachenko-Kambosos

Two world title fights featuring Australian challengers have been added to the super card headlined by the vacant IBF lightweight world title showdown between Vasiliy Lomachenko and George Kambosos Jr. on Sunday, May 12 at RAC Arena in Perth, Western Australia.

Mexican standout Carlos Cuadras will defend his WBC Interim junior bantamweight world title against former world champion Andrew Moloney.

And, in a bantamweight world title tilt, WBA champion Nina Hughes looks to turn back the challenge of one-time world champion Cherneka “Sugar Neekz” Johnson.

Promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Top Rank, Ferocious Promotions, TEG Sport and Duco Events, Lomachenko-Kambosos, Cuadras-Moloney and Hughes-Johnson will be broadcast in prime time in the United States on Saturday, May 11 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.  Cuadras vs. Moloney is presented in association with Teiken Promotions.

“Not only is this historic event a first for Australia, with three world championship fights on the same bill, it is truly a fight fan’s card with compelling matchups in each of the featured attractions, promising plenty of action. Both Aussies, Andrew Moloney and Cherneka Johnson, will be extra motivated to reclaim past glory in front of their compatriots. Mexican great Carlos Cuadras is never in a bad fight, and it’s impossible not to root for Nina Hughes, a single mom who continues to defy the odds,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment.

“I can’t wait to arrive in the beautiful city of Perth for this historic event,” said Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum. “Andrew Moloney is in a fantastic fight against one of Mexico’s great champions, and I expect the Hughes-Johnson title fight to be a competitive, dramatic bantamweight battle.”

Cuadras (42-5-1, 28 KOs), a 16-year-pro and one of the leading lighter weight fighters of this generation, made six defenses of the WBC 115-pound world title from 2014-2016. Since being dethroned by pound-for-pound great Roman Gonzalez in September 2016, he is 7-4, including decision defeats to Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez and Juan Francisco Estrada in bids to regain his WBC world title. Cuadras has won three consecutive fights, most recently traveling to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and edging countryman Pedro Guevara by split decision to win the Interim world title.

“I look forward to the challenge of fighting Andrew Moloney in Australia, and I am coming to prove I am still a force at 115 pounds,” Cuadras said. “There are many great champions in my division, but I can’t overlook Moloney, a hungry fighter who will be encouraged by the Australian fans.”

Moloney (26-3, 16 KOs) briefly held the WBA junior bantamweight world title before going 0-2 with a no contest in an eventful trilogy against Joshua Franco from 2020-2021. He then reeled off four consecutive victories, including three on Australian soil, to earn a shot at the vacant WBO junior bantamweight world title last May against Japanese superstar Junto Nakatani. Moloney hung tough, but in the 12th round, Nakatani landed a crunching left hand that ended the fight. He returned to the win column last December, securing a decision over Judy Flores to pick up a regional title.

“I’m absolutely pumped to have this fight locked in. Carlos Cuadras has been in with the best of the best at junior bantamweight, and he is the biggest name available in the division,” Moloney said. “I was there live to watch him fight Juan Francisco Estrada nearly seven years ago, and to be fighting him for the Interim world title in Australia is a huge opportunity. To have both Lomachenko and Cuadras fighting in Australia shows how much Australian boxing is flying now, and I’m thrilled to be part of it all. Bring on May 12!”

Hughes (6-0, 2 KOs) turned pro in December 2021 at 39 years old. She had a decorated amateur career with more than 70 fights and four national titles. Hughes, a single mother of two, set her sights on a professional career during the COVID-19 pandemic. She won the Commonwealth bantamweight title in her third outing and upset Jamie Mitchell by unanimous decision in November 2022 to capture the WBA bantamweight world title. She made her lone title defense last June, turning away Katie Healy via decision. The ageless Hughes now turns her attention to Johnson, the home country favorite.

“I am looking forward to showing the world why I am the WBA bantamweight world champion, and I’m thrilled to be fighting on such a prestigious event in Perth, Western Australia,” Smith said. “Cherneka Johnson is a former world champion, and while it will be a tough assignment, I will not be denied victory. Thank you to DiBella Entertainment and Leon Sudbury at Takeover Sports Management for getting this fight made.”

Johnson (15-2, 6 KOs) was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia as a pre-teen, and she soon established herself as one of Australia’s standout amateurs. In April 2022, six years after turning pro, she snatched the vacant IBF junior featherweight world title with a majority decision over Melissa Esquivel in Melbourne, Australia. She defended the title six months later on the Devin Haney-Kambosos II undercard in Melbourne, overcoming a brutal cut to beat Susie Ramadan. Johnson lost her title last June in London, where she lost a unanimous decision to Ellie Scotney. Nearly a year later, she returns to bantamweight, motivated to become a two-weight queen.

“I am excited to fight for a second world title on this great event alongside boxing legends here in Perth, Western Australia,” Johnson said. “It has been a long journey for me, full of hard work and dedication, and I am determined to become a two-time world champion. It is an honor to fight Nina Hughes, but I am here to win. On fight night, I will show the world what I am made of.”

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