After ‘Devastating’ Delay Due To COVID-19, Janet Todd Excited For Long-Awaited World Title Unification Fight

Janet Todd smiles in the Circle at ONE 159

Janet Todd’s lengthy, arduous journey to her shot at becoming the undisputed ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion is nearly over.

On March 24, the interim titleholder will square off with reigning divisional queen Allycia Hellen Rodrigues at ONE Fight Night 8 on Prime Video in a World Title unification bout that’s been many months in the making.

Todd, who also owns the atomweight kickboxing gold, was initially slated to battle Rodrigues last December at ONE on Prime Video 5, but a positive COVID-19 test postponed the showdown.

“JT” had previously captured the ONE Interim Atomweight Muay Thai World Title in July 2022 and expected to face the Brazilian shortly after. But when her positive test derailed those plans just days before the bout, she was upset and in disbelief.

The American told

“I remember bawling my eyes out. And I was just in shock. I didn’t believe it. Because the last time I had COVID, I had the body pains, fever, and I didn’t have any of that. It was just like a stuffy nose, which I thought were allergies because we were staying at a casino where there’s cigarette smoke that I’m not used to. I couldn’t believe it.”

At first, the postponement didn’t sit well with Todd.

She had endured a grueling fight camp and traveled around the world for her chance to become an undisputed two-sport World Champion, only to have that massive opportunity slip away.

But once the reality of the situation sunk in, the 37-year-old striker was able to accept her fate, return to training, and begin her preparations for Rodrigues once again.

“JT” explained:

“It just took me a little bit to kind of get over the fact that I flew 15 and a half hours and trained really hard to get to this point. I made so many sacrifices, and then I didn’t have anything. I couldn’t do anything. I was really devastated.  It’s devastating for me. 

“But you know, I can’t sit there and just feel sorry for myself. What’s done is done. I can’t go back in time. I don’t even know how I got COVID. Maybe it was in the airplane. Who knows? But there’s nothing I can do at that point. So all I had to do was look forward. And just keep training once things get better. Knowing that this fight was going to happen sometime. And now it’s here.”

Janet Todd Has Been Targeting Undisputed Muay Thai Gold Since 2019

While the delay hasn’t been easy on Janet Todd, she’s used the past few months to fine-tune her strategy for Allycia Hellen Rodrigues and make additions to her already well-rounded striking game.

Even with 50 professional bouts on her resume – including three unforgettable World Title contests in ONE – the two-sport star is still developing as a fighter while learning more tricks of the trade.

She said:

“I think that time has helped me hone some skills that would work against Allycia. But it also allowed me to work more of the creative side of my brain, so that when I do get in a certain situation, I can flow from one movement to the next. So it allows me to move more freely, knowing I have more tools to work with.”

Ultimately, Todd’s long wait has only made her hungrier than ever.

Because ever since the Boxing Works representative made her promotional debut in 2019 – an unsuccessful bid for the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title – she’s been aiming for another chance to finish the job.

“JT” added of her upcoming clash on March 24:

“Oh man, it’s been four years in the making now. And the fact that I had to wait again for another three months. Yeah, it’s been something I’ve wanted for a really long time. So I’m really looking forward to it. And it’s a dream come true. It’s something that I have wanted for four years.”

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