The Australian will face ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd in a Muay Thai contest at the previously recorded event that airs next Friday, 19 March, and she knows their matchup in Singapore is a massive opportunity to shine on the global stage.
“I have a lot to prove – not only to myself but to everyone,” Juniku says.
The 20-year-old from Logan City burst into ONE Super Series with a stellar showing against Stamp Fairtex for the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship back in June 2019. Despite pushing the Thai hard for five rounds, she ultimately lost by a small margin on the judges’ scorecards.
Even in defeat, Juniku has shown that she belongs among the elite fighters in the promotion. Moreover, her setbacks have allowed her to re-evaluate and improve.
“I’ve learned that I need to push harder from the start. I was trying to save my energy when I don’t need to,” she offers.
“And when I’ve watched [Todd’s] fights too, I’ve seen she has a really good work rate, so I need to match that.”
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In her last outing, “JT” avenged her own defeat to Stamp to claim the atomweight kickboxing gold. Now, the multi-skilled American has her eyes on the biggest prize in “the art of eight limbs” once again.
Juniku has watched the American star closely, so she knows what to expect as they both aim to elevate their standing in the atomweight Muay Thai rankings.
“Janet looked very strong [in her last bout against Stamp]. I think it was a good performance from both of them,” the Australian says.
“I think Janet is a very good kickboxer. She is very strong, very quick, and I’ve noticed she likes to throw her high kicks a lot, but I feel like we match with good styles so I can’t wait.
“I wouldn’t say she has any weaknesses. She’s an all-round good fighter.”
For her part, Juniku hopes the lessons she’s learned in The Home Of Martial Arts will leave her better equipped to deal with the Boxing Works athlete’s pressure in their three-round encounter.
She’s prepared smarter than ever for this bout, and she is motivated to earn a shot at the division’s reigning queen, Allycia Hellen Rodrigues.
“I’ve dieted, I’ve worked hard on my strength, and I am on weight. I feel really strong and healthy — there are no excuses for me,” Juniku says.
“We’re both hungry. I’m going to come in with the power and speed, see how she goes, and I will match it.”
Getting past Todd will not be an easy feat, but the young Aussie is fully focused on achieving glory and the chance to immortalize herself on the global stage.
If she can snap “JT’s” impressive winning streak, the Modern Warrior Muay Thai athlete will be on track – and make a massive statement in the process.
“What motivates me is I see the big picture, the opportunity, and what I could be doing with myself in the sport,” Juniku says.
“My goal is definitely to rise to the top. I want to be the best, and I want to become the World Champion in Muay Thai, so that’s what I’m really striving for this year.
“[Rodrigues] has got a good style. I’d love to fight her, so hopefully, I win this one.”