Following a dominant performance to earn her first ONE Championship victory in May, the Japanese-American hoped that she would get the call to return to action quickly.
She was delighted to be matched up against former ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion “Killer Bee” Chuang Kai Ting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 12 July.
Todd took out Chuang’s teammate Wang Chin Long with an impressive TKO after she landed three knockdowns in the second round at ONE: WARRIORS OF LIGHT.
It was exactly the kind of performance the American kickboxer wanted after narrowly coming up short to ONE Atomweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion Stamp Fairtex in her debut back in February.
“I carry lessons not just from that fight but the previous fights, too,” Todd explains.
“I like to be in better control of the space in the ring. I know Kai Ting comes from the same gym as the last girl I fought, and they have a lot of movement, so I want to make sure I’m in control.
“Of course, Kai Ting has very fast and quick hands. I think that’s one of her advantages. I realized I really need to work on my blocking after the Stamp fight, so I’m incorporating those types of things in my training this time around.”
Experience is a huge factor in Todd’s improvement for each contest, so being able to compete three times in seven months has allowed her to take huge strides with her skills.
Japanese-American superstar Janet Todd's quest for ONE gold continues on 12 July! ????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July |…
“The more frequently I can get in there the better,” Todd says.
“It’s also performing under pressure. You don’t get that same kind of pressure in the gym. It’s cool to be in complete control of your body under that kind of pressure. I like that aspect of it.”
From watching Chuang’s performances since joining the ONE Super Series roster, Todd knows she is going to have a battle on her hands when they clash at the Axiata Arena on 12 July.
Chuang showed the kind of blistering combinations she can put together when she dismantled Yodcherry Sityodtong to win the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Championship last year.
She may not have been able to defeat Stamp Fairtex, but the 24-year old veteran still showcased incredible skill over five rounds and took the two-sport World Champion to a competitive decision in her home country of Thailand.
Despite all of Chuang’s strengths, “JT” has noticed a few ways to score on her upcoming opponent.
“I noticed her stronger points are with her hands and she’s very quick,” Todd says.
“Stamp’s advantage was that she had very good timing. She saw what was coming and then was accurately placing her kicks.
“The plan is not to get overwhelmed by that speed – keep myself grounded and calm, and use my accuracy as well as my power to get the advantage. I think I’m precise when I hit, so I’m going to use that.
“I may or may not be as quick as her, but I know when I throw my punches, I’m precise and I do throw with power.”
Offense is not the only focus at Boxing Works in California ahead of ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY.
Todd recognizes that “Killer B” can attack with such speed, she is likely to sting her at some point during the three rounds they share in the ring, so she has made an effort to tighten up her guard, too.
“I’m working on making my defense stronger – not letting those punches back me up, and keeping my guard strong so that I can counter soundly out of it,” she adds.
If she is successful in her bout against Chuang on 12 July, Todd will take one step closer to a rematch against Stamp.
However, the World Champion would like to go for a belt in a third sport – mixed martial arts – so the 33-year-old may have to keep winning and wait a little while longer for that chance.
That is fine with “JT,” how is happy to focus on the woman in front of her while she keeps her long-term goal in the back of her mind.
“I’m not thinking about a rematch right now,” she adds.
“Obviously I’m focused on the fight in front of me right now, but every fight is a chance for me to become a contender again – that’s how I see it.”