Janet Todd knows what it takes to reach the top on the global stage, and she thinks Jackie Buntan is making all the right moves before competing for the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title this Friday, 22 April.
Todd, the reigning atomweight kickboxing queen, has witnessed her Boxing Works teammate’s preparation firsthand, and she can’t wait to see all the hard work pay off against Smilla Sundell in the co-main event of ONE 156: Eersel vs. Sadikovic.
Buntan has already impressed with three dynamite performances in ONE Championship, and “JT” expects the 24-year-old to display another level of development at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“I feel that Jackie’s training has been going well. We’ve been practicing the same things that we generally practice – good defense, good vision, timing, and such. And I’ve seen stuff that we’ve drilled come out in her sparring. So I’m excited. I’m really excited to see what she does next week.
“Jackie continues to impress me with how much she improves with every fight. It seems like she continually gets stronger, has even better vision than she had before, better timing. I think she’s been excelling in every possible way, and it’s evident in her fights.”
While this is Buntan’s first World Title contest, Todd believes the rising star has the right mindset for the biggest match of her career to date.
The two women have worked closely together for years at their California-based gym, and the 36-year-old veteran says their shared experiences have readied the younger fighter for this shot at gold.
“In terms of what I’ve imparted on her for preparation for this World Title fight, she was actually one of my corners for my title fight against Stamp [Fairtex] – the first Muay Thai World Title fight that I had. She got to see what happens behind the scenes and the preparation that I went into for that fight. So I think she’s well-prepared for her upcoming World Title fight next week.
“Of course I’m taking Jackie to win her title fight. Like I said, she’s improved her power and her timing, and I think she has both of those in her favor to win this fight or get a finish.”
Janet Todd Also Eager To Watch Anissa Meksen At ONE 156
Janet Todd will be in Singapore alongside Jackie Buntan for the latter’s World Title showdown with teen phenom Smilla Sundell, but the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion will also have her eyes on a pair of potential rivals.
Pound-for-pound striking great Anissa Meksen – who’s called out Todd on multiple occasions – will face rising phenom Marie Ruumet on the same ONE 156 card, and the winner could be next in line to challenge for “JT’s” gold.
While French-Algerian superstar Meksen is the more renowned name, Todd knows she can’t sleep on the young Estonian either.
“I watched Marie’s fight with Little Tiger, and she’s really well-rounded. She’s able to transition from hands to elbows really nicely. And she’s really made a huge improvement since her other fights that I’ve seen online. So if she’s able to make huge improvements from the Little Tiger fight, then I can only imagine what kind of improvements she can make for the Anissa fight.
“What Anissa has to her advantage is her movement and her speed so, I hate making predictions, but I’ll be there, definitely watching them both closely.”
While Todd is willing to oblige if Meksen is awarded a shot at her World Title, she’s also looking for a second belt in ONE’s all-striking divisions.
With back-to-back Muay Thai wins since she claimed the kickboxing strap, the American is now targeting the throne in “the art of eight limbs.”
“Anissa had a good kickboxing match last year, and she’s proven herself as a top fighter in her previous organization, so I think a kickboxing title fight between us would be an exciting matchup.
“What’s next for me? I hope it’s coming soon. I’m trying to work my way up to a Muay Thai World Title fight, so hoping to get back in the ring soon for another Muay Thai fight.”