Todd Happy Taking Tough Road Back To Muay Thai World Title Shot

After an impressive victory over Alma Juniku last month, ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd is ready to resume her quest for two-sport gold.

Todd, who is also the #2-ranked atomweight Muay Thai contender, will return to “the art of eight limbs” to face #3-ranked Anne “Ninja” Line Hogstad at “ONE on TNT II” this Wednesday, 14 April. Their pivotal battle will co-headline ONE’s next event on U.S. prime-time television.

Why is it so important for “JT” to claim the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title alongside the kickboxing crown? Simple. She wants to be known as the best pure striker in the world.

“It means exactly that,” the California native says.

Of course, this is not Todd’s first mission toward the Muay Thai belt.

In her ONE debut back in February 2019, the American squared off against Stamp Fairtex for the inaugural ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title, but she dropped a tough unanimous decision.

Determined to rematch the Thai megastar, “JT” scored three massive victories to earn a second crack at the Fairtex product. In February 2020, she challenged Stamp again – this time, for her ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Championship – and dethroned the two-sport queen to win the gold.

The American’s determination and nonstop evolution have carried her extremely far in a short amount of time, and now, she has her eye on the atomweight division’s ultimate prize in Muay Thai.

“Getting the Muay Thai World Championship belt will mean a lot to me because I had that opportunity first,” Todd says.

“It was my first fight in ONE Championship, and it kind of slipped through my fingers. It always feels so much better when you’re able to redeem yourself and be able to get something that you might not have been able to get a couple of years ago, but you made those jumps and improvements in your skills to be able to prove that you can improve.”

After defeating Stamp in their rematch for the kickboxing gold, “JT” resumed her march toward the division’s Muay Thai crown, which is currently held by Allycia Hellen Rodrigues.

“JT” kicked off her campaign last month at ONE: FISTS OF FURY III, where she defeated #4-ranked Juniku in a high-paced matchup via unanimous decision.

Though the victory did not lead to an immediate World Title shot, that’s just fine with Todd, who won’t shy away from a long, hard road back to the top.

“I’m not surprised that I have to fight a couple of times before I get another title shot because I was given an opportunity the first time, but I lost, so I need to claw my way back up,” she says.

“I want to prove that I am the top contender.”

The next step won’t be easy, as the dynamic Hogstad will be looking to stake her own claim to a World Title shot at “ONE on TNT II.”

Todd is well-aware of that fact, and as a member of the cerebral Southern California camp Boxing Works, she’s done her homework on the Norwegian striker.

“She’s technically sound, and she’s strong in the clinch. I think her biggest strength is probably her kicks. She’s very good at responding very quickly with all levels in her kicks,” the American says.

“I think her weakness might be her guard. It keeps certain things open. I can go straight down the middle or go around the sides to create my openings where I need to and be able to use my hand combinations with my kicks.”

Intelligence has long been a strength of Todd, who also has a background as an aerospace engineer. And against “Ninja,” she plans to utilize a brains-over-brawn mentality that could push her closer to two-sport gold.

“I hope I get to show a little bit more of my wit, my adaptability,” Todd says.

“I want to be able to show that I’m creative enough to be able to come out on top and be able to adjust if I need to – or maybe I don’t need to, and just kind of do my thing.”

Read more: Anne Line Hogstad Predicts ‘War’ With Janet Todd

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