After a convincing victory over China Taipai’s Wang Chin Long at ONE: WARRIORS OF LIGHT, ONE Super Series atomweight Janet “JT” Todd returns to the ring tonight at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The California-native is set to meet former ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Kai Ting Chuang, with the pair’s clash headlining the prelims of ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY.
Todd is looking to work her way back into title contention after falling just short at her first attempt of claiming ONE gold back in February at ONE: CALL TO GREATNESS.
On that night, in front of a sell-out crowd at Singapore’s indoor arena crowd, the 33-year old traded leather with Thailand’s Stamp Fairtex for the inaugural ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship but after five pulsating rounds, the judges gave the nod to the Thai.
This came after Stamp had already shocked the world by dethroning Chuang for the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Championship in her debut. So for Todd, who is looking to get her name back into the mix for a future shot at one of the atomweight belts, a dominant win over Chuang would be the perfect start to her quest to gain a ONE world title.
“I have watched a video on Kai Ting. She does have speed in her hands and is boxing oriented. But I believe I have the timing and accuracy to stop her,” Todd said.
“I see every win as another step up the ladder to get a shot at the championship. I obviously don’t control when I can get that shot. I’m just going to continue to fight, do what I do best, and prove that I deserve that shot again.”
As well as being a professional athlete Todd also holds a full-time job as an aerospace engineer. It is a difficult task balancing her time when she has so many commitments, yet “JT” has managed to create a system that works for her.
“I keep a strict schedule, Monday through Friday. I fit training around lunchtime, as long as I don’t have work meetings that interfere. Then go back to work to finish my workday, then back to the gym at night. Luckily, I’m close to both my work and the gym, within seven-ten minute drive to both. So I’m up by 7, at work by 7:30, then get home about 10 pm after my night training at the gym.” Todd said.
“It took me several years to get to this point. But sometimes, it’s hard to stick to the schedule because of deadlines. So I have to prioritize whether work or training is important for that day. And if it was training, then I do some work on the weekend to make up for it.
“Organization is key. I make a list of things I need to get done for work for the week and just go down the list,” Todd added.
“So I basically have Saturday afternoons and Sundays to spend with family. I’m very lucky that they are so supportive and willing to make the sacrifice with me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to keep this up.”
At times it can be easy for those of us who follow ONE, to forget how much athletes are required to give up in order to reach their goals. However, Todd’s drive and discipline, as well as the doors she has opened by becoming the first female American athlete in the Super Series, have not gone unnoticed by her peers in the United States.
“The support has honestly been overwhelming, and I appreciate it so much. I’m often surprised how I’m able to inspire them, and I love that I’m able to do that,” Todd said.
“I hope to continue to inspire and be a role model for female athletes wanting to pursue Muay Thai or Kickboxing. It honestly changed my life and made it so much more fulfilling, so I would love that for other women as well. “
Todd’s dedication to the sport she loves should serve as motivation for the rest of us looking to follow our own dreams regardless of where they lay.
Still, come tonight, she will need to put that hard work and dedication into practice when she squares off against Chuang, in a bout which could determine her future title aspirations.