|KJ Noons: A Crossover Star?
By John Novoselac, Doghouse Boxing (May 26, 2009)
In a time where fans of combat sports seem to be constantly arguing about what is more popular, MMA or boxing, KJ Noons has a unique approach: he chooses to do both. Whereas a few guys have attempted to transition mainly from boxing to MMA, KJ feels that he is able to compete at a top level in both, and is ready to prove it.
KJ began training in martial arts at the age of 5 with karate, was boxing by the age of 10 in Golden Gloves, was kickboxing 2 years after that, and began Muay Thai 3 years later at age 15. Talk about some early training.
His propensity for success was apparent as KJ won accolades in several disciplines, with his amateur boxing career culminating with an appearance in the semi-finals of the 2004 Olympic trials. At that point, KJ decided it was time to turn pro.
In yet another step to his goal, he takes on Enrique Gallegos (6-4 1 KO) out of Medford, Oregon on Thursday, May 28th in Houston, Texas.
With a focus varying between MMA and boxing, KJ says, ‘I feel like I can compete at a high level in all of them. I like to change it up, just to have fun you know. I don’t like to feel like I’m restricted, if I want I can do it all.’
Trying to achieve success in multiple combat disciplines is difficult, and KJ has a strategy to move forward. In the summer time, KJ is ‘Looking to have one more fight in MMA, looking to not exactly crossing right into boxing and fight the top opponents, not yet.’
KJ looks to, ‘Build my record to be considered a true contender and work my way up. Not be kinda like a freak show, I really do have skills in boxing. Competing at the 154 weight division and we’ll see how my body feels, hopefully be at 147 in the future.’
In true throwback fashion, Noon is ready to take on all challenges, even those that may not favor or him. He moved up to 160 in his last fight and dropped a controversial decision, yet is determined to move forward.
KJ has sparred with world class opponents as well. In addition to past sessions with the likes of Peter Manfredo, Carlos Baldomir, and Panchito Bojado, KJ has recently sparred with former junior middleweight titlist Roman Karmazin.
He commented, ‘I’m still sparring with top class, I did a lot of sparring with Roman Karmazin, and a lot of other guys, sparring not training but sparring at Freddie Roach’s gym in LA for this particular fight; I just got in to Houston, so I made some calls and hopefully am gonna be going down to Savannah’s and getting some work in there, I don’t know any top names just always trying to keep the quality of sparring at top notch.’
In moving back and forth between MMA and boxing, KJ finds his strengths in boxing as, ’I’m explosive, (I have) knock out power, and a good jab.’
When asked if his past success in MMA contributes, he said, ‘Yeah I’ve been at the top level as the main event, you know, showcased on Showtime, so I’ve had a lot of fights. I just like to go out there and have fun, man, you know?
Questioned about his first time boxing in his adopted hometown of Houston, KJ said, ‘Super excited, this is where I finished high school; so I have a lot of friends out here my immediate family my mom my dad and my sister are here so I’ll have a lot of fans a lot of family a lot of people to come out and support.’
Wow, it’s pretty damn refreshing to hear someone with a take on combat sports that seems to transcend what the general perception is. I truly think the next figure to cross over in mass appeal will be one that can exceed in both sports.
Is KJ Noons that man?
The Beat Down in H Town is Thursday, May 28th at the Arena Theater, being presented by Chet Koerner’s TKO Boxing Promotions.
Questions or comments,
e-mail John at: email@example.com
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