I said a few days ago when official word was out that K.J. Noons (the former EliteXC 155-pound champion) would be boxing James Countryman and Matt Vanda that it would hardly surprise if Noons lost both fights. Countryman, while no super prospect or anything, is a legit fighter and Vanda, while no star, is a rugged banger that has been in with some damn good fighters.
Well, Noons lost a unanimous, six-round decision to Countryman in Cincinnati:
Noons (8-2) suffered a unanimous-decision loss to fellow middleweight Countryman (14-1) in a six-round undercard bout.
The well-matched fight proved one of the top bouts from the six-fight card, though Noons suffered losing scores of losing scores of 59-55, 58-56 and 58-56 while snapping a four-fight win streak.
Noons said he's not ruling out a return to MMA.
"I would love to be back in MMA and give the fans some good fights," Noons said. "I've already set my goals on the boxing. I'm taking these fights (with Countryman and Vanda), and then eventually down the road – as long as I can get my boxing up to par with my MMA – I would love to come back."
Noons seems unsure of what exactly he wants to do, but I will confidently say that he will not get his boxing up to par with his MMA if he continues to train for MMA, and if he continues to train and trains exclusively boxing, his MMA skills will slide some. To be great or even really good at one of the sports, I think you have to choose unless you're some sort of otherworldly talent, which Noons is not, which is not a slam on K.J.; top of my head I can't think of anyone we've yet seen that has "easy" crossover ability. He's really good at MMA; he's got real boxing skill, too. But trying to do both, back-and-forth, is a bad idea.
I wouldn't expect him to beat Vanda, if he winds up going through with the fight. It's currently scheduled for April 18 in Minneapolis, Vanda's backyard.