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Former EliteXC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons loses unanimous decision in Cincinnati boxing match

Former EliteXC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons was back in action over the weekend in a middleweight boxing match against James Countryman on the TKO Boxing: "3 The Hard Way" card at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, according to our pugilist pals over at

Noons (8-2) dropped a unanimous decision to Countryman (14-1) in a six round middleweight bout to record his second defeat as a pro boxer. Noons was outstruck and outworked the entire fight, but did manage to hang tough for all six rounds despite a cut suffered above the left eye.

While Noons didn't get the result he had hoped for on Saturday night, he still has a chance to prove himself in another high profile match scheduled for April 18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota against another tough opponent in Matt Vanda (39-9).

A win or a loss in that fight will likely affect Noons' decision as far as the continuation of his boxing career or a possible return to the sport of mixed martial arts -- where he once wore championship gold courtesy of a TKO victory over Nick Diaz in November of 2007.

"King Karl" originally signed with Pro Elite with the understanding that he could pursue a career in both mixed martial arts and boxing. He successfully defended his belt against Yves Edwards at EliteXC "The Return of the King," but when he and EliteXC could not agree to terms on a rematch with Diaz, he was stripped of his title.

Following that, Noons decided to switch back to boxing until the two sides could work out their differences.

Now that Pro Elite filed for bankruptcy and had its assets acquired by Strikeforce, a return to mixed martial arts is more likely for Noons in the near future. In fact, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has already expressed interest in adding Noons to his roster.

There were even rumors of a potential fight between Noons and Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh "The Punk" Thomson not too long ago.

There are options on the table for Noons if and when he decides to come back to mixed martial arts. Where he ends up and what promotion he signs with may not be decided until April 19. Of course we'll have to wait and see what Matt Vanda has to say about all this first.

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