I never thought I’d admit this, but maybe KJ Noons’ decision not to defend his EliteXC lightweight title against Nick Diaz on CBS wasn’t so dumb after all. You’ll recall that everyone from Jared Shaw to, well, us, gave Noons a hard time for running from a Diaz rematch. He was eventually stripped of the title and claimed breach of contract as he headed back to the world of boxing, where he was champion of nothing and had no chance to be seen on network TV.
But now that EliteXC’s fighters are sidelined while they wait to find out whether their contracts will be auctioned off, declared void, or simply held on to in such a way that prevents them from making a living, Noons is off making money as a boxer again.
Noons (7-1 as a boxer) is set to face Alex Bogarin (8-6-3) in a six-rounder next Thursday at the Expo Center in El Monte, Calif. The fight won’t be on CBS in front of millions of viewers, so you can still argue that it was dumb of him to turn down that exposure and the opportunity to pull in some extra sponsorship money, but the fact remains that he’s working.
Sure, you could also wonder why, if he’s contractually free to box, he couldn’t have fought Diaz and defended his title like any respectable champion and still returned to boxing when EliteXC went tits up. But this has to feel like a moral victory for Noons, so let’s not spoil it with details. As for the rest of the EliteXC stable, let’s just say it’s looking like a lean Christmas this year at Scott Smith‘s house.