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Rio Hondo Prep’s Noah Penunuri Wins (CALI) Muay Thai Middleweight Title Over Miguel Velazquez by TKO on Saturday

Jul 01 2024 07:36:43

A huge thanks to Matt Heersema of A Charge to Keep (@chargetokeep on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) for the information, photos, videos and his interview with soon-to-be Rio Hondo Prep junior, Noah Penunuri.

Muay Thai:

Noah Penunuri is a winner.

And that includes in the classroom, on the football field, and in the ring.

On Saturday night at the Marriott Convention Center in Burbank, Rio Hondo Prep’s Noah Penunuri fought Miguel Velazquez for the CALI (Championship Amateur League International) Muay Thai middleweight championship.

With dozens of his RHP football teammates and classmates in attendance, Penunuri dominated from the start.

He won via technical knockout (TKO) in less than 90 seconds to earn the title of California Middleweight (160 pounds) Muay Thai champion.

In his career, Penunuri is now 5-1, and he trains at the The Shack System Martial Arts in Glendora.

Just seven months ago, Penunuri and his teammate, Nate Curtis, were named the 210 Prep Sports Football Players of the Year after an historic 2023 season.

The Kares went 13-2, and that included a 29-27 victory at Santa Monica on November 24th to secure a CIF-Southern Section Division 9 championship.

On the last play of regulation, SMHS scored on an 11-yard TD pass to pull within two of the Kares.

But their conversion pass attempt was batted down by Nathaniel Shine, and RHP won its first football championship in 11 years.

Penunuri led the way that night with 178 yards on 29 carries, including a pair of TD runs.

For his sophomore campaign (2023), he had team-highs in carries (200), rushing yards (1,402) and TD’s (18).

On the defensive side of the ball, Penunuri was third with 68 tackles.

When the Kares open the 2024 season on Saturday August 24th, Penunuri will need just 58 yards against visiting Francis Parker of San Diego to join the 2,000-yard rushing club.


Rio Hondo Prep football coach, Mark Carson: “Noah is an amazing athlete. He’s going to be elite at anything he puts his mind to. In terms of football, he can play almost anywhere at any position and still be one of the best players on the field. We’re grateful to have him for another two years.”