Chris John Gets A Draw In Texas; Marquez Scores Spectacular KO

Juan DiazBy Tony Nobbs: Indonesian wonder Chris John (42-0-2) retained his WBA featherweight championship for the eleventh time with a twelve round draw against hometown hero Rocky Juarez (28-4-1) in Houston, Texas, on Saturday night.

The fight was exciting and the result constroversial, many knowledgable boxing peoople feeling that John deserved the “W”. John started the fight every bit looking a pound for pound fighter as he out boxed the shorter Texan and continually beat him to the punch. John’s jab worked well as did his vast kit of lead hooks, wide rights and straight one – two’s. When Juarez did get inside he was unable to take contol as John landed uppercuts and hooks and did a good job turning. After seven rounds, John was up 70-63 on cards of this writer and commentator Bob Sheridan.. In round eight the tide began to turn as John, who missed three days training through the week due to a virus, started to struggle with the pace and bulldozing style of Juarez. The challenger took the remaining rounds. John did some good work early in the eleventh and twelveth but Juarez finished the stronger.

At the end of the fight the judges all came up with 114-114 (6-6 in rounds). This writer had it 115-113, John (7-5 in rounds).

Both men were cut. Juarez in the fifth (a punch), John in the eighth.

“If you get a draw in Texas you know you’ve won the fight” Chris’ trainer – manager, Perth , West Australia based Craig Christian told me a couple of hours later. “ I’m proud of how Chris fought. Considering what he went through during the week it was a great performance and showed why he is a great champion. The Golden Boy people thought we won, most of the boxing people thought we won, only the mad Mexican’s thought Juarez won. I think they might have influenced the judges a bit. Everything Juarez threw they went crazy. He gave it everything and we thank him for a great fight for the fans. The way Chris fought and to come way with just a draw will help him in the future. He is a very classy guy”. 

Two weeks prior to the fight John had told me “I must win. If I lose they wont want me back (in the US). This is the most important fight of my career”.

In the main event, Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1) from Mexico won the Ring Magazine Lightweight world title with a spectacular nine round KO over Houston’s Juan Diaz (34-2). Marquez entered the fight as the leading lightweight and number two in the Ring pound for pound rankings and after the fight said he wants a fight with Floyd Mayweather. “Manny Pacquaio is (ranked) number one pound for pond but he doesn’t want to fight me. I want to fight the best and that isMayweather.” Unfortunately for Marquez, Mayweather has not fought since knocking out Ricky Hatton in December 2007 and remains retired.

“Marquez is a great great fighter” said Craig Christian. “We were rooting for him”. John defeated Marquez by decision in Terraggon, Indonesia in 2006. “Of course” Craig replied when I asked does his victory help John’s stocks in any way.

Article posted on 02.03.2009

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