Chris John To Defend WBA Featherweight Title Against Fernando Saucedo, Must Then Agree To Face Yuriorkis Gamboa

By James Slater: WBA featherweight champion Chris John, due to one injury or another, has been inactive since his back-to-back points retentions over Rocky Juarez, but he will be back in action, in Jakarta, on December 1st. Fightnews has reported that the WBA have okayed the optional defence, over the little-known Fernando Saucedo, with the understanding that John will then enter negotiations to face “regular” WBA 126-pound champ (and IBF belt holder) Yuriorkis Gamboa after that.

The word is, the John-Gamboa clash could happen in April of 2011. Unless Argentine Saucedo, 38-4-3(1) - that’s right, just ONE KO, spoils things with a huge upset win. No disrespect to the never-stopped 29-year-old who hasn’t lost a fight since 2004, but possible ring-rust aside, “The Dragon” should have no problems on Dec. 1st.

The classy 31-year-old, unbeaten at 43-0-2(22), is one of the best boxers in the sport; despite his relatively low profile. The 2009 fights with Juarez (the first a draw, the second a clear win for the defending champ) introduced John to some U.S fans for the first time, and most liked what they saw. Fans the world over will get excited in a big way if and when John signs to fight the ultra-exciting Gamboa of Cuba!

Not only will the fight be one that decides who is the “real” WBA featherweight champion, it will also be a partial unification of the 126-pound division - what with the unbeaten Gamboa also holding the IBF strap. A fascinating fight, John-Gamboa would likely bring out the best in both men, with the winner ready to go on and engage in yet more super fights down the road. By the time John-Saucedo is done, we will have seen the eagerly anticipated Juan Manuel Lopez-Rafael Marquez fight take place. Wouldn’t it be great if the winner of that potentially explosive war of a fight went on to meet the Gamboa-John winner some time next year?

There are some great fights indeed that can be made at 126-pounds, and hopefully next year we will see them get made. First things first, though, and John must take care of Saucedo in his homeland of Jakarta in Indonesia. It will be good to see the super-talented champion back in action after well over a year out. Can John become the first man to take out the Argentine?

Article posted on 21.10.2010

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