Chris John To Defend WBA Featherweight Title September 9

06.09.06 - By Jacqui Snow: Undefeated Indonesian Chris "The Dragon" John (37-0-1, 20 KO's) defends his WBA Featherweight title in Jakarta this Saturday, September 9th against Panama's Renan "Bam Bam" Acosta (18-4, 5 KO's). This will be John's sixth title defense since winning the crown in September 2003. John's most recent defense against highly regarded Juan Manuel Marquez (45-3-1, 34 KO's) came about as a result of a series of five title changes for Marquez, of which only the first occurred in the ring..

Marquez was the reigning WBA Featherweight title holder when he scored a 7th round TKO over Manuel Medina to claim the IBF strap as well. That second title qualified Marquez for the WBA Super Featherweight title and so his "regular" belt was vacated. Chris John went on to win that interim title in September 2003 by beating Oscar Leon (now 27-5-0, 18 KO's) via split decision.

Marquez's IBF crown was subsequently taken from him by the sanctioning body in August 2005 when he couldn't come to financial terms with Fhaprakorb Rakkiatgym for his mandatory defense, despite three purse bids. Since Marquez no longer held two titles, he was ineligible for the WBA Super title and stripped of that belt also. Marquez was thus compelled to travel to Indonesia and fight John for his former title. The result was a unanimous decision in favor of John, which then caused Ring Magazine to drop Marquez from its pound-for-pound list.

Chris John is reportedly having serious problems making weight. In fact, as recently as August 31st, John's promoter, former boxer and commentator Syamsul Anwar Harahap, was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying that John is nearly seven pounds above his ideal weight.

"Having to reduce his weight drastically (in a short period) could spell serious problems for Chris John, as it could lead to dehydration and a loss of endurance during the fight," Harahap was quoted as saying.

Assuming he makes weight and the fight goes on as scheduled, John is heavily favored to win. He's the more experienced fighter and is undefeated in 38 professional bouts, with 20 knockouts. Acosta, for his part, is inexplicably ranked tenth by the WBA, despite his unimpressive record of 18-4 with just 5 knockouts. Furthermore, all five of his kayos came very early in his career—against opponents with a laughable combined record of 0-8. To make matters even worse for Acosta, the fight takes place in John’s back yard, at Soemantri Brodjonegoro Hall in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Since John will be drained and dehydrated from the weight loss, stamina could well be an issue in the later rounds. He’ll need to crack Acosta early in order to score a knockout, but in any case, he's expected to easily and unanimously out-decision his opponent, should the fight go the distance.

Article posted on 07.09.2006

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