By Jerry Pinder – When Chris John (42-0-1,22ko’s), of Indonesia, enters the ring tonight to battle Rocky Juarez (28-4,20ko’s) he comes in as the WBA featherweight Champion, but to many boxing fans around the world he is still a mystery as his title fights have been in Indonesia, Australia and Japan. The fight on Saturday will be telecast on HBO giving millions of fans around the world their first look at Chris John, and no doubt a chance to compare him to other potential lucrative high profile opponents. I’m sure it is no coincidence that he is featured on the same card as old rival Juan Manuel Marquez..
I recently caught up with head trainer Craig Christian after hearing rumors John was not well the week of the fight.
JP- Chris missed a public workout during the week, rumors were he was sick and struggling to make the weight, your comment.
CC- We missed the workout because it didn’t fit in with our schedule, so there was no reason we missed the public workout other than we didn’t want to go, nothing more than that, Chris is fine and he has no trouble making the feather weight limit.
JP-Where did you prepare for the fight with Juarez?
CC-We did our main preparation back at Harry’s gym in Perth Western Australia, we then spent one week in Indonesia before finishing up the last few weeks in Texas at the Lopez boxing gym. It has been a very good training camp.
JP-Who has given Chris his toughest fight to date?
CC-Juan Manuel Marquez, and after Juarez, who we are definitely not looking past, I think it would be a fight we would like to happen again. Chris will move up in weight if Marquez wants the fight. We would also be interested in a fight with his brother Rafael Marquez.
JP- Some say the first fight in Indonesia the scoring was controversial, your thoughts?
CC- All I can say is we got the runs on the board, the decision went to Chris and it was the right decision.
JP-Chris is a huge star in his home country Indonesia, why travel to the USA?
CC-Chris is 29 and in his prime and wants to fight the best, he makes more money fighting in Indonesia than he will get for this fight, we have always wanted to fight in America but the offers were not right until this fight with Juarez.
JP- Thanks for your time and good luck.
CC- Not a problem.