Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Topic of the Week: Chris John

This past Saturday night, Indonesian featherweight Chris John made his US debut, with an exciting 12 round draw against perennial contender Rocky Juarez.

Rather than argue the merits of the decision (we might save that debate for an edition of Score it! down the road), The Boxing Bulletin Panel offers up our opinions on John's performance and what fights we would like to see him take next.

What did you think of Chris John's American debut?

"Considering he had been sick with the flu the previous week, Chris John put up a great fight against Rocky Juarez. With a good jab to go along with good footwork, stamina, and chin, he's a handful for anyone. He also showed championship level heart and toughness to rally in the second half of the final round (though I still scored that round for Juarez)." - Michael Nelson

"Chris John did enough to retain his title, but just barely. Whether it was due to a lingering flu effect or because he and Juarez are at the same level I'm not quite sure. Though skilled, he lacks heavy hands and was unable to discourage Juarez. I felt that by the end, it was Juarez's fight to take and as usual he came up short. Overall, I was more impressed by Juarez, but perhaps John was truly affected by the illness and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing this skilled boxer again, so long as he's matched competitively." - Jeff Pryor

"In standing up to a late-round charge by Rocky Juarez to keep his title belt, Chris John showed that he's not just a protected fighter that needs to stay at home to succeed. Rocky is sort of limited, but one thing he does well is punch hard, and John took the incoming well. He's not only quite skilled, but he seems like a tough guy with good stamina. Most people expected a rather dull affair, but were instead treated to a high level fight between two pros, and I think we can expect more of the same if John is matched correctly. Considering the landscape at 126 lbs, I think he should be considered the top guy at the weight, if he's not already." - Lee Payton

"I was expecting John to have a slightly easier time with Juarez, but as has already been mentioned, it's hard to know how much his illness hampered his performance. That said, I thought he showed good overall skills, an excellent chin and some real toughness in taking some clean hard shots and firing right back, especially late in the fight when he was looking a little tired." - Andrew Fruman

Who would you like to see Chris John fight next?

"A rematch against Rocky would be ideal, and I'd favor him to win if he came in at full strength. Otherwise, John against Mario Santiago is a good fight to put on Boxing After Dark. If he stays at Featherweight for a minute, Yuriorkis Gamboa would be something to look at for 2010." - Michael Nelson

"John's career thus far resembles Joe Calzaghe's, having nabbed a title belt and almost exclusively defending it in his home country for six years. Like Calzaghe, he has remained at featherweight long enough, where by all the fighters who were, perhaps, better than him have moved on to other divisions, or been beaten by others, and now he is head of the class by default, without facing too many real challenges. Featherweight is a poor division right now; I'd like to see him move up to face someone like Jorge Linares or Robert Guerrero, and truly test that undefeated record." - Jeff Pryor

"Featherweight isn't exactly loaded. A fight with Yuriorkis Gamboa could possibly be fun, and could turn into a valuable lesson for the youngster. It would interesting to see how Gamboa's physical talent matches up with John's experience and professionalism. More than likely though, the champ heads back to Asia to defend his crown." - Lee Payton

"Anytime a great fight ends in a draw, a rematch is a good idea, so let's see another Juarez bout. If John isn't having too much trouble making weight and is planning on staying at 126, then an eventual showdown with Gamboa is a must." - Andrew Fruman


rocky said...

jc is a highrisk but small money to jmm, maybe after 3 cj tuneups jmm get the decent money & get schooled again by cj.