Chris John: The Great Unknown
By Vikram Birring (Feb 17, 2009)  
On February 28, Rocky Juarez will walk into the ring to face a man, who outside Indonesia, is largely unknown outside of a few YouTube clips.

His name is Chris John, and he hails from the poorest parts of Indonesia. He has made a career out of boxing, and has a lengthy championship reign to his credit. He has beaten opponents in Indonesia and Japan, most impressively, Juan Manuel Marquez in a parking lot years ago.

And that is about all we know about John. Now, many years after his highest peak of demand, he has chosen to go into an opponent’s backyard to make his American debut for less money than he could have made in Japan, and ironically, on the undercard of a Marquez main event, who similarly is going into an opponent’s hometown.

John is known to be an accurate, technical boxer. Juarez has seen every style, first in the amateurs, and now in the professionals. This may be his last chance to win the championship that has always eluded him.

The problem with this bout is that both boxers are counter punchers. Juarez, as evidenced in his bout against Jorge Barrios, waits for the opponent to make a mistake, and then lets his hands go. Unfortunately, John tends to be the same. This could make for an ugly affair, and in Juarez’s hometown, the chances of winning a close decision are slim to none.

So what does this mean for John? This is his chance to win over the American public, as he has done in his native land, where he is so adored that he goes to Australia for his training camps. And for Juarez, this is his last chance to win a championship, or he will be thought of as the Andrew Golota of the lower divisions.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and hopefully this makes for an exciting bout February 28.

Questions or comments,
Vikram at:

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