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Where am I? Home Columns Paul Upham

Chris John Faces Enoki Friday night; Rocky Juarez Next?

WBA world champion Chris John
WBA world champion Chris John

By Paul Upham: WBA featherweight boxing world champion Chris John defends his title against Japanese contender Hiroyuki Enoki on Friday night October 24 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. After sweeping aside the Japanese challenger, John has big fight plans ahead of him in the USA.

SecondsOut has learned that negotiations are underway for John to face American Rocky Juarez in the USA in January 2009, on a Golden Boy Promotion. There is a possibility that Jesus Chavez could face Michael Katsidis at lightweight in the co-feature.

“Of course I want to fight in America,” John told SecondsOut. “I want all boxing fans to be able to see me in the ring. I just want to fight the best fighters in the world and by going to the United States, I can fight the best. I watched Rocky Juarez’ last fight with Jorge Barrios. Juarez would be a good fight for me. I am ready for him and anyone else at featherweight or super featherweight.”

While many fans are yet to see him in action live or on television, John 40-0-1 (21) defeated Mexican star Juan Manuel Marquez, currently rated top ten pound for pound, on points over the distance in Indonesia in March 2006, a result that was viewed as a significant upset. Marquez returned home unhappy with the scoring and refereeing of the fight at the Golden Gate Arena in Tenggarong City, claiming that he was robbed.

“I watched Marquez beating (Joel) Casamayor and it was a good win, but maybe Casamayor is old now,” observed John. “I would like to fight Marquez again. I beat him before and will beat him again. I will give him a rematch anytime. Yes, I will fight him in America. I would love to fight him at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.”

Treated like royalty and the No.1 sporting hero to over 200 million Indonesians, 28 year-old John will be attempting the 10th consecutive defence of his world title in Japan this week. The fight with 28 year-old Enoki 27-0-2 (19) from Tokyo will also be the champion’s fifth mandatory title defence.

“I have fought before in Japan and I like it,” said John. “But I like it more when I am fighting in my own country. Enoki is a good right hand puncher. He beat Nedal Hussein, so he must be a good boxer. He will be prepared for this fight.”

Trainer/manager Craig Christian was pleased with John’s 120 rounds of sparring in preparation for Enoki.

“Chris made me very happy last week,” said Christian. “I was singing after training. He sparred ten rounds with Jackson Asiku and Willie Kickett. They could not touch him. Chris is so smart. A very smart boxer. He knows his capabilities. I watched Enoki’s fight with Skinny Hussein and he is a good all-round boxer. I think he will be too slow for Chris, who will be much faster than him. There will also be too much pressure from the event on him. Chris will build the pressure on him from the first bell and it will be too much to handle.”

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