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Chris John


One of boxing’s longest reigning champions, Indonesia’s Chris “The Dragon” John is also one of the sport’s pound for pound best, having reigned supreme over the featherweight division since 2003.
 
Born in Jakarta, John (born Yohannes Christian John) began training in boxing and the martial art Wushu at an early age, first stepping into the boxing gym under the tutelage of his father, Johan Tjahjadi, at the age of five.
 
By the time he was 18, John was making his professional boxing debut with a six round decision win over Firman Kanda, but before he entered the punch for pay ranks, he had already won gold medals in the Indonesian Wushu championship and in the Indonesian multi-events games.  He would continue to compete in Wushu, and is a member of Indonesia’s national team.
 
But despite his skill in Wushu, it was clear that John also had what it took to become a world boxing champion.  By his 12th pro fight, he was facing Muhammad Alfaridzi for the Indonesian featherweight title on July 13, 1999, and after being knocked down twice in the first round, John came back to knock Alfaridzi out in the 12th and final round.
 
Over the next three years, John would defend his title twice, win the PABA featherweight title and defend that three times while compiling a stellar record of 28-0.
 
On November 1, 2002, John faced his stiffest test in 53 fight veteran and future world champion Ratanachai Sor Vorapin.  Ten rounds later, John had scored his biggest pro victory via unanimous decision, and four fights later he decisioned Oscar Leon over 12 rounds on September 26, 2003 to win the interim WBA featherweight crown.
 
In his next fight, John earned the title outright with a 12 round win over Osamu Sato in Tokyo, and following a four round technical draw with Jose Rojas (the only blemish on John’s record), “The Dragon” began his true reign of terror over the 126-pound weight class.
 
2005 saw John defeat Derrick Gainer and Tommy Browne, but his biggest win came in 2006 when he scored a 12 round unanimous decision win over Mexican superstar Juan Manuel Marquez.
 
Five more successful title defenses have followed for the pride of Jakarta, with his most recent win being a dominant 12 round win over 27-0-2 Hiroyuki Enoki in Tokyo on October 24, 2008. 
 
On February 28, 2009, John traveled to the United States for the first time to defend his title against 2000 US Olympic silver medalist Rocky Juarez, and though a draw verdict was rendered after 12 heated rounds, John’s performance garnered him even more fans. These fans will no doubt be watching closely on September 19th when he battles Juarez once again in one of the most highly anticipated rematches of the year.