Enter the Dragon

By Clarence George on November 5, 2013
Enter the Dragon
Chris John has successfully defended his WBA title 18 times over the course of 10 years.

Featherweight Chris John will defend his WBA title against Simpiwe Vetyeka at the Thunderdome in Perth, Australia, on December 6…

“Why doesn’t somebody pull out a .45 and, bang, settle it?”—Enter the Dragon

Featherweight Chris John will defend his WBA title against Simpiwe Vetyeka over a scheduled 12 rounds at the Thunderdome in Perth, Australia, on December 6.

One of the best pound-for-pounders today, 34-year-old John is a 15-year pro (48-0-3, 22 KOs) who’s successfully defended his title 18 times over the course of 10 years. Undefeated, the Indonesian has drawn three times, against Jose Rojas in 2004, Rocky Juarez in 2009, and Satoshi Hosono in April of this year. “The Dragon” fought twice in 2012, defeating Shoji Kimura in May and Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo in November, both by unanimous decision.

Vetyeka, a 32-year-old from South Africa, is an 11-year pro (25-2, 15 KOs) who’s had one fight this year, stopping Daud Cino Yordan by 12th-round TKO in April, thus winning the IBO featherweight title. “V12” fought twice in 2012, losing to Klaas Mboyane by split decision in June and stopping Sibusiso Khumalo by fourth-round KO in December. Vetyeka’s other loss came in 2007, defeated by Hozumi Hasegawa via unanimous decision.

Should John be successful in his 19th title defense, he’ll tie International Boxing Hall of Famer Eusebio Pedroza for the division record. I’m betting he’ll do just that, and without resorting to a Browning 1911—a hotly contested but clear unanimous decision win for the fire breather.

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Chris John vs Rocky Juarez

Simpiwe Vetyeka vs Roberto Carlos Leyva

Chris John Vs. Satoshi Hosono (14 April 2013) RCTI - DragonFire

Hasegawa Hozumi vs Simpiwe Vetyeka P.1

Hasegawa Hozumi vs Simpiwe Vetyeka P.2

Hasegawa Hozumi vs Simpiwe Vetyeka P.3

Hasegawa Hozumi vs Simpiwe Vetyeka P.4

Juan Manuel Marquez vs Chris John

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  1. nicolas 09:32am, 11/09/2013

    When I first got onto the internet Clarence, without having seen John ever fight, I had him in my top ten on the strength of his victory over Marquez. Having seen the fight, I felt from what I saw at best it was a draw. At the time, I was commenting on Eastside Boxing, a site that has sadly gone somewhat down in my estimation. I got my first response from a comment, and it was basically saying “how stupid I was”. I saw John’s first fight with Juarez, and did feel he deserved the decision on that fight, not a draw. I will give John his due that at one time he deserved to be the number one featherweight in the world, but at this time, and some other times, don’t think that he would be.

  2. Clarence George 04:59am, 11/06/2013

    Oh, much higher than that, Nicolas.  He deserves greater appreciation, but he’s not sufficiently known or recognized throughout much of the West.

    Pound-for-pound lists, at least as far as current and active fighters go, are always iffy propositions.  That of the “Ring,” for example, has been justly criticized, mainly because Adrien Broner is on it.  But I would have John on mine—I’m very impressed by his performance over the years, his record and skill.

  3. nicolas 03:44am, 11/06/2013

    John has been the WBA featherweight champ for 10 yrs. But for me his reign has lasted so long because he has been able to avoid many of the great featherweights who have passed through his time, from Manny Pacquiao, to now Johnny Gonzalez and many others. this is due of course to the other organizations that now crown champions in the featherweight division, I would suggest that their have ben eight fighters in this division, had John fought, he very likely would have lost. Even that “magnificent organization the WBA has gotten into the act by crowning regular champs that John has never had to face. I think of Yourakis Gamboa, and the Panamanian Caballero. He has been “the real world featherweight champ” by his win over Marquez, a fight that at best I thought was a draw for John, not a win. TED: ‘props for fighting good opposion’?  CLARENCE: When you say one of the best pound for pounders today, do you mean top 50?

  4. Clarence George 08:38pm, 11/05/2013

    Thanks for visiting and commenting, gents.

    Marquez self-destructed in that fight, Irish, with his inept impression of Fritzie Zivic.  Robert would never edit out Lupe; he’s as into her as you and I are.  OK, perhaps I could have phrased that differently.  Anyway, be assured that Lupe is in every piece I write…if not in name, then at least in spirit. 

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:38pm, 11/05/2013

    Clarence George-I’m sure that you are pleased that this report was edited to perfection….which reminds me…. did John really beat JMM with a very heavy emphasis on really and wasn’t there some way you could have segued from Bruce Lee to Lupe Velez….or maybe you did and it was edited out….I hope not.

  6. kid vegas 03:44pm, 11/05/2013

    Good one

  7. Ted 07:09am, 11/05/2013

    A slight risk fighting Down Under but John should win by UD. Still, South African fighters should never be taken lightly.

    John gets props for fighting good opposition as he closes in on 50-0 along with Paul Spadafora and FMJ.

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