Report & photo by Jeff Pamungkas
Former long time WBA featherweight champion Chris “the Dragon” John announced retirement Thursday at RCTI Cafe, Jakarta. John who suffered his first loss earlier this month to South African Simpewe Vetyeka (by TKO 6) in Perth, Australia, said that his age (34) and family became his main considerations leading to his retirement from boxing. “I have learned myself that it’s very difficult to return to my condition like the previous years, so I decided to retire,” said John. However, he denied that his retirement was a diect result of the loss. “I admit that victories will give me confidence to continue boxing, but the reason of my retirement is not the loss to Vetyeka.”
Chris John closes his record at 48-1-3 with 22 KOs. He was first crowned as WBA featherweight interim champion in Bali, Indonesia, 2003, after defeating Oscar Leon of Colombia. His status was then elevated to regular WBA champion and he has defeated many top fighters in the featherweight division including Osamu Sato, Derrick Gainer, Juan Manuel Marquez and Rocky Juarez. In all, he defended the WBA belt 18 times before finally stopped by Vetyeka, who also dismantled the IBO featherweight champion Daud Cino Yordan (now IBO lightweight champion) in April 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. For his great performance in the ring, in 2012 John was selected as the Fighter of the Decade by the World Boxing Association. His amazing achievement in boxing has been considered the best in Indonesia, where boxing is only a minor sport compared to soccer, badminton, volleyball, and basketball.
Asked about future activities, John said that he’s not decided yet. “Temporarily, I will stay away from boxing. I’ve left my wife and daughters for boxing, and now I’ll be with my family,” said John.