Was Chris John’s retirement 4 years overdue?
By Chris Williams: Former WBA featherweight champion Chris John (48-1-3, 22 KO’s) announced his retirement from boxing this week after a long 15-year pro career. The 34-year-old John had recently been stopped in the 6th round by Simpiwe Vetyeka on December 6th of this month in a fight where he was batted around the ring until getting stopped.
John held the WBA featherweight title from 2003-2009, at which point the World Boxing Association upgraded him to Super Champion. This was the same year where John had fought a controversial 12 round draw against Rocky Juarez in Houston, Texas. Not too many people who saw that fight agreed with the decision. In fact, next to no one thought John deserved that fight. However, John was able to beat Juarez, who should have been an easy opponent for him, by a 12 round decision in their rematch seven months later in September of 2009.
With unbeaten Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa on course to fight John and likely knock him off his throne, the WBA elevated Chris John to the WBA Super champion at featherweight. This took care of John having to fight Gamboa. The question is why did the WBA give John a special title when he was aboue to take his first real fight since his controversial 12 round decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in 2006? Why didn’t the WBA just allow John to defend his title against Gamboa so that the natural course of things could take place with Gamboa likely knocking John out and putting an early end to his reign as the WBA featherweight champion.
For me, Chris John stopped being the WBA featherweight champion when he fought Juan Manuel Marquez in 2006. I saw that fight and I could only give John 2 of the 12 rounds in that fight, and even then, those were 2 rounds that easily could have gone to Marquez. I thought he basically won every round against John, and it was shocking to see John get the decision over Marquez. From that point on, I saw John as a paper champion and not the guy that should have had the WBA featherweight title. When the WBA elevated John to Super Champion in 2009 right before he was going to be forced to fight Gamboa, I saw John as even more of a paper champion.
After his controversial win over Marquez, John never fought anyone that I consider a good fighter until his bout against Vetyeka this month and he ended up getting stopped in that fight.