20-20 Hindsight: John is For Real, JMM Stakes His Claim For No. 1

It looks like I'll have to find a new running joke to make.

My old running joke was that despite his stellar record and long reign as featherweight champ, I had never seen Chris John fight. Now I have, and I have to say he showed a lot battling a very game Rocky Juarez in Rocky's hometown.

Since he's tall for his weight class, John threw a lot of punches from unusual angles. He showed good hand speed and stayed busy the whole fight, throwing over 100 punches a round all the way to the end of the fight.

His movement and defense were good, but not fantastic, as he got out of trouble at times but also had trouble keeping the fight at the range he wanted. John also showed toughness and guts, absorbing some excellent body punches from Juarez without wilting and fighting his way off the ropes when necessary.

One obvious thing he doesn't have is a lot of power, but we kind of expected that coming in. Rightly or wrongly, I'm like a lot of American boxing fans in that I am suspect of fighters who never venture to the U.S., but John made a believer out of me.

Oh, and for the record, I thought he won the fight, but that wasn't the most horrendous decision I've seen.

No decision was necessary in the main event, as Juan Manuel Marquez added another impressive win to his resume by stopping Juan Diaz in nine action-packed rounds. Like a fine wine, JMM seems to be getting better with age.

There's little doubt Marquez would like to avenge his 0-1-1 mark against Manny Pacquiao, and he has to be a little frustrated that he followed Manny up to 135 only to see him go up even higher. His post-fight remarks expressed his resignation at landing Pac Man for a third fight any time soon, and I have this to say about his desire to fight Floyd Mayweather: not happening.

So who's next for Marquez? Cliff Rold of BoxingScene.com suggests it could be Edwin Valero, and that would be a dynamite fight. For a crazier idea, East Side Boxing's Max Lom thinks he could fight Miguel Cotto. Or maybe that's not so crazy in an era when weight classes are much less of an obstacle than they were just a few years ago.

In the meantime, JMM is certain to be receiving lots of love as the No. 1 man on various pound-for-pound lists. I'd entertain that argument, but I just can't place him above Pacquiao since he faces him twice without beating him - and yes, I think Marquez won more rounds in the two fights.

Not everyone feels the same way, so it should be a fun P4P debate over the next few months.

Posted by The Franchise

1 comment:

uatu said...

valero is an interesting fighter. the internet fan knows who he is, largely in part to dougie fischer.

outside of the internet, will anybody know who he is? he doesn't fight in america and he doesn't fight on tv. the casual fan isn't going to know him at all, despite how great he is.

for him to be promoted in a major fight, you would think he would have to be on free/subscription tv at least once soon for people to see him.

to the CASUAL fan, how is he any different than Chris John right now or Ali Funeka?

he is going to be an interesting barometer into how much of the boxing fan base is internet, and how much is not.

it worked for kimbo slice, and he isn't even good like Valero, so maybe his TV exposure doesn't matter.