a Lifetime Achievement Award for Chris John
Chris John, the country’s top boxer, has reached another milestone in his illustrious career, with the World Boxing Association bestowing on him a lifetime achievement award.
The featherweight super champion received the award during the 19th WBA Annual Awards Dinner in Panama City in Panama Last week.
Many top names in world boxing, including legends such as Britain’s Ricky Hatton and Thailand’s Khaosai Galaxy, attended the event.
“It’s really an honor as the award is a recognition of all my hard work,” the 32-year-old said.
Chris, dubbed the Dragon, has been unbeaten since he joined pro boxing in 1998. He has a 46-0-2 record with 22 KOs.
He has defended his crown 15 times since winning it in an interim bout against Oscar Leon in 2003 and now holds the record for WBA’s longest title reign in all divisions.
If he manages to defend the title four more times, Chris will level Eusebio Pedroza’s record for featherweight title defenses. The Panaman boxer defended his belt 19 times between 1978 to 1985.
Chris has said he will stay in boxing for another three years. If he can do that and keep the title, he’ll surpass US fighter Johnny Kilbane’s record title reign (1912 to 1923) in the division.
The Dragon, no doubt, is one of the best and has advanced Indonesia’s boxing scene reputation. But the fact that he’s the only champion from the country has caused him some concern.
“The state of Indonesian boxing, both amateur and pro, has been poor in the past years. There have barely been any boxing events in the country. Something need to be done to revive boxing here,” he told the Jakarta Globe on Monday before boarding a plane to Panama.
“I think local boxers need to train harder and improve their skills so fans will want to see them and investors will want to stage more tournaments. In return, they will earn more money and revive Indonesia’s boxing.”
Chris, whose next bout is temporarily scheduled for May 5 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore against a still unnamed opponent, said he’ll try to help rejuvenating the sport in the country.
“After I retire, hopefully three years from now, I’ll try to spread my boxing knowledge and experience. Maybe I’ll build a gym,” he said. “I want to see more world champions from Indonesia and I hope that will be happening soon.”
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