Chris John intends boxing for two more years after his WBA featherweight defence on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old champion, who takes on Satoshi Hosono in Jakarta, wants to retire when he is 35 and then train young Indonesians to box.
John had to use tatty old gloves on an abandoned football field in rural Indonesia when he began boxing. He was trained by his father, who was determined to make him a winner.
"My father was very domineering. He would hit me with a book, slap me, and make me do push-ups if I came home late from playing with friends. I had to accept every punishment without resistance," John recalled.
"I hated boxing at first, but it somehow grew on me."
The Dragon, as he is known, has carved out an astonishing career. He is still undefeated and will make his 18th WBA title defence when he fights Japan's "Bazooka" Hosono.
"After I retire, I want to push more Indonesians to take up boxing and become world champions too," John said in Jakarta this week.
Indonesia is not known as a particularly important boxing country, but John has carved out an exceptional career over the past decade, even though he is not well known outside his home country.
He has been the WBA featherweight champion since 2003 and his record stands at 48 wins, two draws and no defeats, putting him within reach of the benchmark set by Mexican Ricardo Lopez, who retired undefeated after 51 victories.
Anyone wishing to be taught by John could face a tough time if he uses the same methods as his father, who started training his son in their backwater rural village from the age of five.
"We trained till my cheap gloves were in tatters and the foam was spilling out. I would patch them back together with glue and leather," said John, remembering the sparring sessions in a remote village in central Java.
John, who has Chinese origins and was raised as a Catholic in the mainly Muslim Southeast Asian country of 240 million, plans to work with boxing promoters Dragon Fire once he retires.
The Perth-based company organises events in Australia, Indonesia and Singapore, and John, holder of the WBA's “super champion” status after defending the belt ten times in a row, wants to scout and train young boxers for them.
Boxing in Indonesia is popular but, as many other sports, has long suffered from a lack of money and facilities.
John is the country's third world champion. The only other world-class Indonesian boxer at the moment is 26-year-old Daud Yordan, who retained his IBO featherweight title by defeating Mongolian Choi Tseveenpurev last November.
"There are many people with talent in Indonesia but the problem is to turn them into champions," John said.
"Boxers are poorly paid. The government needs to support more by organising more fights so boxers can turn this into their livelihood."
John, the father of two daughters, aged seven and four, is hoping to also have a son to train, but says he would not use the same tough methods of his own father. "I will teach him boxing from a young age, but with a softer touch," he said with a laugh. Tags: Chris John