Former WBA featherweight champion Chris John (48-1-3, 22 KOs), 34-years-old, has announced his retirement in Jakarta, Indonesia. Two weeks ago John was upset in a shocker, when IBO champion Simpiwe Vetyeka stopped him in six rounds. Prior to the loss, John had made 18 successful title defenses and remained an unbeaten champion for nearly ten years.
RETIREMENT SPEECH OPENING
Hello all, thank you for coming here.
I would like to talk about my career in boxing before I discuss my recent fight in Perth.
- My hardest fight of my career, and the one that taught me so much so early in my career. It was my 12th fight. I was 20-years-old fighting Muhammad Alfaridzi at the Indosiar Studio in Jakarta in July 1999. It was for the National Featherweight title. I was knocked down 2 times in round 1 and I had my nose broken in round 1 and had massive bleeding but I would never let this opportunity pass. As my father taught me... “success is when opportunity meets preparation and I was well prepared and in the 12th round I knew I had the opportunity for the KO and had no option because so much blood was coming from my nose”
- Winning the nation's national title was very important for me then I had the opportunity to fight for the PABA title where I defeated Soleh Sundava. I then thought that was the biggest honor in my career
Winning the WBA title
- In 2003 I fought Colombian Oscar Leon for the WBA World title and I was a big underdog but I was never going to let that opportunity pass and won the World Boxing Association Featherweight Championship of the World .
- My first defense of my title was against Osamu Sato in Japan, I knew it would be very hard to win against a Japanese in Japan because they are all warriors but I knew I had to represent my people of Indonesia and make them proud, this was a very special moment in my career.
- My world championship defense against Pound 4 Pound USA boxer Derrick Gainer it was my first with Harrys Gym. I got knocked down in round one but I listened to what my trainer Craig teach me and he give me confidence and I won every round after that.
- My most famous victory was against Juan Manuel Marquez, this happened in 2006 in Tengarrong. Not many people give me a chance to win this one but all my preparation at Harrys Gym made this possible.
- After I had a draw with Rocky Juarez in Texas, USA I had 11 World title defenses and the WBA honored me with the title “Super Champion” because I had over 10 title defenses. I was presented the title in front of all my fans in the Staples Centre in Los Angeles. I cannot thank the Indonesian consulate and all the people in Los Angeles who treated me like a king during my stay there.
- My fight with undefeated Thailand Boxer Piriyapinyo at the Marina Bay Sands was very special too, I They were calling it the Asian Super Fight. I was 48 wins and no defeats and he had 44 wins and no defeats. It was a very tough fight.
- Which brings me to my last fight against Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa.
I did my best to attempt to equal the record of 19 WBA World Featherweight title defenses but lost. But that's boxing, you cannot win all the time.
Vetyeka is a good boxer and give him full credit for the win he deserves it. But I could no longer make the Featherweight limit and it was the toughest challenge of my career just to make the weight to be able to defend my title.
I have boxed since I became a professional in 1998 as a Featherweight which is over 15 years ago .
I would now like to thank all the people who have helped me over my career.
- Firstly I want to thank all the people of Indonesia and all the Indonesian people throughout the world that have supported me.
- Especially to all my fans when I fought in Japan 3 times, Australia 3 times, Singapore 2 times, America 2 times
- All the government agencies and local communities that have supported me. Especially Los Angeles, Tokyo and Perth when I have traveled they all made me feel like I was back in Indonesia.
- The minister of Sport.
- Vice President Bodoeyono
- President ....... It has been an honor every time I have met you and represent our people.
- My trainer Craig Christian, he has been like a second father to me, his knowledge and wisdom has taught me so much. Every time I fought I feel like he is in the ring with me together. Plus he always make me laugh and smile but knows when he must push.
- From Craig I learned my three 3D’s - Dedication, Discipline and Determination.
- John Kizon from Australia who has supported me from the start. Words cant describe how much he has done for me. Its much appreciated.
- Sampson Lewkowicz from Las Vegas, he has guided my career and I cannot thank him enough. Craig gave him the name Picasso because in boxing he is a legendary artist.
- Zainal Tayeb, I cannot thank him enough for all his support, all the training camps I have done at Mr Zainal’s place in Bunyanwagi have all been special for me
- Raja Sapta Oktohari, he is a very good man and has helped me a lot in my later career
- RCTI, I thank them for all the support they have given me and for Indonesia to be able to see me represent my people.
- WBA World Boxing Association. To be able to represent the most prestigious boxing organization in the world has always made me so proud. The honor of Super Champion was at the time the highlight of my career but when I was voted the World Boxing Association fighter of the year by fans and peers I truly felt humbled that a kid from Indonesia could achieve something so special. All of my 18 Word title defenses over 10 years representing the WBA and President Mednoza have been an honor
- Yoanthan Peritna, Bob Fidanovsk, Angelo Hyderi and Tony Tolj - they has always looked out for my best interest and will always be brothers to me.
- Later in my career, Dragon Fire who promoted my fights in Singapore twice, Jakarta & Perth
- My wife Anna Maria Megawati .. Without her support I would not be half the man I am today. It is hard for her when I go away for a training camp but she is a former Wushu athlete and she knows the sacrifices we must make.
- My kids Fey & Rosa everything I have done in my life has always been for my kids and to give them a better future
- Which brings me to my father ..name... he didn’t have much to give me, he never had much money... he had two things:
With out him my career would not be possible... He is the one who first introduced and taught me boxing when I was 5 years old ... He always taught hard work and discipline and his best lesson in life was - “to achieve success you can not take the elevator you must always climb the stairs.
- Thank you to all my team , its because I have such great support that I achieved so much thank you. Thank you Indonesia
- Now that I have achieved more than I have ever dreamt of in my career I would like to formally announce my retirement.
- I would like to give back to the sport of boxing which has been so good to me and given me and my family a better life. And continue to represent Indonesia as best as I can.
- Most importantly now I will spend time with my wife and children, the most important title I have held in my life is being a father.