By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBA featherweight champion Chris John may have trouble making the weight for his title defense against Rocky Juarez in Texas on Saturday.
Golden Boy Promotions vice president and international matchmaker Eric Gomez revealed that John had been hit by a virus after his last workout and has had a "high fever and took three days off during which he didn’t do anything." Gomez said that there is some concern that because of the champion’s inability to train he may have trouble making the 126 pound limit at the official weigh in on Friday.
In an overseas telephone conversation with BoxingScene.com, insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports, Gomez said John was "feeling a lot better and worked out today." John has been training in Houston since February 3 with Australian trainer Craig Christian.
International matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz who helped arranged the fight for John and who was quoted by Asian Boxing News said he believes this is John’s "best chance to conquer the US. People will see him and know why he’s the best featherweight in the world." However, his purse for the title defense will reportedly be less than $200,000.
John has defended his title ten times in the past five years and holds an undefeated record of 42-0-1 with 22 knockouts. Prior to leaving for Houston, Texas where the fight will take place at the Toyota Center, John’s title defense against Rocky Juarez on the undercard of the lightweight title fight between Ring Magazine champion Juan Manuel Marquez and IBO champion Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz.
John scored a somewhat controversial points decision over Marquez in Indonesia some three years ago.
Editor's Note: BoxingScene.com spoke with John's team. They admit the fighter was under weather for the last few days, but returned to the gym on Wednesday night. John said he was feeling a lot better and felt very confident as the fight with Juarez draws near.