WBA featherweight “super” titleholder Chris “The Dragon” John, of Indonesia, remained the sport’s longest reigning beltholder with a unanimous decision over Thailand’s previously unbeaten Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore on Friday.
The victory, which headlined an event billed “The Battle of the Undefeated,” ended a streak of five straight knockouts by the 27-year-old Piriyapinyo (44-1, 27 KOs), and marked the 17th consecutive title defense by John (48-0-2, 22 KOs), who is 33.
“Chris John is a force of nature. A fighter for the history books,” said advisor Sampson Lewkowicz of John, who won by scores of 117-111 and 119-109 (twice).
“He is 33 and still dominating fighters who come in at 44-0. I am honored to be working with him, and I send him my warmest regards for his outstanding performance.”
Since earning the belt by split-decision over Oscar Leon September of 2006, John’s winning streak includes victories over four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez, ex-beltholder Derrick Gainer and former Olympic silver medalist Rocky Juarez.
THE RING’s No. 2-rated featherweight, John is 15-0-2 with only three knockouts as champion, having battled to draws with Jose Rojas and Juarez in December of 2004 and February of 2009, respectively.
John rebounded with unanimous decisions over Rojas and Juarez in March of 2007 and September of 2009, and unanimously decision Marquez in March of 2006.
John is also one of two people, along with RING No. 8-rated featherweight, Celestino Caballero, to have unanimously decisioned RING No. 10-rated Indonesian countryman Duad Yordan (29-2, 23 KOs), doing so in April of 2011.
“Chris John will continue fighting until he has a record of 50 wins and 19 defenses,” said Lewkowicz. “And then, most likely, he will probably retire.”
Photos by Chris Cozzone, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]