Sunday, June 04, 2023  |


John-Juarez rematch June 27?

Fighters Network

A rematch between Chris John and Rocky Juarez has been added to a prospective card that would feature three major title fights on June 27. Also, the card would take place at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

In the other two title fights, Victor Ortiz would face WBA junior welterweight titleholder Andreas Kotelnik in his first title bout and James Kirkland would take on WBO junior middleweight belt holder Sergei Dzindziruk if Kirkland gets by a yet-to-be-determined opponent on May 2.

Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, is hoping to close the deal soon.

“I’m working on it like crazy,” he said. “If I pull it off, it’ll be huge.”

John, the WBA featherweight titleholder from Indonesia, and Juarez fought to a draw on Feb. 28 in Houston. It was Juarez’s fourth failed attempt at winning a major title.

“Rocky knows this would be his last chance,” Schaefer said. “If you ask him where he turned in the best performance of his career, though, he’d tell you Staples Center, when he lost (a split decision) to Marco Antonio Barrera.

“Chris John is a great fighter. A lot of people thought he won the fight (last month). John has the opportunity to capture the U.S. market, as well. I’m told there are 40,000 Indonesians living in L.A. And John in Indonesia is like Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines.”

Schaefer is confident that Ortiz and Kirkland, two of Golden Boy’s top prospects, will fare well.

Ortiz is coming off a second-round knockout of Mike Arnaoutis on March 7. Kirkland KO’d Joel Julio on the same card.

“Arnaoutis and Julio were major tests,” Schaefer said. “And they passed those tests with flying colors. Arnaoutis and Julio were two of the toughest guys in their respective divisions and neither had been stopped before.

“How much more ready can (Ortiz and Kirkland) be? We’re fired up.”

At the same time, Schaefer isn’t taking anything for granted.

“Dzinziruk is very tough,” he said. “So is Kotelnik. (Golden Boy matchmakers) Eric (Gomez) and Roberto (Diaz) both told me these aren’t going to be easy fights. I said, ‘Well, they’re world championship fights; they’re not supposed to be easy. How do you like our chances?’

“They said, ‘I like our chances. Just don’t fire us if the guys lose.'”

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]