Chris John Makes 13th Straight WBA Title Defense
The 31-year-old John (44-0-2, 22 KOs) earned the vacant crown with a September, 2003, split-decision over Oscar Leon.
John's title reign includes a March, 2006 unanimous decision over current WBO and WBA lightweight (135 pounds) titlist Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs) for his fifth defense, as well as September's unanimous decision win over Rocky Juarez in his 12th defense that was a rematch of their draw in February of 2009.
John lost only two of the 36 total rounds scored by the three judges, who awarded him scores of 119-109, twice, and, 120-108, once against Saucedo (38-5-3, one KO). John's fights against Juarez, in Houston and Las Vegas, respectively, were his only bouts that have been contested on American soil.
John has been declared the champion in recess by the WBA due to injury problems stemming from rib damage. The WBA also recognizes as its "Super Champion," 28-year-old Cuban-born, former Olympic gold medalist, Yuriorkis Gamboa (19-0, 15 KOs), of Miami, who scored September's unanimous decision victory over Orlando Salido (34-10-2, 22 KOs) that earned him the IBF crown.
Top Rank Promotions' Vice President, Carl Moretti, told FanHouse in late September that his promotional company, which handles Gamboa, would "absolutely" seek a bout with John.
"But you need a date to fight him on," said Moretti. "So, that's really the thing that we're looking at is when is the next time that Gamboa could be on HBO."
In the event of a purse bid, John would receive the favorable split of 55 percent to Gamboa's 45 percent.