Not many gave Chris John a chance of retaining his title against Juan Manuel Marquez. The Mexican warrior had the edge in big-fight experience and was thought to be the more technically proficient fighter. On March 4th Chris John proved the experts wrong and pulled out a slim, unanimous decision. So was it a hometown decision or a legitimate victory?
Below is the transcript of the post-fight interview done immediately after the fight ended.
TSS: How do you feel.
Marquez: Good. I’m ok.
Quintana: You people, what do you think?
Indonesian journalist: (Pointing to Scott Mallon of TSS) He’s the neutral guy. We are Indonesian so…
TSS: You want me to tell the truth? Ok, I think the rounds were very close.
TSS: Some rounds were closer than others, they were very hard to score...but you’re in Indonesia and when they’re very close…..Some rounds Chris John was boxing and Marquez had a hard time hitting him. So when the crowd hears one punch, it may affect the judges. Really though, I don’t know what the scores should have been but it was a close fight and I think it was fair. Really, I think it was fair. I think you (Marquez) came on in the middle rounds and you were coming on strong. I thought, oh, now you’re going to get him. But then he started to dance, moving side-to-side, and it made it hard for you to hit him solid.
I don’t know about the points because there was one judge scored it 116-112 but they took two points away. So how can it be 116-112?
(Looking back, maybe two rounds were scored even which would mean the fight would have been 116-114, a totally appropriate and feasible score.)
Indonesian journalist: How about the number of rounds?
TSS: I think the scores were 8-4 John and I think that it was fair. Maybe it could go 7-5 but the rounds were close and for me, it’s very difficult sometimes because I’m watching though the camera. So when I see something I see in the beginning maybe he (Marquez) won the first and second round. The next couple of rounds John was boxing well and the later rounds he came on.
Marquez: You win the fight by landing the punches. This was a bad ending.
TSS: You did land some good shots.
Quintana: Of course the boxer who throws more punches is the one that wins but….like you said, we’re in Indonesia and….
TSS: if the rounds are close they are probably not going to give the round to him (Marquez).
TSS: I don’t want to make it sound like they took it away from him or anything like that. Chris John fought a very smart fight.
Marquez: Chris John is a very good fighter. Very good.
Marquez: But I think I won a close fight.
TSS: You did land some good punches – I thought maybe one or two times I thought you hurt him, or stunned him.
Marquez: Three or four times Chris John was staggered.
TSS: Did you see his side from the body punches?
Marquez: The referee stepped in and would say “stop, stop, stop.”
Indonesian journalist: How about your opinion? How many rounds did you win?
Quintana: Like you said, it was a very close fight. Obviously those rounds belong to us. You people think, I mean people say it, they won’t give it to us. But, the decision is made. It is not fair, not to you people, not to the public that they give that decision. A unanimous decision, with a big difference. They did whatever they were supposed to do to win the fight; gloves, coming all the way here, many things put us at the disadvantage here.
TSS: So do you want a rematch?
Quintana: Of course, sure. If he wants to go somewhere else, the U.S., Mexico, anywhere else, of course.
Indonesian journalist: A rematch is a multi-million dollar fight. How much will you want?
Quintana: Who says that?
TSS: I think this fight was but….
Indonesian journalist: If the promoter asks for a rematch in Indonesia, would you take it?
Quintana: No…no, you think we want that?
Marquez: In Indonesia, maybe the fighter is killed or dead and he wins the fight.
Quintana: Any fighter can be dead and they still raise the hand. That’s alright though, we can take it.
Dr. Miguel Duran (Marquez’s doctor): This is a sport, it’s not work. You only need to write what you see. If you think throwing punches, well, who threw the punches? Don’t protect him (John) or try to protect him or whatever.
Quintana: Chris John is a great fighter and he didn’t need whatever the judges did; just to put him so ahead. I mean, that’s a lie. You people know it. You’re pretending like it’s alright.
TSS: That’s how it will always be though. I thought around the seventh or eighth he was catching him more.
Marquez: You watch the fight, maybe in round eight or nine, the referee said, “you’re punches, you’re punches (keep them up).” I was not the popular fighter and could not fight how I wanted.
Quintana: You cannot be confident of throwing more punches.
TSS: Taking two points away, that’s a lot.
Quintana: Yes, that’s a lot. Those punches weren’t low.
TSS: I have to look at my photos.
Quintana: Look at the video.
Dr. Miguel Duran: You know if you have bad intentions on the punches and he didn’t.
TSS: No, I know he didn’t intentionally throw the low blows.
Dr. Miguel Duran: Chris John moves the elbow and it happens. It’s a regular thing in boxing. They weren’t so low.
TSS: What’s next?
Quintana: Obviously we need to go back to Mexico and relax a little bit; then he’s going to go back to the gym. We’ve got some plans for him and for Rafael to do some things together in May and we’re going after that.
Indonesian journalist: So will you move up in weight?
Marquez: We’ll take it, but as you saw he was 125, 125½ pounds and he has no problem making the weight. Whatever is the offer and whatever is out there in the market, we can move up or stay. It doesn’t matter.
TSS: What about moving up to meet Pacquiao, you think it’s too much weight?
Quintana: He can do 130, 126, no problem, he’s a professional and trains hard. Obviously, it counts when you train and you wait six months in training for the fight to happen and then come all the way over here. Obviously it’s a drain.
TSS: This is a fight I didn’t want to see either fighter lose. Both are nice guys, good fighters and I don’t want to see anyone lose.
Quintana: We appreciate your honesty because like you said you saw a close fight, the rounds could go either way; obviously, though, you’re not the only journalist.
TSS: Well – when they announced his name, there were no cheers. For coming here I think he’s got grande juevos. It was a difficult fight.
Quintana: In this position, it’s difficult.
Indonesian journalist: You’re no longer with Bob Arum.
Quintana: No, you’re about to hear it, next week (this week).
TSS: Definitely not Bob Arum and definitely not Don King?
Quintana: No, definitely not. You will hear it next week though.
Indonesian journalist: Next week?
Quintana: Yes – next week. Calm down. You’re so hyper!
Dr. Miguel Duran: This is his profession and in this profession you know you win and you lose. You have to prepare yourself for this.
Quintana: We can take the defeats. We can take any losses, but not the way they did it. I mean, we can say whatever we say, but just for you we wonder if you people are professional. You need to write whatever happens and don’t just go with the flow.
Indonesian journalist: Forget about the deductions; how many rounds did you take?
Quintana: We took seven, yes, seven. Seven to five.
TSS: Would there be anything you would have done differently?
Marquez: There’s nothing to do differently. We did what we had to do; go after him, throw punches and counterpunch. He was running and running.
Quintana: He’s a great fighter, but whatever way can you win. Knock him out? He was smart. He did what he was supposed to do.
Marquez: Never did I fight in a ring this big.
TSS: One thing he said before – was this a twenty-two foot ring?
TSS: Maybe it would have been better if it was eighteen.
Quintana: Also, the mat was different.
TSS: Was it soft or firm?
Marquez: It was ok, not too soft, not too firm.
Marquez (through Quintana): It was the water. The mat was slick from the rain the night before. But what got me out of my rhythm was the ref. Because I wasn’t confident of throwing more punches because the ref was after me and the low blows.
Quintana: I think I did what I was supposed to do in the ring. We both used Winning gloves, but of course he likes Reyes better. The Winning doesn’t fit well. We explained it to the WBA, the commission, but that’s another thing.
Anything else? Finished?
Indonesian journalist: Will you make a protest to the WBA?
Quintana: Yes. Anything else?
TSS: Have a safe trip back.
Quintana, Marquez, Doctor Duran: Thank you.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV