Indonesia’s world featherweight boxing champion Chris John vowed to knock out Japanese challenger Shoji Kimura with the new “dragon fire punch” he claims to have been working on when the two fighters meet this weekend.
“I am targeting a KO or at least a TKO (technical knockout) victory against Kimura,” John said ahead of Saturday’s bout at the Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore.
“I’ve been practicing a special punch with my trainer… that I call the dragon fire punch, which will surely knock Kimura out,” added the 32-year-old undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion and WBA Fighter of the Decade.
“This is the Year of the Dragon… and I am the Dragon.”
Nicknamed “The Dragon”, John boasts 46 wins, including 22 knockouts, with two draws.
But the hard-punching Kimura, a veteran with 24 wins, including nine knockouts, promised a tough fight.
“Chris John’s people want a war, they want a fighter who will come to fight. I am that fighter,” said the 34-year-old.
“One of us will be knocked out, this fight will not go the distance. I will be the new champion.”
Meanwhile, John said he was willing to fight outside Asia for the right price, but promoters think it makes more business sense to bring his opponents to the region.
The Indonesian has fought mostly in Asia, where he has a huge fan base especially in his home country.
“For me… as long as my manager is all right, no problem to fight for me anywhere,” he said at a news conference on Thursday.
His trainer, Craig Christian, said John would fight “anywhere in the world as long as the deal is right”.
“For an offer of more money to go there and fight, [it] doesn’t matter who we fight, we’ll go there,” he said.
Indonesia is the biggest country in Southeast Asia, a region of nearly 600 million people.
On the same card on Saturday, Indonesia’s Daud Yordan will take on the Philippines’ Lorenzo “Thunderbolt” Villanueva for the vacant International Boxing Organization featherweight belt.