Last night at the Istora Bung Karno Arena in Jakarta, Indonesia, WBA Featherweight Champion Chris John kept his title when Panama's Roinet Caballero could not answer the bell for the eighth round. Afterward, John resumed his campaign to lure Manny Pacquiao into the ring.
Round one: John coming forward behind the jab, but Caballero moving well and is successful with left hands to the body and counter rights to the head. Near the end of the frame, Caballero lands a stiff right hand and John tries to step up the pace, cornering Caballero but unable to do much before the bell sounds.
Round two: John very active behind the jab but Caballero fighting him back with aggressive counters and body shots. John finally strikes the target with a sharp jab, right hand combination. Caballero tries to hold John back with counters but the champion starts to time his shots well, winning a quick exchange on the inside and causing the Panamanian to fall back.
The skirmishes continue to mount as John times a right over a missed Caballero jab. Caballero looks to maintain distance as the pair trade left hooks. John keeps pressing the action and lunges inside with a body, head, body combination. Caballero lands a right hand over top a John jab and the challenger begins to come forward, enjoying some success to the body but eating some leather in the process. The end of the second devolves into a brawl with many missed wild punches until John nails Caballero with a stiff jab at the bell.
Round three: Caballero holds the center of the ring by circling the champion but is slowly forced back and after missing a big shot is countered with three quick left hands to the body and head. Caballero fights back with a two handed flurry to the body but is soon forced back again when John finds range with the jab.
Caballero tries to pressure the champion but is tagged by a right hand to the head, left hook to the body. Caballero stems the tide with a few stern jabs but can't keep John at bay for long. The Indonesian hero backs Caballero onto the ropes with the jab before landing a big overhand right. But John lets his shaken quarry off the ropes before rejoining battle with a spirited two fisted assault of uppercuts, hooks and inside right hands that batters Caballero, who gains a brief respite with a good combination but John is unrelenting until the challenger manages a clinch.
The action moves to center ring where the combatants trade body hooks and uppercuts. Caballero gets on his bike and tries to keep away from John until they again get into it in the center of the ring with both landing good shots. The Panamanian again dances away from the champion but John catches up to him and lands a barrage of overhand rights. Caballero stops the skirmish with a nice body shot before the frame ends in a clinch.
Round four: Before the round begins, referee Raul Caiz, Jr reminds both fighters to keep their body shots above the beltline. John cautiously stalks the challenger with the jab but Caballero keeps good distance until he lands a body jab that has John looking to the ref. The champion resumes walking toward his opponent and is less active as he appears to be looking to land a big shot and Caballero looks for opportunities now that he's not facing the jab.
John picks up the pace again and lean into a big right hand that catches Caballero on the cheek but misses a few follow up shots as the challenger dances away. When they join up again, Caballero crouches low and goes to the body as John continues to stalk. Caballero maintains distance and the action is sporadic whenever the challenger stops for a moment.
There's a lot of missed punches from both until John backs his prey onto the ropes and just misses with two lead rights as Caballero bobs and weaves his way through the follow up barrage until he grabs John in a clinch. John is coming forward at a trot now and has found range again with the jab.
Caballero gets in a good counter right and wins a slugfest as he tries to better his work. After a brief break, they come back together and the emboldened Caballero slugs it out again, striking John with hard shots to the head and body. John backs off, hits home a good jab but gets countered again with a left and a right before Caballero bangs a right hand off his hip and draws an admonishing from the ref.
When the action resumes, Caballero gets home a snappy right over a John jab before the champion smacks him with a right, left combination before the round ends with Caballero under pressure.
Round five: John resumes the heavy pressure and has Caballero in a corner but the Panamanian escapes before anything can happen. John gets his man on the ropes and strikes Caballero with a right hand, left uppercut sequence. Caballero goes across the ring and is cornered when John unleashes a lead overhand right followed by a left hook that has Caballero shaken.
John hits home with a hard right hand to the body a few seconds later before Caballero walks him to a corner behind a lot of bodyshots. John wrestles his way off the ropes before he again pressures an increasingly defensive Caballero and then lands another lead overhand right. John jabs with authority while Caballero attempts to get under it with bodyshots.
John gets closer and digs in a hard left uppercut to the chest before Caballero backs him off with a missed combination but John leaps in with the overhand right. He chases Caballero and manages a spearing left to the body before the challenger grabs him around the waist. After the referee warns John about headlocking, the action resumes with the champion jabbing but the game Caballero spoils his momentum with a good counter right hand that catches John well.
Caballero gets in a left but the followup right is blocked before they start to trade rights and lefts in center ring. Caballero forces John back with a right to the body but a combination is blocked before John rakes Caballero with his own sequence as the round comes to a close.
Round six: Caballero resumes his aggression with a right to the body and a left to the champion's head. John wobbles an off balance challenger with a counter left hook and stings Caballero with a stiff jab when the Panamanian tried to unload a combination. Caballero still comes forward with body shots but is getting picked off before he's shaken up and forced to clinch after a whistling right from John.
Caballero hangs back before coming forward with a lead left hook that surprises John but then gets on his bike. Caballero then comes forward with both hands but John makes him miss and dances away. John starts with the jab again and pips the challenger with a right cross. John backs Caballero up with a jab but the crafty Central American evades further trouble until John comes forward with a tight little three punch combo.
Caballero gains space but is ripped with a big right hand when he leaves a jab out there too long but the challenger recovers to potshot John with a left to the body that backs off the champion. Caballero comes forward with a left hook before they skirmish and clinch. Caballero then comes forward behind both hands, landing some, missing others before he's slugged by a John counter left hook.
John connects with a long right, then a left to the body and another right which backs Caballero up. When Caballero comes forward trying to clinch, John backs up punching and rams home a left uppercut to the solar plexus and a short, chopping right hand over the top. The champion then unleashes a blocked left that gives birth to a searing right upper hook to the jaw that almost lifts Caballero off his feet.
John follows a retreating challenger and hammers him with a swift right hand that causes Caballero to sit on the lower ropes. As the Panamanian stands up and lurches forward, John strikes with a right to the back of the head and then nails his floundering foe with a left hook. The clearly hurt Caballero tries to clinch but John steps aside and wings in another right to the back of the head before throwing Caballero, who appeared to be already falling, heavily to the canvas. The ref steps in, declares it not to be a knockdown and tells Caballero to get up and a few seconds later the round comes to a close.
Round seven: John stalks behind the jab and Caballero tries to keep him off with volumes of counters and is largely successful in the early part of the frame until the champion crunches a right counter over another jab that Caballero left out too long. John has Caballero under fire again and is clearly looking for the knockout but the challenger still has good movement and is making it hard for John to throw anything.
Caballero stops long enough to throw in a couple of shots but John smells blood and freezes his rival with a scorching three punch combo; a left that was blocked, a right that wasn't and a hurtful right to the body. Caballero reels back across the ring and tries to throw enough to keep John away but is definitely slowing down from the punishment he's been absorbing. John lands sporadic long range single shots as he chases Caballero.
Caballero keeps moving but John is catching up and getting in harmful efforts each time the challenger stops. Caballero tries to fight back but is getting beaten to the punch by the still vigorous champion. They trade jabs as Caballero manages to hold his ground better but is then forced onto the ropes by the jab. When he tries to punch his way off, Caballero gets a big left hook to the stomach and then another to the head as he back off to the other side of the ring.
John comes forward and Caballero tries to keep him off with the jab but John hammers him with a lead right. This spurs Caballero forward as he misses with a big right but bangs John with a left hook. John again chases behind the jab and has a combination to the head blocked but gets in a sickening left hook to the ribs. Caballero winces and gets on his bike. John follows and ends the round with two hard right hands. John then puts Caballero onto the ropes and punishes him to the head and body before the round comes to a close.
Team Caballero elects to keep their fighter in rather than face more punishment in the eight and Chris John retains his WBA Featherweight crown for the ninth time.
John improves to 41-0-1 (22) while big hearted Roinet Caballero drops to 22-8-1 (16).