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John eyes bout with magical Mexican Marquez

Chris "The Dragon" John of Indonesia shadow boxes during an open training session ahead of his fight at a gym in Singapore November 6, 2012.
Chris "The Dragon" John of Indonesia shadow boxes during an open training session ahead of his fight at a gym in Singapore November 6, 2012.

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Unbeaten Indonesian featherweight Chris John already has one win over Juan Manuel Marquez and after seeing the Mexican knock out Manny Pacquiao on Saturday he is keen to move up in weight and face him again.

Marquez's stunning sixth round knockout of Pacquiao, considered one of the all-time greats of the sport, in Las Vegas on Saturday has made the Mexican welterweight (55-6-1 40 knockouts) a hot commodity.

The 39-year-old has not ruled out a fifth bout against Pacquiao, with undefeated American light-welterweight Brandon Rios also a possibility, but John believes he should be next in line for a shot at the Mexican, possibly at lightweight.

"I will fight Marquez at any weight because it is big money," the 33-year-old was quoted as saying in Monday's Straits Times. "I am a much better boxer than him and I have more speed and skill."

The duo met in Indonesia in 2006 with John claiming a unanimous points decision victory to defend his WBA featherweight title, though Marquez was unhappy at being docked points in the late rounds for low blows.

John's Australian promoter, Angelo Hyder, told the newspaper the fight could happen in a neutral venue.

"Marquez and his team have always disputed the decision, even though all three judges gave it to Chris, and so boxing in a neutral place like Singapore could make the fight happen," he was quoted as saying.

"We will approach them and try and get the fight because this is unfinished business."

While John has long fought at featherweight (126 pounds), Marquez has been boxing in the welterweight and light welterweight divisions over the last couple of years.

The Mexican last boxed as low as lightweight (136 pounds) in a 2010 world title victory over Australian Michael Katsidis.

Marquez, who contemplated retirement before beating Pacquiao, looked extremely comfortable at 147 on Saturday.

"He is a massive puncher and knocked Manny Pacquiao clean out with one punch and it is my job to make sure I do not get hit with the same punch," John said.

"I want the fight and will win again."

John (48-0-2 22 knockouts) was named the WBA's fighter of the decade earlier this year but has long been criticized for not fighting more in the United States, the traditional home base of the sport where the likes of Marquez and Pacquiao have regularly fought.

The Indonesian's last two bouts have taken place at the Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore, part of a five-fight series before retirement, John said previously.

(Reporting by Patrick Johnston; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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