Spirit of Muay Thai :Exclusive Interview With John Wayne Parr

Friday, September 29, 2006

MI: What other career path would you have taken had it not been with Kickboxing?

JWP: I am not sure, ever since I was about 7 or 8 I have always been interested in Martial Arts, I played AFL when I was ten and really enjoyed diving I also like motor cross. I think anything to do with sport cause I don't think I would have been a brain surgeon.

MI: How do you mentally prepare for a big fight?

JWP: Now days I just try to enjoy the moment as much as I can. For the last ten years almost ever fight is bigger then the last so getting used to facing the famous names and big crowds. When I was younger I used to use a little bit of sleep a week out but over the years you learn that if you have done the work in the gym everything else will happen on the day.

MI: How has Kickboxing changed since your early days?

JWP: My first kickboxing fight was in Sydney, it was with leg kicks, no knees and you had to kick eight times a round or you would lose points. Fighters were still sporting the long kickboxing pants and technique was not so important, just heart. Now a lot of young guys are going to Thailand to learn and a lot of trainers in Australia are teaching pure Muay Thai instead of karate, Kung Fu and boxing mixed.

MI: Who is your top five all time greats of the ring?

1.Ramon Dekker
2.Danny Bill
5.Peter Aerts

MI: whom should our readers and martial artists look out for as potential stars of the future?

JWP: In Australia we have so many young guys coming up the ranks. There is Soren, Pixie, Aaron Leigh, and Preacher. There is also the young guys like Blake Sloss from my gym, Shaggy from Nuggets and Broody from Joe Hiltons, he is only 15 but already has excellent technique. Once he matures a little he will be hard to beat.

MI: How does JWP enjoy life outside the ring?

JWP: I run my own gym on the Gold Coast so when I am not fighting I am still in the gym teaching classes and privates so I am always involved in the sport. When I am not at the gym I spend a lot of time with my wife Angie and Daughter Jasmine either at home or at the shops. We are always so busy its nice to just hang out at home (must be getting old).

MI: When you first began your training was there anyone you idolized?

JWP: I was a huge fan of Stan "the Man" and Alex Tui. The sport was only pretty new when I first got into it and these two guys were our first world champions. Stan was very exciting every time he entered the ring and I enjoyed watching his fights on video.

MI: What sort of physical conditioning has best worked for you over the

MI: You are probably one of the most well respected (westerner) Muay Thai fighters in Thailand. How does that feel? And how hard is it to get that respect from the Thais, as a fighter?

JWP: Thanks for the compliment. It feels nice knowing that you have put your heart and sole into something and people will remember you after you have hang up the gloves. From what I have found with the Thai's is they love a warrior, if you can go 5 full on rounds with a Thai, blood running down your face and can still stand there and trade then you would have won their respect win, lose or draw.

MI: When you and your wife had a baby, you once said, "Now I have something worth fighting for". How much more determination, drive and reason to fight has this given?

JWP: When I was younger I loved fighting for the buzz, I wasn't making much money and it was just a hobby before I grew up and got a real job. Now that I have a family and starting to make good prize money it is important that I win every fight or at least perform the best that I can so I can keep living the life style of a fighter while trying to set something up so I have something after I retire.

MI: Who has been your all time toughest opponent? And which bout has been your greatest victory?

JWP: Last year I fought Sakmongkon in Australia and it was a hard fight mentally, I had watched him fight live and on TV many times in Thailand and had a lot of respect for him. I want to be the best fighter I can be though and the only way of doing that is taking on the big names. Sakmongkon kicks like a horse and both my forearms and shins were black from blocking but I was happy with the fight and glade I went the distance with a legend. My greatest victory would be the S-1 in Thailand. There was a lot of media covering the fight and one Million baht up for grabs in an 8-man tournament. I beat Mohammed from Russia over 3 rounds on points. I knocked out Skarbosky from France in the 3rd then had to go 5 rounds with Nuangtrakan from Thailand beating him on points. The next day everywhere I went in Thailand everyone knew who I was, very good memories.

MI: How do you think Muay Thai and kickboxing is moving along in the world, and Australia? Would you like to see anything changed? (E.g.: rules, regulations, broadcasting, refereeing, money etc)

JWP: For me mainly just the money, it is getting better and better every year but nothing compared to what boxing is. Everyone does this sport for the love and put their bodies on the line every fight so it would be nice to get compensated for it. Also I think the rest of Australia needs to catch up to Queensland, we have Muay Thai promotions almost every month so it keeps the fighters busy and the crowd really gets behind the boys when its a good fight.

MI: What is on the future horizon for Wayne Parr both in and out the ring?

JWP: In the ring I want to keep doing what I am doing traveling
the world and fighting the best fighters that I can. I want to try and be a K-1 Max fighter as long as I can because they really look after us like professionals and fans from all over the world get excited when the fights get closer so it makes you want to do your best every promotion. Outside the ring I have my gym and will continue to train the young guys so hopefully they can travel the world one day like I did. The rest I will
just have to see what happens?

MI: Is there any advice you would like to give to all the men and women fighters out there who are trying to make it in the competition circle?

JWP: Fighting is the most exciting thing you will ever do, if you have that fire in your belly saying that this is something you want to do then go for it. It doesn't matter if you win you lose, long as you give it your all and Never give up.

MI: And finally is there any comment you would like to add?

JWP: Thank you Lee for the interview and to everyone that took the time to read it. I have one of the biggest fights of my life coming up on the 20th of July when I fight for the K-1 world Max belt, I want this belt more then anything so I will be giving it everything I have also. Thanks again.