The Contender Asia Finals: JWP vs Yodsaenklai

Friday, May 2, 2008

On April 12, 2008 Parr fought Yodsaenklai in Singapore for The Contender Asia title and USD $150,000. The fight was an emotional battle for Parr; just weeks before the contest, his father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His wife was also pregnant. Parr recovered from two knockdowns during the fight, but lost by unanimous decision. He is the current WMC Muay Thai World champion and a finalist in The Contender Asia.


  • 2008 WKBA World Champion defence
  • 2008 WMC Contender Asia Runner up
  • 2007 WMC Middleweight World champion
  • 2005 WKBA World Champion
  • 2004 S-1 World Middleweight tournament champion
  • 2001 Australian Boxing Middleweight Champion
  • 2001 Kings Cup Champion
  • 2000 IMF Kings Cup World Middleweight champion
  • 2000 ISKA World Middleweight champion
  • 1999 Winner Kings Cup
  • 1999 WMTC Australian Jr. Middleweight champion
  • 1994 WKA South Pacific Super Lightweight champion
  • 1992 WKA Australian Super Lightweight champion

JWP vs Soren

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

First round was a feeling out one, I had seen Soren against the ropes and didn't want to rush in in case he let go with elbows.

Half way through the round I let go with a couple big combo's and Soren just stood there taking it without giving any thing back.

Round 2 I was adding more pressure trying to get Soren off the ropes, about a minute into the round Soren threw a right kick, as he bought his leg back I hit him with a nice right hand giving Soren a 8 count.

Round 3 after winning the 2nd I was already ahead on points so took my time and picked Soren apart looking to land hard clean shots, end of the round I heard 30 seconds to go, just before the bell I let go with a jumping back spinning kick just catching Soren on the stomach.

Round 4 I gave it everything I had, I chased Soren from one side of the ring to the other trying to finish the fight, right near the end of the round I caught him with a nice right hand Putting Soren down and out.

It was a great fight for me as I didn't get hurt and got to practice a few new moves, I also had a huge crew com and support me and was cool to win by KO in front of them.

This John Wayne is one tough hombre not afraid to cry

Monday, March 31, 2008

Watching his father die, coughing black blood and wheezing incomprehensible mutterings, hardened fighter John Wayne Parr broke down and wept uncontrollably.

He has battled the most vicious Muay Thai boxers on the planet and seen more blood than a paramedic, but the sight of his dad being dissolved by cancer shattered Parr. Only 10 days after the birth of his son Jesse James, Parr farewelled his biggest supporter last week.

As one of three Australians who competed in a new reality show, The Contender Asia (a Muay Thai version of the boxing tournament), he was grateful he had time after filming to spend with the ailing Jim Parr, a former jockey. It gave him a chance to say what tough guys save up.

"Me and my dad were never emotional with each other, so I'm really glad I got to tell him how I felt," Parr said. "I would have been devastated if it had been a car accident or something like that where I didn't get to say my final goodbyes.

"Dad started speaking incoherently for the last 48 hours, then he couldn't talk at all. Then he stopped gurgling and I thought he had coughed it all out and was going to be all right. But his breath started going to half-breaths, then a quarter, and then …"

At his funeral, Parr discovered his father had told his closest friend weeks earlier he wished to see two things before he died - his grandson, and his son compete in The Contender Asia. Parr had arranged both without knowing, and in hindsight, sees so much.

"I downloaded my fights from the show and watched it with him. During one of the fights the commentator said 'John Wayne Parr is dedicating this to his father'. He kind of looked at me and put his arm around me. He didn't say anything, he didn't have to. Just that moment, my dad with his arm around me, yeah … that said it all. He was proud as punch of his boy."

Parr, a five-time world champion, and fellow Australians Bruce Macfie and Soren Mongkontong were selected to compete in the first Muay Thai Contender series against 13 international opponents including 22-year-old Thai phenomenon Yodsaenklai Fairtex.

The show was filmed in Singapore and, like the boxing version which has featured Australian fighters Sam Soliman and Sakio Bika, pitched all contestants in the same house.

Muay Thai fighting is renowned for its deep respect between opponents and, while most fighters got along, Parr did not take kindly to Frenchman Rafik Bakkouri. "The first time I met him I knew he was a 100 per cent c---head," Parr said. "He's had 30 or 40 fights and he's trying to tell us how to do it. I've had 95 fights. He tried to manipulate all the other fighters so he could get the easy fights."

Bakkouri had his eye firmly on the $US150,000 ($157,000) winner's prize, the largest purse offered for any Muay Thai tournament in the sport's history. Muay Thai is referred to as the "Science of Eight Limbs" with fighters able to strike with their hands, shins, elbows, and knees, so there are eight points of contact. Parr has also tried his hand at professional boxing and said five rounds of Muay Thai was more taxing than 12 rounds of boxing.

It has been a roller-coaster month for Parr, who turned 32 last week and is still dealing with the extreme emotions of a birth and death.

"When my son was born, it was just absolute elation. And then 10 days later my dad died in such pain and misery, it was pure devastation. I started thinking about the two things and asked myself, 'what's in the middle?'. We're born, we die. What's the go? What's the plan? I have this philosophy that when I retire I want to be remembered, I want to leave a legacy."

The Beginning: John Wayne Parr

Saturday, January 5, 2008

It all started at the age of 11 when I started Taekwondo, I would love to train and spar and knew inside that this is what I wanted to do forever. Mum and dad moved alot when I was a kid and I was also a only child so training was the only thing that kept me sain.

Everytime we would move Mum would help me find enough gym for me to start training. We moved up and down the east coast and I was very lucky to train with all the people I did learning bits and pieces from everyone.

At the age of sixteen we moved back to Queensland and I started training with Blair Moore who was also one of Queenslands biggest promoters. Blair trained me for 13 fights picking up a Australian title when I was 17 and also a South Pacific title at 19.

When I just turned 18 Blair promoted Australia vs Thailand with Steve Rosten and myself fighting Thais, before the fight a friend of ours said he had a Thai friend that would help us train before the big fight, thats when I met Sake.

He trained us well but being only a kid was Knocked out with in 30 seconds in the first round. We kept training with Sake and he said as a sponsor ship we could eat at his friends Thai take away once a week for free.

Thier we were introduced to a man named Richard Vell, a small Thai man whos heart is bigger then Tasmania. Not long after meeting Richard I would go to his shop nearly everyday talking about Thailand, muay thai and Thai culture.

Not long after meeting Sake and Richard my luck begun to change to I started to win my fights, even picking up some KO's along the way.

My 13th fight I fought Scott Lovelock for the South Parcific title, I had my lead legs smashed for the first two rounds, at one stage even getting a standing 8, some how I survived til round five and ended up winning the fight by KO with around 10 seconds left on the clock.

After the fight Richard said that I showed alot of heart that night and I had the right stuff to become a fighter and said that he would sponsor me to go to thailand and learn how to do it from the best.

About a month later I ws packing my bag and heading of to the land of the smiles. I went to Sidyodtong gym first for three months staying with Richards family who had a restuarant not far from the gym. I had two fights in Pattaya for two wins but was not happy with the training because of so many farlung.

I met up with enough Aussie Timur Dale and he knew of a gym called Jockey gym, we went there for a week but being the only two farlung in a busy Bangkok gym you dont get much help.

After our first week one of the boys told me that Sangtien Noi was coming to the gym tomorrow to come and pick me up to go start training with him. he had just fought on the Gold Coast and Richard had taken excellant care of him and his family so to say thank you he said he would pick me up and let me train with him.

That was the biggest culture shock of my life being taken to a place were white people are only on telly and no one can speak a word of english.

I stayed there three months having three fights winning them all. by this stage my visa was up and it was time to go home. After christmas Por (the farther of the camp) rang and asked Richard if he would send me back because he thought I had a future in the sport, I was like a pig in human Faeces!!!

I ended up haveing 9 fights in Thailand that year winning six, in the year 1997 I won the Best Farlung Fighter of the year, i also was the first farlung to make the front page of thailands number one selling magazine, got to fight at Lumpinee Stadium three times, international stadium twice, fought live on Thai TV five times this was also the year I fought my first Kings birthday but lost on points to Weihok Noi.

Christmas time was coming up again and I started to get home sick, after being home only a month the camp rang Richard again saying that Japan had been in touch with them and wanted me to fight with one of Japans rising stars Kohe(now ISKA world champion), I won the fight on points and become a instant star over night.

That year was a bit of a roller coaster meeting alot of tough Thai's such as Super lek and also the year I fought fought Chris Alan 54 stitches later I went home that year thinking that I was never going to make it in the sport and I better start thinking of something better to do with my life.

Year four come along and things have never turned back, from the year 1999 I had nothing but good fortune having 6 fights 6 wins plus 2 boxing fights winning both by ko, I picked a an Australian WMTC title off Daniel Dawson and also was the only westener to win on my seconds Kings birthday.

By this stage I was living back in Australia, Boonchu gym had been built by Shannon Forrester and Ray Matsumura while I was in Thailand and I came back to Australia just as it was being finshed.

We started getting students and slowly started picking up the odd fighter here and there. Since then Boonchu has become one of the leading gyms in Australia and we now have more then forty students and a dozen fighters.

I could go on and on about every little detail but it would cost you too much in internet fee's. One day I will write a book about all my adventures and who ever knows, it might even become a movie, lets just say it has a happy ending.

Parr to take on Kozo Takeda in Japan

Thursday, January 3, 2008

‘John’ Wayne Parr will start off the new year with a bang, when he travels to Japan to take on Kozo Takeda. Takeda, who just last week turned 35 will be challenging Parr for his WKBA World Title.

Previously in August 2005, the two were in a close battle before Parr was able to secure a knockdown in the third round.

Expect a tough fight again, as the two fighters meet in the main event of the Brave Heats 7 card scheduled for Sunday, 20 January 2008.

Takeda is a K-1 Japan finalist and has notable victories over Eugene Ekkelboom, Kaoklai Kaennorsing and Kenichi Ogata.