JOHN Wayne Parr is living his Rocky moment.
For a man with such a long and distinguished combat sports career, John Wayne Parr (10-3, 10 KOs) has never really gotten his just dues in Australia, until now.
Parr, who is a household name in Thailand, is best known as a ten-time Muay Thai world champion.
Despite such accomplishments and well over 100 professional fights, it’s only now that he is seeing his name in the bright lights of mainstream Australian sports. This is primarily due to landing a fight against the ever-polarising Anthony Mundine (48-9, 28 KOs).
“Muay Thai isn’t on the map here,” Parr told Aus-Boxing.
“Overseas in Thailand I’m pretty much a household name in that sport but if I can have the opportunity to fight Mundine and showcase my skills to the Australian public in a crossover sport, hopefully that will show the public that I’m multi-talented and that I’m a pure striker.”
Parr’s career is well documented for his striking ability and despite lacking the same experience in the boxing ring as Mundine, he’s adamant that he has the power to stop his opponent.
“If I hit him on the jaw I’ll break it,” says Parr.
“If I land he’s in trouble.”
The question of how Parr will break down the defences of Mundine, is one that pundits have asked in the lead up to the bout. Parr insists his volume of punches and his persistent pressure will cause his more experienced opponent to crack.
“I’m a volume puncher, I don’t rely on one punch, I throw in fives and sixes,” said Parr.
“I’ll pressure him until he makes a mistake and then I’ll capitalise on it.
“I’m not expecting to go out there and look like a magician but I want to try and overwhelm him so he makes a mistake and when he creates those openings I’m going to jump on him.”
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Massive thank you for the boys at @freakki.digital for dropping into the gym and filming my last prep. Memories I’ll cherish many years after this fight. I love my job and broken hearted I have to retire but injuries have made it impossible to continue. If I win this fight will make my record 110 wins with muay & boxing. I’ll just have to settle for that instead of 99 Muay Thai wins and being the Don Bradman of Muay Thai 🤦🏻♂️. #monsterenergy #triumphunited #boonchugym
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There are adjustments to be made for Parr, especially after such a long absence from the boxing ring but he holds firm to his belief that fighting is fighting and that his demeanour and ferocity will be too much come fight night.
“The main thing is transferring my body weight from my back foot to my lead foot so I can get my bobbing and weaving and head movement back again,” says Parr.
“Everything else is basically the same, fighting is fighting and as long as I bring plenty of mongrel to the ring, my determination will get me over the line.”
For Parr, this fight is the icing on the cake in what has been an incredible career and the support he’s received in the lead up to the bout is something he describes as surreal.
“It’s like that scene out of Rocky where he’s running down the road and everyone is wishing him good morning, that’s how I feel right now,” laughs Parr.
“It’s very surreal and it’s something that I’ve dreamed about my whole career and now it’s happening. It’s a pinch yourself kind of moment.”
After so many years as professional fighter, Parr has resigned himself to the fact that you can’t beat father time and has confirmed that win, lose or draw this will be his final fight, one he believes to be a perfectly scripted ending.
“You’re only as good as your last fight, and to beat one of the greatest athletes to come out of Australia, it would be a massive feather in my cap,” he says.
“If you could script a final fight for any professional fighter then this would like the perfect cherry on top.
“All I have to do is go out and dominate and win ferociously and then I will ride off in to the distance on my unicorn.”
Words: Dan Attias/Follow Dan on Twitter
Photo: Michael Dodge