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Upcoming Australian Shows

  • Published in Kickboxing

Evolution 23If you don't watch anything from the Australian kickboxing/Muay Thai scene, you are sadly missing out on some great action.  There are a number of great promotions running in Australia, and the shows consistently deliver top end fights with a combination of veterans like Paul Slowinski and John Wayne Parr, along with hot prospects like Thor Hoopman and recent K-1 star Ben Edwards.  It's a very busy scene, with multiple upcoming shows; here are four shows definitely worth a look:

Feb. 26 - Knees of Fury 32: This show is all about the main event, which is a great battle of old guard vs. new.  On one side is Paul Slowinski, who for years has been the top Australian representative to the international Heavyweight kickboxing scene.  He faces the young Thor Hoopman, a John Wayne Parr trainee who is on the cusp of big things.  Hoopman defeated Slowinski via decision in late 2009, and will look to score the 2nd victory here.  Hoopman is still developing, and is not yet perfectly consistent, but I have high hopes for his future, and would love to see him get another good win here.  The rest of the card includes: Kym Johnson vs Wes Capper; Myles Simpson vs Flip Street; Martin Olczak vs Jye Demmrich; Charlie Chau vs Hiki Hanui; Tenille May vs Sarah O'Connell; Steve Behan vs Cameran Murcott; and Tom Boyle vs Jun Lee.

April 2 - Kings of Kombat 3: More from the busy Slowinski, as this time he takes on the legend Peter Graham.  This is a sort of battle of generations, as Graham was one of K-1's main Australian representatives through the early 2000's, winning a number of big fights, including a defeat of Badr Hari, until he saw that spot taken by Slowinski in the middle part of the decade.  These two have met twice before, splitting the battles 1-1.  While neither man is at his peak any more, this will still be a battle that Australian fans are excited about, and it should be close.  Both men have had recent successes, including an MMA victory over Aleksander Emelianenko for Graham.  The semi main event is also a big fight, as reigning K-1 Oceania champion Ben Edwards faces the former K-1 Vegas champ Carter Williams, who continues to try and make a comeback after a lengthy absence from the ring. Also signed is Jordan Tai vs. Steve Moxon and Atal Kakar vs. Supi Lanumata.

April 9 - Evolution 23: In this crowded scene, Evolution is leads the way.  They put on shows featuring full Muay Thai rules that spotlight both local fighters along with some names from Thailand.  Their 23rd show is coming up, and the main event is a good one, as longtime Aussie veteran Bruce "The Preacher" Macfie faces Frank Giorgi.  This is a rematch from Evolution 22 where Giorgi scored the somewhat surprising win over Macfie, who at the time was riding high off a win over John Wayne Parr.  The other fight I'm really looking forward to is Michael Thompson vs. Flip Street.  Thompson is one of my favorite younger talents in this scene, and this is a good fight for him.  Also on the card: Leonard Sitpholek vs. Danny Derdowski; Dane Daddy Cool vs. Serrachino; and Eli Madigan vs. Jason Scerri.

May 27 - Payback Time 3: Finally, the first fight in John Wayne Parr's 2011 retirement tour sees him main event here against his longtime rival Mike Zambidis.  Zambidis is coming off his resurgent 2010 that saw him win the fight of the year against Chahid in K-1 MAX, while Parr has announced that 2011 will be his last year as a fighter. These two men are 1-1 against each other, with their fights held up as some of the greatest in the history of the Australian scene.  With Parr's career coming to and end, Zambidis on the comeback trail, and both men looking to definitively win the series, this could be the Fight of the Year.

For more on these shows and the entire Australian scene, check out International Kickboxer magazine.

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Ben Edwards vs. Catalin Morosanu on Sept. 7th in Australia

  • Published in Kickboxing

Ben Edwards

Today we got word on a pretty big fight that will be going down in Australia this fall in their Kings of Kombat promotion, between two well-recognized and respected Heavyweights in the world of Kickboxing. Australia's own Ben Edwards is set to face off against SUPERKOMBAT's Romanian sensation Catalin Morosanu. This is set to go down in Melbourne, Australia on September 7th at Kings of Kombat.

We've also gotten word that Steve Moxon will be involved in a 70kg Super Fight on the same card. Stay tuned for more information as it comes in.

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John Wayne Parr to Retire in 2011

  • Published in Kickboxing

John Wayne Parr in actionJohn Wayne Parr has officially announced his retirement. The Australian Muay Thai fighter posted the news on his Facebook page last week:

“Never thought I would be writing this one, but 2011 will be my last year fighting. I turn 35 in May so time isn't on my side. Want to give it everything I can this year and finish on a high. Don’t want to have 5 fights too many and start drooling when I speak. One more year before I have to think about what I will do after I retire, hope it's not washing dishes.”

A big factor in this decision was his difficulty cutting weight at this point: “85kg to 72.5kg every 6 weeks hurts way to much and I don't think my body can go through it much more. Even dropping to 75kg hurts, any bigger I am just too small a frame to fight the big guys.”

Parr has made it clear that he will indeed fight through the end of 2011. He is looking at taking roughly 5-6 fights this year, preferably in Australia. The first of these fights is set, as Parr revealed that he will face his longtime rival Mike Zambidis on May 28 (thanks to our old pals at HKL for the info).  As for the rest of the fights - the Gunslinger has multiple opponents who he has met numerous times, and whose fights help define Parr's career.  Rivalries with Yodsaenklai, Zambidis, and Bruce Macfie are full of classic fights, and all would be great opponents for Parr's final year.

For more details directly from Parr, check out these new interviews with Muay Thai Is Life, and HeadKickLegend.

While Parr’s best days are perhaps behind him, he is far from irrelevant in the Middleweight division. Recent wins over the likes of Zambidis and Yodsaenklai Fairtex have shown that he can still compete with the best, and we currently have him ranked at #20 in the LiverKick.com Middleweight rankings. Like Masato before him, Parr is choosing to step away before injuries force him away and while he can remain healthy in retirement.

A long-time veteran of the sport, Parr started his professional career 18 years ago at just 17 years of age, famously winning an Australian title in his first year. Early in his career, Parr moved to Thailand where he gained valuable experience and quickly established himself as a young fighter to watch. Over the next few years, he competed primarily in Thailand (including winning the 2001 King’s Cup) and his native Australia.

For many fans, it was the 2004 K-1 MAX Grand Prix that brought Parr to international stardom. At the GP, Parr gave Buakaw Por. Pramuk all he could handle, dragging Buakaw to an extension round before the eventual 2004 champ could score enough damage to earn a close split decision win.

Parr’s next big international exposure came in 2007 when he appeared on The Contender Asia. Already a 15 year veteran of the sport, Parr was immediately seen as a focal point of the show. He made his way to the show’s finals before losing to Yodsaenklai.

2009 saw Parr face off with Buakaw once again at the Champion of Champions 2 event in Jamaica. Again, the two went to a razor close decision, and again Buakaw got the nod, although many felt that Parr should have taken the win.

Last year, Parr avenged his 2 previous loses to Yodsaenklai, finally defeating his long-time foe. He called this win “the greatest thing I have done in the sport” and said he now has nothing else he needs to accomplish.

While his career is exceptional, Parr’s popularity is equally due to his extremely open attitude towards fans. For years, Parr has been one of the most accessible fighters, always willing to talk openly with fans about his experiences. You can often find him on various message boards, sharing details about his fights, posting candid stories and pictures, and just taking part in the conversation. He is, and always has been, a tremendous ambassador for the sport.

In recent years, Parr has been focused on training fighters at his Boonchu Gym in Queensland, and will continue in this role into retirement. It’s great news that he will still be involved in the sport, as he not only represents Muay Thai well, but also has much to offer young fighters. His star pupil at the moment is Heavyweight Thor Hoopman, who is on the verge of breaking into the top 25 and made his K-1 debut last year at the Oceania GP.

While I certainly understand and respect his decision, there’s no denying that the kickboxing scene will lose something when Parr hangs up his gloves. On behalf of everyone at LiverKick.com, I wish Parr all the best in his final year, and in all his future plans.

We’ll have more details on Parr as the year continues, and will be sure to keep you up to date on the final year of this legend.

 

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It's Showtime Continues Global Expansion Into Australia

  • Published in Kickboxing

It's ShowtimeTo become a global kickboxing promotion, you have to promote all over the world. That includes going to some of the true hotbeds of the sport, which includes Western European countries and countries in the Pacific. For It's Showtime, they have most of Europe covered, with relationships spanning most of the major European countries, from their home in the Netherlands to Italy, the UK, Belgium, France and Poland. Hell, they are even running a show in Russia. Japan is currently in a state of turmoil, and is probably not safe for any outsider to be doing business in, especially with It's Showtime's relationship with K-1, which leaves a Muay Thai and Dutch kickboxing haven of Australia.

Well, say no more, as today on It's Showtime's Simon Rutz's Facebook page, Rutz indicated that within the next month they should have details ironed out for an Australian show. Rutz indicated that he had his sights set on Canberra or Sydney to run a show, but has no promotional partner of late. If you've wondered about It's Showtime's international shows, you'll notice that another person or entity will "present" It's Showtime shows. The last show was presented by promotional company Fighting Stars and their big France show is hosted by famous international kickboxer Kader Marouf.

It's Showtime's expansion plans are smart; they work with local names and form strong alliances with them to make doing business in foreign countries easier. You'll notice that the name Fighting Stars pops up often when it comes to It's Showtime, as they have strong bonds. That is what they look for in promoting kickboxing (American kickboxing promoters, are you listening to this? If you want to work with Rutz contact us and we'll hook you up).

A show in Australia would be a very good idea, as Australia is known for having some great kickboxing and muay thai talent due to its location, being in close proximity to Thailand and having strong European influences throughout the nation. There are a few high profile names from Australia that still compete today; Ben Edwards, Peter Graham, Nathan Corbett, Paul Slowinski and John-Wayne Parr. For a nation not Thailand, Japan or the Netherlands, that is a high concentration of strong names and there are plenty more within the Australian scene.

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John Wayne Parr Vs Toby Smith Fight Video

  • Published in Muay Thai

Powerplay Promotions put John Wayne Parr's WKA world middleweight title up for grabs on June 21st at the Melbourne Pavillion against a young, hungry Toby "The Weapon" Smith.

From the first bell it was shocking to see how strong and sturdy Toby Smith was, its not often that you see a big, strong fighter like JWP get pushed around like that. Parr threw some fast flurries anytime he had the chance but he just couldn't get Smith to move backwards and just always ended up stuck in the corner. In the Third round Toby had JWP pushed up against the ropes again and was moving forward like a man on a mission, clinching, kneeing and elbowing non stop. He landed a left hook that appeared to stagger John Wayne momentarily and then put him in a strange position perfect for Smith to whack him with an upward, left elbow which sent John Wayne Parr to the mat with a look of agony on his face. Turned out that the elbow broke JWP's orbital bone, crushed his sinus, and opened a cut that needed 5 stitches putting Parr at accumulative total of 280 stitches in his face alone.

Amazing performance from the new WKA middleweight world champion Toby Smith and we wish John Wayne Parr a speedy recovery you are an inspiration to many.

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