Introducing John Wayne “The Gunslinger” Parr!
Article courtesy of Wayne Carl of Nick Portella MMA and MMA Freaks.
John Wayne “The Gunslinger” Parr
Born: 25th May 1976
Fight Weight: 69-72 kilos
Record: Kickboxing (99-32) Boxing (10-3)
Fighting out of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
10 Time Muay Thai World Champion
Notable Organisations: Bellator, Caged Muay Thai, Boonchu Cup, Powerplay, Evolution, The Contender, SNKA Titans, WBC Muay Thai, K-1, S-1 (so many more).
Countries where he has represented Australia: Thailand, Japan, USA, France, Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, UK, South Korea, Singapore, Jamaica, China, and Australia.
Notable wins: Mike Zambidis, Cosmo Alexandre, Daniel Dawson, Bruce Macfie, Lamsangkram Chaurattana.
Honorable losses: Buakaw Por.Pramuk, Yodsanklai Fairtex and Cosmo Alexandre.
The words Legend, Champion and Sporting Hero are thrown around far too easy for my liking. Those descriptions should be left for the few who embody what they stand for. The name John Wayne Parr will always sit comfortably before, next to, or after such analogies. If you don’t know who John Wayne Parr is, sit back and read about the man referred to as the “Gunslinger”. He fights at Bellator 196 (Kickboxing) this weekend hoping to bring up an astonishing 100th win!
Family: Married to decorated American kickboxer Angie Rivera-Parr (30-12-3), both daughter (Jasmine) and son (Jesse) are now forging their own careers as well (Gemma won’t be far off). A true fighting family in every sense of the word.
Early JWP Days: JWP started fighting at an early age of 11. Growing up in Queensland it quickly became his number one passion. Turning Pro at 16 (yes, 16) JWP was fighting grown men and more than holding his own. By 19 a move to a foreign land to take up training in one of (if not the toughest) places in the world, Thailand. JWP paved the way for future aspiring Martial Artists. Although not the first white fighter to go over and train, he certainly helped it become the norm to travel and set up camp. Many refer to him as a pioneer.
Early career (1997-2007): JWP’s Pro debut was in 1997 at the famous Lumpinee stadium Thailand. JWP would win by TKO over Joe Louie. His best streak of wins in his early career came from 2000-2002 where he went 9-0 with impressive victories over Orono Por.Muang Ubon, Miguel Marques and Baxter Humby. His most disappointing run of losses was 4 straight from 2005-2006, losing two split decisions amongst 4 decision losses against the very best opposition. In terms of kickboxing JWPs strike rate was amazing only a decade into a stellar career.
Boxing (1998-2003): JWP also loved to mix it up in a boxing ring. Starting his Pro career in 1998 against Jim Shannon, JWP would reel off 8 straight victories and the Australian boxing public took notice of the Muay Thai specialist. Fighting for the IBF Pan Pacific Title against an Australian Champion named Nader Hamdan, JWP would lose his first boxing match against one of Australia’s very best. Over the next 2 years JWP would go 2-2 losing to Ian Mcleod and Sakio Bika, both very well accomplished boxers. With boxing never his true calling, JWP returned to his favourite past time. One aspect of his boxing career that was underrated was that he only lost 3 times by decision.
The Contender (2007/8): JWP entered a reality contest The Contender Asia. He would finish runner up to Yodeaenklai Fairtex, holding his own against all on the show and doing Australia proud! JWP had past 30 years of age, he had put his name up in international lights. What more could the man possibly achieve?
The best was still yet to come!
(2007/8-2012): While waiting to fight the finale of the contender, JWP notched up another couple of victories including a win over the exceptional Cosmo Alexandre. Over the next 4 years an always active and ready to fight JWP would record many fantastic victories over kickboxing royalty including the great Mike Zambidis and Lamsongkram Chuwattana. While dropping the odd fight to the likes of Legendary Buakaw Por.Pramuk, Cosmo Alexandre (rematch) and Zhang Kaiyin.
Short lived retirement (2012-13): Mid-thirties hit and with much success achieved JWP decided he had taken enough punishment. With close on 100 fights he deserved to sit back and coach the next generation. A great win in his retirement fight in Caged Muay Thai and all expected JWP to wonder off and just coach at his highly successful and respected “Boonchu” gym in Queensland.
The resurrection-(2013-current): A short-lived retirement for JWP and with his wife’s blessing JWP got back to what made him tick. JWP has gone 13-3 since the re-birth of his career. His 3 losses against world class fighters who he has more than held his own against. Fighting arguably the best opposition in kickboxing he is on a 6-fight win streak. At over 40 years of age Bellator kickboxing is his current home along with his own promotions. Many want the name John Wayne Parr on their resume – “Come get it” because this old warrior has plenty left in the tank!
Closing in on 100 victories: This weekend at Bellator 196 kickboxing in Budapest, JWP looks to achieve his 100th victory against tough opponent Eder Lopes from Portugal.
The whole of Australia is behind the legend, give him hell “Gunslinger”!
Why you need to follow this champions journey: Not only is JWP an absolute warrior (refer to his 330 stitches as evidence), but he respects all that is Martial Arts. A family man with values, a sense of humour and a fighter who respects his fans. Many of the top-level fighters all over the world could take a leaf out of JWP’s book.
What isn’t there to like about the wild man from Queensland Australia?
** Do yourself a favour and watch the 2011 fight vs Mike Zambidis.