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John Wayne Parr V Mike Zambidis post script....

It was billed as the most exciting contest of the decade, 6 years in the making. Star of The Contender Muay Thai and 5 time World Champion, Australia's John Wayne Parr versus K1 star and 13 time world champion, Greece's Iron Mike Zambidis.

There is still controversy over the judges' decision from the last time they battled in November 2002, Zambidis won but some say Parr was robbed. May 8th 2009 in Melbourne Australia, it's Pay Back Time!

In the days before the fight Parr said ‘I'm going to leave no doubt, I want this one bad, I'm gonna smash him'. 6 years on Parr is still disappointed at the loss to Zambidis in 2002 and believes he won the fight, that's all ancient history now and on a wet and wintery night in Melbourne Parr was out for revenge.

Zambidis was a picture of health, a true fighting machine with the confidence of a huge fan base of Greek supporters in Melbourne behind him. Zambidis said ‘I told you, I will beat him again, now is Zambidis time!'

So the stage was set, the two highest profile and best fighters in world kickboxing and Muay Thai will battle it out, the trash talking was over, it's time to settle the score. Neither fighter wanted to leave any doubt, there will be no controversy this time. Your third man in centre ring was also the man in the middle last time, living legend Dave Hedgcock. Australia's premiere referee, dressed in all black, also refereed Parr vs Zambidis last time they met.

Joe Nader of Powerplay Promotions has been working for months to secure this fight and stage a contest the likes of which Melbourne has not seen in a decade. The arena, a 3800 seat sports centre would be full to capacity for an event that was more than just 2 fighters in centre ring. This was a matter of national pride, Australia versus Greece, Parr Versus Zambidis and the crowd was an even split.

Zambidis, first to enter centre ring, was flamboyant and confident, bouncing around and lapping up the support of his nations supporters. Parr's entrance was calm and equally confident, a little startled by the pyrotechnics exploding behind him, his cheeky smile and glassy stare reflected just how much he wanted this one.

As ring announcer Perry Cale went through the formalities of introducing the two fighters, Parr and Zambidis locked eyes, unblinking in a deathly stare that you'd expect from two such rivals... there would be no love lost tonight.

Parr's height and reach advantage was clear as Hedgcock brought the fighters together to issue the rules. Parr's stare was unwavering into the eyes of the smaller fighter, looking down on him like he was about to crush him. This was the first time we'd seen any lack of confidence from Zambidis, his stare was clearly focused on the chest of Parr refusing to look into his opponents' eyes.

The atmosphere was tense as the bell sounded for round one and both fighters took a cautious approach to the opening round. The first minute was quiet and calculated, slowly stalking each other and trading just enough to keep the referee happy, it was the calm before the storm.

Parr's raking roundhouse kicks were easily caught on the gloves of the Greek warrior, nothing much to score and Zambidis struggled to find a way through the tight defence and reach of the Australian. Parr had trained hard for this one but he's been denied his most lethal weapons, elbows and grappling knees. The rules tonight were kickboxing with single knees and clearly in Zambidis' favour.

Zambidis hooks were hard to land in the first round but he's fast and furious, his roundhouse kicks mostly checked by Parr. The caution shown in the early part of the first round had been thrown to the wind and now they were trading. Zambidis is at his best when he's the aggressor, he didn't expect that Parr would be taking the fight to him, forcing him to retreat as Parr delivered long roundhouse kicks forcing Zambidis onto the back foot. Both fighters have incredible counter fighting skills, Zambidis would attack with hands and Parr would lean back and land his shin to the ribs and forearms of Zambidis. Round one was by no means one sided but would go the way of Parr.

‘Seconds out' and the fighters would make a customary touch of gloves in centre ring. The feeling out round was behind them and Parr and Zambidis would now war until the last man stood tall. Both wanted the knockout, neither wanted the judges to have to make a decision. The hype that preceded the fight was now playing out in centre ring and both fighters were scoring, Zambidis with hooks, body shots and leg kicks, Parr with long hooks, straight punches and roundhouse kicks. Both fighters were defending and countering well but half way through the second round Parr would strike a telling blow. In a flurry of punches he landed a right hook to the eye of the Greek that would open up a cut on Zambidis' upper eyelid. With a minute to go in the round blood was pouring into the eye and down the face of Zambidis.

In Thailand this is the norm and acceptable to the local crowd conditioned to cuts and blood. Certainly if this was an undercard fight the doctor may have stopped the fight. This was the main event, the most anticipated fight of the decade and would either go the distance or end with a knockout. The Zambidis corner-men worked furiously to stem the flow of blood while Parr sat calmly and confidently in his corner listening to his trainer giving instructions. Doctor Lewis inspected the cut and was happy for the fight to continue. Round 2 was clearly Parr's.
Zambidis came out in round three as if he knew he was on borrowed time, no doubt he could still win this fight, he has a devastating overhand right and powerful hooks but he fought as if he knew the fight could be stopped at any time. The cut was deep and flowing freely and only inspired Parr, it gave him a clear target and focus. He continued to batter Zambidis with his hands, legs and long knee strikes. Even when Zambidis caught Parr's attacks on his gloves there was further damage to the cut. Referee Hedgcock would ask the doctor to once again assess the cut... ‘fight on'...

The fight would go the distance, by now both fighters were wearing Zambidis' blood, the cut was deep. Round four was Zambidis' best, like a man possessed he went after Parr with everything he had, to win this one he'd need the knockout and he has that in his arsenal. Too many of Zambidis' opponents have fallen to the Greeks' overhand right and he would land several to the chin and temple of the Australian in this round. But Parr is hard to drop, he's had many wars in his 98 fights and his 99th would be no different.

Again Doctor Lewis would be asked to examine the cut and Zambidis' crew would work to stem the flow of blood. In round five Parr knew he had this one, he kept his distance but Zambidis is quick and he tagged Parr a couple of times, Parr would not leave anything to chance delivering devastating punched, kicks and knees while trying to avoid the looping overhand and hooks of Zambidis. This one would go to the cards...

The bi-partisan crowd by now was worked into a frenzy. The roar in the last 20 seconds was deafening and as the final bell sounded the 3800 strong crowd stood in unison to applaud their fighter and what was a truly great and memorable fight.

At the final bell these two warriors embraced briefly before Parr dropped to the canvas and punched out a dozen clap push-ups, a clear statement that he had more left in the tank. So, to the score cards and with Referee Hedgcock flanked by Parr and Zambidis the announcement was made. Parr had won 49-46. You could see the emotion in his face as he fought back the tears, he'd felt robbed last time but there was no disputing the outcome of this main event.

Parr's traditional celebrations would follow with him standing on the ropes in each corner, defiantly folding his arms across his chest. This was Pay Back Time.

So what now for John Wayne Parr? Well, there's a much anticipated fight with Buakaw in Jamaica in June this year. Last time the two met in July 2004 the split decision went Buakaws' way after an extension round, could this be time for Parr's Pay Back once again? JWP is has also just released his long awaited box set of training DVD's. This is a project he's been wanting to do for many years and with Parr at the top of his game, what better time to share the knowledge that has made him a 5 time world champion and legend of Muay Thai. The 3 DVD series covers the fundamentals of authentic Muay Thai, advanced partner drills and 100% power pad work. Filmed at his Boonchu Gym on Australia's Gold Coast, the series not only delivers great instructional content but includes bonus features on Wai Kru, hand wraps and in-depth and insightful interviews with JWP. The box set of almost 4 hours of content is available from www.johnwayneparr.com.au


From roguemag.com



Post new comment
stark (1143 posts)
Posted: 2009-05-12 at: 03:24
There was interest for this fight, so i decided to put up article where you can read how it went
marcelt (319 posts)
Posted: 2009-05-12 at: 07:03
We need a video of this fight!
Daniel, Sweden reporter (2501 posts)
Posted: 2009-05-13 at: 12:37
thanx for the report stark, looking forward to the video alot
Pablo (795 posts)
Posted: 2009-05-14 at: 02:19
excellent vivid report! as for the vid, I've only seen some tiny excerpts on youtube
Post new comment



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