An Interview With The Gunslinger
A Chat with Lion Fight 25 Main Event Fighter, John Wayne Parr
John Wayne Parr is less than four weeks out from his third fight with Cosmo Alexandre.
The winner will be gifted with the right to put a definitive stamp on the duo’s dynamic trilogy along with being crowned the Lion Fight Champion of the World. A title that has quickly become as coveted as the illustrious WBC strap– a title that is widely considered the finest in the world for both boxing and Muay Thai.
I had a chance to follow up with Wayne as he prepares for Cosmo as well as follow up fights he has scheduled following his trek to San Diego.
You’re fighting Cosmo Alexandre at Lion Fight 24 to wrap up the trilogy and headline the card of one of the world’s top promotions. You were victorious in your first encounter and came up short in the rematch.
Do you recall anything in particular from the previous two encounters that might have affected the outcome of either bout?
John Wayne Parr: Our first fight was end of 2007. I trained really hard and felt like I couldn’t put a foot wrong. The fight was fast paced with lots of action.
The 2nd fight was on an 8 man tournament and Cosmo was my 2’nd fight. I won my first fight but hurt my shin tearing a few inches of muscle off the shinbone. I iced up my leg in the back room before our fight but it wasn’t enough. Half way through the first Cosmo landed a solid kick that I checked and I thought my shin was snapped. I tried to fight on but the pain was too intense.
Have you changed anything for this camp? Or are you sticking to what you know and who you know as far as training sessions go?
JWP: This fight I am working on getting as fit as possible so I can go hard for the entire 5 rounds. I want to give the American fans a fight that they will be talking about for a long time. I want to prove to the world I deserve to be the Lion Fight champion.
Once things are wrapped up with Lion Fight you will be headlining the next Caged Muay Thai card with a highly anticipated fight against Cyrus Washington.
Cyrus has been incredibly active in Myanmar with Lethwei bouts for the past year. Give us your take on Cyrus as an opponent and whether or not you think competing in Lethwei could change a fighter’s game– stylistically speaking.
JWP: I have heard the name Cyrus for many years and following him on social media. He is a very strong competitor with an amazing array of kicks and strikes. He has the perfect style for my cage event and I have no doubt the Australian fans are going to love what he brings to the cage. Fighting bare knuckle for so long Cyrus will have no problem transitioning to the MMA gloves.
The tragic passing of boxer Davey Browne Jr. has prompted the Australian Medical Association to call for a ban on children competing in combat sports as well as for boxing to be banned at the Olympic and Commonwealth games.
The AMA has also voiced their concerns for MMA or “cage fighting” as well. What are your thoughts on their divisive stance against combat sports and do you feel that this incident will eventually call for a review of your very own promotion, C.M.T?
JWP: Yes it’s very sad when you hear the news of anyone getting seriously injured or passing doing a sport we all love. Long as there is a safety standard for the youth to compete in I don’t see a problem.
The positive effects of martial arts far outweigh the negatives in children competing. As everyone already knows martial arts teaches respect for other people, gives them a chance to learn self confidence and the ability to know that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. Plus there is no greater rush than winning a few trophies and making a name for yourself, gaining experience for when you are older so you are ready to take on the world.
Glory is only three weeks out of hosting their 24th event here in Denver Colorado. After its’ rebirth, Glory has now been around as a promotion for just about three years. What is your take on the promotion so far?
And how does it compare to K-1 in the early to mid 2000’s? A period of time that many consider to be the golden era of Kickboxing with fighters like yourself, Buakaw, Masato, Andy Souwer and Duane Ludwig all fighting under one banner year round.
JWP: I think Glory is great promotion and one of the leading promotions around the world. It has a long way to go before it is at the level of K-1, but they are doing the best to make that happen and I hope they achieve it one day.
For me as a teenager watching the likes of Peter Aerts, Lebanner, Hoost and so on you couldn’t help but dream of one day being a K-1 fighter. And very lucky for me they happen to start a 70kg division just at the right time in my career giving me a chance to live my dream. I hope the younger generation looks at Glory the same and dream of having the belt in their pool room.