Parr’s long and brutal road to Mundine fight
JOHN Wayne Parr has spent 32 wild years on the long and wounding road toward his battle with Anthony Mundine at Cbus Stadium next Saturday.
One of Australia's greatest ever exponents of combat sports, he has had 145 fights, fought before a crowd of 100,000 in Bangkok, won 10 world championships, and has kicked on to one success after another as he climbed higher and higher in world standings.
He started in martial arts at 11 while living in a Hendra house that backed on to Eagle Farm racecourse and took taekwondo lessons at a nearby gym.
Now 43 he has remained active as a fighter and is coming off a split-decision loss to Brazilian Danilo Zanolini in Japan in August.
Parr says the 44-year-old Mundine remains a formidable obstacle but one he can overcome with his power and physical toughness.
Between 1998 and 2003, Parr was also one of Australia's best boxers, winning the national middleweight title and brawling through 12 rounds with Olympian Sakio Bika, who went on to become a world champion.
"What I bring to the table is a completely different aggression to a normal boxer,'' Parr said.
"In Muay Thai fighting I've been hit with bare knees and elbows so to be hit with padded boxing gloves doesn't intimidate me.
"I expect Mundine to stick and move. I might not catch him for the first five or six rounds but when I do catch him I know I'm going to hurt him because I hurt everyone.
"And I will keep the punches coming. I don't throw ones and twos - I throw eights and tens. I might miss the first six but seven and eight are going to hurt.
"With Muay Thai - I might have sore legs and a sore body but even after a hard fight I haven't suffered the head trauma that many boxers experience. Muay Thai does less overall damage than boxing because there are more targets to attack. For longevity I think Muay Thai is safer than boxing.''
Still, the father of three suffered a broken eye socket in 2014 when he copped an elbow in the cheek and spent three nights in Royal Melbourne Hospital.
He had to get his mum to drive him from Melbourne back to his Gold Coast home because doctors wouldn't let him fly.
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