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The Gunslinger

John Wayne Parr

John Wayne “The Gunslinger” Parr, often referred to as JWP, was born on 25 May 1976 and is a retired Australian Muay Thai fighter, kickboxer, and boxer associated with Boonchu Gym in Gold Coast, Queensland. Holding the prestigious title of a 10-time World Champion, he also notably became the runner-up on The Contender Asia.

In his early life, Parr began his journey into martial arts with taekwondo at the age of 11. His dedication soon led him to compete in the Queensland titles at QE2 Stadium in 1988, where he secured a silver medal. By 1990, he transitioned to kickboxing and took part in his first fight in Richmond, New South Wales at just 14. The following years saw him move first to Mornington, Victoria in 1992, and then to Queensland in 1993 where he started training under Blair Moore.

Parr commenced his professional fighting career in Australia at a young age of 16. By 17, he had already clinched the Australian title in the 63 kg category. At 19, he defeated Scott Lovelock for the South Pacific title. 1996 marked a significant year for him when he met Richard Vell, the proprietor of Boonchu Thai food. With Vell’s sponsorship, Parr relocated to Thailand.

Between 1996 and 1999, Parr immersed himself in rigorous training in Pattaya and Bangkok. He undertook 30 fights during this period, out of which he claimed two world titles. His unique gunfighter imitation during the wai khru ritual drew attention and made him a popular figure in the Thai fighting circuit. This popularity was further solidified when he was honored as the Best Farang Fighter of the year in 1997. During his stint in Thailand, he also showcased his skills at the renowned Lumpinee Stadium on three occasions. In 1999, he returned to Australia, inaugurating the Boonchu Gym and commencing his boxing career.

Parr’s foray into boxing began in 1998, and he soon faced formidable opponents such as Andriy Khamula, Nader Hamdan, and Rasheed Baloch, registering multiple victories. A significant highlight of his boxing career was his victory over Anthony Mundine in 2019, after which he announced his retirement owing to health issues.

Throughout his expansive career, Parr participated in various K-1 events from 2002 to 2005, competing against renowned fighters like Shane Chapman, Mike Zambidis, Duane Ludwig, Albert Kraus, and Buakaw Por. Pramuk. He won the S1 Tournament World Champion Title in 2004 and later secured the WMC World Muay Thai Champion title. His appearance in The Contender Asia Finals in 2008 saw him face off against Yodsaenklai, where he faced defeat through a unanimous decision but later emerged victorious in a rematch.

Despite announcing retirement in 2012, Parr’s passion for the sport saw him making a comeback in 2013 with Powerplay Promotions, going up against fighters like Marco Piqué, Cosmo Alexandre, and Yohan Lidon. Between 2016 and 2018, he was signed with Bellator Kickboxing, and in 2019, he made his debut in the Rizin Fighting Federation against Danilo Zanolini. His association with ONE Championship started in 2020, and he fought notable bouts against fighters such as Nieky Holzken in 2021 and Eduard Folayang in 2022, which was his retirement match.

Parr’s illustrious journey in the world of martial arts has been captured in the documentary “Blessed With Venom”, providing an in-depth look into his life and career.