The Logan Metro Sports Centre in Queensland played host to Caged Muay Thai 9 on Saturday night when Australian muay thai icon ‘John’ Wayne Parr beat Canadian Matthew Richardson in a methodical performance to capture the Super Middleweight Caged Muay Thai (CMT) title via a unanimous decision over five rounds.
When people think of Australian muay thai, they automatically think of ‘John’ Wayne Parr. The fighter who has dominated muay thai in Australia for well over a decade jumped into the cage again on Saturday night to face Thailand based Canadian Matthew Richardson. Richardson a two time Banlga and Patong Stadium champion was in for a tough night. Parr’s 126 fights compared to Richardson’s 31 was always going to be a telling stat in a fight that went the distance, but rarely challenged the muay thai great.
The first round was even between the two fighters, with Richardson pressing forward but unable to gain any strong advantage on the judges’ score cards. Richardson opened up the second round with a raft of flashy techniques, but it was Parr who landed the stronger and more effective of the exchanges in the second round with roundhouse kicks to the ribs causing most of the damage. Richardson continued to push forward in that round, but it was the superior boxing skills of Parr (former Australian National Boxing Federation Champion) that showed the difference between the two fighters. A strong barrage of punch and kick combinations in the third round did little to phase Richardson, but the score cards were well and truly beginning to see an edge towards Parr.
As a result of strong combination work from Parr, a swollen left eye was seen quite quickly on Richardson early in the fourth round. While Richardson continued to look for point scoring opportunities it was Parr who again dominated the round with strong clinching and a cleaner exchange of punches. Later in the fourth round Parr managed to drop Richardson for a standing eight-count from referee Brad Vocale. A risky moment was seen at the beginning of the fifth round with a spinning backfist from Richardson catching Parr, but a count wasn’t forthcoming from Vocale, with the action continuing. A quick set of elbow flurries up against the cage resulted in an eight-count on Richardson. Soon after Parr dropped Richardson with a strong set of uppercuts and Vocale was called on again for another eight-count. The bell rang soon after and Parr took the unanimous decision from the judges and the Caged Muay Thai Super Middleweight Title.
The semi-main event saw a tough five round battle from Australian muay thai veteran Ghot Suernoi and Irish muay thai fighter Stephen Meleady. A fairly even first round from the two experienced fighters saw Ghot come out on top with a slight advantage due to more effective striking. The second round showed that Meleady was not phased by the pedigree of his Australian opponent as he pressed forward on numerous occasions. As the story in this fight was to go however, it was Ghot that showed his superior defensive techniques, successfully evading Meleady’s strikes on numerous occasions and scoring powerful counter-attacks.
Meleady would have the volume of attacks throughout the fight, but little seemed to have any real impact on Ghot, with the Australian fighter landing the cleaner of the strikes round after round. A tough performance from both fighters but it was Ghot who was able to get the judges nod over the five rounds for the Caged Muay Thai Lightweight Title, with a two big attacks rocking Meleady in the fifth round resulting in separate eight counts from the referee. An absolute war between both fighters, and a credit to their respective camps.
The third last fight of the night for the Caged Muay Thai Heavyweight Title was fought between Rob Ferguson and Bradley Traynor. In the lead up to the fight, trainer for Bradley Traynor – Aaron ‘Azzatron’ Smith unexpectedly, and sadly passed away. A key figure in the Queensland muay thai scene, Smith trained many champions across multiple fight styles. In what was an emotional fight for Traynor, he battled through and eventually took the title via doctor’s stoppage in the fourth round dedicating his performance to his late trainer.