Australian muaythai icon and stalwart John Wayne Parr has taken top honours on Saturday night, coming away from the 2016 Australian Muaythai Awards with three separate trophies.
Held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the Gold Coast in front of a sold-out audience, the Australian Muaythai Awards was a who’s who of past and present fighters, trainers and other notable community members. Special guests John Wayne Parr, Claire Foreman, Nathan ‘Carnage’ Corbett and UFC star Mark Hunt were on hand to celebrate the year that was in Australian Muaythai. The Awards, now in their fourth year, were voted on by members of the public and presented to the recipients by past and present fighters including Soren King, Dane Beachump and Rheinardt Badato.
Taking out the Pro Male Fighter of the Year award for 2016 was John Wayne Parr who had a successful year in and out of the ring fighting (and beating) a raft of international opponents both in Australia and overseas, while also continuing to hold shows for his hugely successful Caged Muaythai (CMT) series. In addition to his Fighter of the Year award, Wayne was also awarded with the 2016 Ambassador award for his work to promote muaythai in Australia and overseas. His third award for the night was 2016 Promoter of the Year which he shares with his wife Angie Parr, for their work on CMT during the year.
The top award for Pro Female Fighter of the Year for 2016 was awarded to Queensland fighter Sam Brown. Brown is a four time Australian Muaythai Champion and noted in her acceptance speech that while 2016 didn’t see her get the results she wanted, almost deciding to walk away from the sport, 2017 would be a much bigger year. In addition to her Fighter of the Year Award, Brown also walked away with the 2016 Sexiest Female Fighter award.
One of the most exciting young prospects in the Australian muaythai scene, Brandon Spain, was awarded with the 2016 Up & Coming male Fighter award. This follows on from the previous year in which he won best Teenage Male Fighter. Still at a young age, with many impressive wins to his name, Brandon was humble in accepting his award acknowledging the strong line-up of nominees for the award. In addition, Brandon also received Fight of the Year recognition with fellow Queensland fighter Cory Still.
Taking out the award for the 2016 Promotion of the Year was Melbourne-based Rebellion Muaythai who continue to go from strength to strength, launching a new show aimed at novice fighters with five or less fights (Roots Muaythai) and expanding interstate for the first time into Sydney. Since beginning in 2011, the promotion has gone on to host close to 20 shows and become one of the premier muaythai promotion in Australia.
The 2016 award for Trainer of the Year was awarded to the late Aaron ‘Azzatron’ Smith out of Corporate Box in Queensland who unexpectedly passed away in November of this year. Smith was a renowned trainer in both boxing and muaythai and guided many top Australian fighters and champions. In a moving presentation, family and friends were on hand to accept the award on Smith’s behalf. It was also announced that moving forward the Trainer of the Year award would now be known as the Aaron ‘Azzatron’ Smith award.
The 2016 Australian Muaythai Awards were organised by a volunteer committee including fighters (past and present), trainers, promoters and sponsors including Angie Parr, Sam Brown, Reinhardt Badato, Melina Yung, John Gaggiano and Claudine Gaggiano.
2016 Australian Muaythai Award Winners
Male Pro Fighter of the Year – John Wayne Parr
Female Pro Fighter of the Year – Sam Brown
Male Teenage Fighter of the Year – Brandon Spain
Female Teenage Fighter of the Year – Jasmine Parr
Kids (Under 12) Fighter of the Year – Max Tzambazis
Male Up & Comer of the Year – Cameron Webb
Female Up & Comer of the Year – Amanda Juniko
Most Technical Fighter of the Year – Ghot Suernoi
Trainer of the Year – Aaron ‘Azzatron’ Smith
Youth Trainer of the Year – Darren Reece
Fight of the Year – Brandon Spain vs Cory Still
Knockout of the Year – Elliot Compton
Promoter of the Year – Angie and Wayne Parr (Caged Muaythai)
Promotion of the Year – Rebellion Muaythai
Referee of the Year – Brad Vocale
Photographer of the Year – Sharon Richards
MC of the Year – John Democoli
Sponsor of the Year – JPS Coatings
Walkout of the Year – Michael Badato
Inspirational Figure of the Year – Yolanda Schmidt
Sexiest Male Fighter – Jake Lund
Sexiest Female Fighter – Samantha Brown
Muaythai Ambassador of the Year – John Wayne Parr