Although GLORY had all the attention yesterday, Australia had a super fight of it's own in Melbourne, as surging youngster Toby Smith, ranked fifth by WBC Muay Thai, fought John Wayne Parr, likely the best ever Muay Thai fighter from down under to date.
Parr, known as JWP for short and nicknamed 'The Gunslinger' for his all action performances, has fought a who's who of competition over the years in the middleweight division, including Buakaw, pound-for-pound all time great Sakmongkol Sithchuchok, and a trilogy with Yodsanklai Fairtex. His second bout with Yodsanklai was the final of 'The Contender Asia', one of the best ever stabs at a combat sports-themed reality show in my opinion.
Toby Smith is an ever improving twenty-one year old from Perth, who has fought in Thailand himself. He's been training in Thailand on and off since he was a teenager, and has been honing his skill set with the formidable F.A Group recently. His work with Thailand's current clinch masters showed in this bout, as he was on top throughout and smashed Parr to the mat with savage elbows in the third frame.
For Parr, in his late thirties and having toyed with the idea of retirement already over the past few years, this is likely the end. He's had a phenomenal career, and will always be remembered by Muay Thai fans as an all action fighter.
Toby Smith has truly marked himself as a fighter to watch, and should get your attention whoever he fights next. Still in his early twenties, he's likely one of the very best middleweights in Muay Thai today, and although JWP is undoubtedly past his best, the way he was dominated and beat down is extremely impressive.
The video has the build-up and complete fight, and is well worth a watch.