‘One Of Australia’s Best’ – Muay Thai Icon John Wayne Parr Thrilled To See Tyson Harrison Following In His Footsteps
Australian Muay Thai legend John Wayne Parr might be retired from professional competition, but his name is living on in the world of combat sports.
That’s because his 22-year-old compatriot Tyson Harrison is blazing his own path at the highest levels of Muay Thai – and he’s proudly doing it with the ring name “John Wayne Noi.”
With four thrilling appearances in the ONE Friday Fights event series at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, the young Australian has quickly endeared himself to Thai fans with his fearless, never-say-die approach to fighting.
It’s the same style that carried Parr to a WMC Muay Thai World Title and earned him a reputation as one of the sport’s most entertaining stars.
The 47-year-old legend told onefc.com that he recognizes the similarities between himself and the intrepid Harrison:
“We’re both aggressive, both like to walk forward, both like to put on entertaining competitions. So yeah, I definitely can see myself in him. And he’s such a good kid, always polite, and never causes any controversy. He just trains hard, fights well, and gets the job done. And now he’s got the reputation as one of Australia’s best.”
Indeed, “John Wayne Noi” burst onto the scene at ONE Friday Fights 1 with an unforgettable war against Thai fan favorite Seksan Or Kwanmuang. And while he would lose a narrow split decision that night, he did more than enough to garner the respect of the Bangkok crowd.
Harrison has since scored a pair of highlight-reel knockouts over elite Thai athletes, proving he has the skills to thrive at the top of the Muay Thai food chain.
Given that success, Parr is overjoyed to see his compatriot carrying the “John Wayne” name forward. He also explained the naming tradition that’s unique to the world of Muay Thai:
“In Thailand, the Thais tend to take other people’s names for good karma. If someone’s got runs on the board, you take their name, and then hopefully, that’ll transition over, and then the good luck will keep flowing.
“Then Tyson, being another Westerner from Australia, it sort of makes sense being in the same camp. After everything I’ve done, for him to continue the ball rolling, yeah, I’m so happy and humbled that he’s taken on my name and he’s doing so well.”
John Wayne Parr Says ‘John Wayne Noi’ Is On Track For Greatness
According to John Wayne Parr, the sky is the limit for Tyson “John Wayne Noi” Harrison.
With over 130 professional fights to his credit, “The Gunslinger” knows exactly what it takes to succeed in elite-level Muay Thai, and he says that Harrison is doing all the right things:
“He’s really putting the Australian flag on the map, and yeah, proving that being in Thailand with such longevity is going to help you become a star. So, that’s what you do. Put in the hard work, and good things happen.”
Fresh off a spectacular first-round knockout, “John Wayne Noi” seemingly has all the makings of a top-five bantamweight Muay Thai contender, if not a future World Champion.
Parr certainly thinks that Harrison – who trains out of the famed Sangtiennoi Muay Thai Gym – is on the right path to achieve just that.
“That’d be the best. It’d be so cool, and he deserves it, too. To be away from friends and family, and to isolate yourself in a different country, training six, seven hours a day in crazy conditions, and then to do all that and to then get the results that you’ve set out to achieve.
“Yeah, I hope it happens for him because like I said, [he’s a] super nice kid that trains super hard and fights entertaining. So yeah, if anyone deserves it, it’s definitely him.”