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Petrosyan vs. Mabel IV, Amrani, Le Banner and More Rumored for It's Showtime Lyon

Giorgio PetrosyanIt's Showtime has been on fire of late, and with their big Amsterdam ArenA show not happening, all signs point to their May 14th show in Lyon, France to be taking the place of the ArenA for a giant show. We've been talking with Simon Rutz lately, and while there has been a lot of focus on the return of Badr Hari for May 14th and his possible opponent, there have been other fights rumored, as well as individual fighters.

Simon Rutz and It's Showtime are working with famous fighter Kader Marouf to put together this card, and so far it is somewhat official that we can expect Daniel Ghita as well as Badr Hari competing on the show against unknown opponents as of this moment.

One of the big rumored bouts for the evening is Giorgio Petrosyan taking on Abdallah Mabel for the fourth time. Mabel holds a losing record of 0-3 against Petrosyan, but the Lyon native makes for a perfect showcase for one of It's Showtime's international jewels in Petrosyan. Winner of the Isuzu Thai Fight -67kgs tournament, Fabio Pinca is set to take on It's Showtime's recent showcase fighter Mosab Amrani. Mosab just had a blistering battle at It's Showtime: The Sands and has the kickboxing world keeping a close eye on him. Yohan Lidon with take on Mirat Grigorian as well, with both men looking to make a big impression on the big stage.

There is also a rumor kicking around that French superstar and one of K-1's all time greats, Jerome Le Banner will be fighting on this card. More as it unfolds.

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John Wayne Parr to Retire in 2011

John Wayne Parr in actionJohn Wayne Parr has officially announced his retirement. The Australian Muay Thai fighter posted the news on his Facebook page last week:

“Never thought I would be writing this one, but 2011 will be my last year fighting. I turn 35 in May so time isn't on my side. Want to give it everything I can this year and finish on a high. Don’t want to have 5 fights too many and start drooling when I speak. One more year before I have to think about what I will do after I retire, hope it's not washing dishes.”

A big factor in this decision was his difficulty cutting weight at this point: “85kg to 72.5kg every 6 weeks hurts way to much and I don't think my body can go through it much more. Even dropping to 75kg hurts, any bigger I am just too small a frame to fight the big guys.”

Parr has made it clear that he will indeed fight through the end of 2011. He is looking at taking roughly 5-6 fights this year, preferably in Australia. The first of these fights is set, as Parr revealed that he will face his longtime rival Mike Zambidis on May 28 (thanks to our old pals at HKL for the info).  As for the rest of the fights - the Gunslinger has multiple opponents who he has met numerous times, and whose fights help define Parr's career.  Rivalries with Yodsaenklai, Zambidis, and Bruce Macfie are full of classic fights, and all would be great opponents for Parr's final year.

For more details directly from Parr, check out these new interviews with Muay Thai Is Life, and HeadKickLegend.

While Parr’s best days are perhaps behind him, he is far from irrelevant in the Middleweight division. Recent wins over the likes of Zambidis and Yodsaenklai Fairtex have shown that he can still compete with the best, and we currently have him ranked at #20 in the LiverKick.com Middleweight rankings. Like Masato before him, Parr is choosing to step away before injuries force him away and while he can remain healthy in retirement.

A long-time veteran of the sport, Parr started his professional career 18 years ago at just 17 years of age, famously winning an Australian title in his first year. Early in his career, Parr moved to Thailand where he gained valuable experience and quickly established himself as a young fighter to watch. Over the next few years, he competed primarily in Thailand (including winning the 2001 King’s Cup) and his native Australia.

For many fans, it was the 2004 K-1 MAX Grand Prix that brought Parr to international stardom. At the GP, Parr gave Buakaw Por. Pramuk all he could handle, dragging Buakaw to an extension round before the eventual 2004 champ could score enough damage to earn a close split decision win.

Parr’s next big international exposure came in 2007 when he appeared on The Contender Asia. Already a 15 year veteran of the sport, Parr was immediately seen as a focal point of the show. He made his way to the show’s finals before losing to Yodsaenklai.

2009 saw Parr face off with Buakaw once again at the Champion of Champions 2 event in Jamaica. Again, the two went to a razor close decision, and again Buakaw got the nod, although many felt that Parr should have taken the win.

Last year, Parr avenged his 2 previous loses to Yodsaenklai, finally defeating his long-time foe. He called this win “the greatest thing I have done in the sport” and said he now has nothing else he needs to accomplish.

While his career is exceptional, Parr’s popularity is equally due to his extremely open attitude towards fans. For years, Parr has been one of the most accessible fighters, always willing to talk openly with fans about his experiences. You can often find him on various message boards, sharing details about his fights, posting candid stories and pictures, and just taking part in the conversation. He is, and always has been, a tremendous ambassador for the sport.

In recent years, Parr has been focused on training fighters at his Boonchu Gym in Queensland, and will continue in this role into retirement. It’s great news that he will still be involved in the sport, as he not only represents Muay Thai well, but also has much to offer young fighters. His star pupil at the moment is Heavyweight Thor Hoopman, who is on the verge of breaking into the top 25 and made his K-1 debut last year at the Oceania GP.

While I certainly understand and respect his decision, there’s no denying that the kickboxing scene will lose something when Parr hangs up his gloves. On behalf of everyone at LiverKick.com, I wish Parr all the best in his final year, and in all his future plans.

We’ll have more details on Parr as the year continues, and will be sure to keep you up to date on the final year of this legend.

 

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Amsterdam Mayor NOT Looking to Ban Martial Arts Events

Eberhard van der LaanA while back, it was reported that Amsterdam's new mayor, Eberhard van der Laan had been looking to crack down on organized crime, with a distinct focus on Martial Arts events. He was even quoted talking about mobsters being "VIPs" at Ultimate Glory and It's Showtime events. This, to many, set off alarms as there was talk of outright banning these events to keep criminals out of the public eye like that, being paraded around as important figures.

Thankfully for us, one of the reporters in the Netherlands who posts on Mixfight.nl scheduled an interview with Mr. van der Laan to discuss organized crime and Martial Arts. The picture that he paints is much different than the original article that ran in de Telegraaf (which has been known to be a "sensationalist" newspaper at times). This is very important as Tokyo, Japan goes through a tough time, all eyes are on Amsterdam to be the capitol of the kickboxing world.

"I think that there was a big miscommunication. If we can clearly communicate mutual understanding, and cooperation. " Van der Laan continued this by explaining that he used to participate in a lot of sports. He played a lot, and has learned important things from sports. Things like health, discipline and social development through meeting people, few things. The one issue where he is-strongly opposed, is the connection between upper and lower world that currently takes place in the martial arts events, and robust studies with cooperation of the police has shown that this dynamic of criminals mixing with average citizens indeed takes place at martial arts events. This is the connection that he wants to remove, and to do this would mean that the enthusiastic fighters and government must work together.

I implore you to read the full article, which discusses a meeting that took place between Alistair Overeem, Marloes Coehen and van der Laan about organized crime and martial arts events. The mayor describes Ubereem as a "nice and neat guy." [source]

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United Glory's Jan. 30th Show Postponed Due to Gokhan Saki's Injury

United GloryWith Gokhan Saki and John Alessio injured entering into the January 30th United Glory card, held by the Golden Glory team, they've decided to postpone the show until March. They put up a notice on their website on the 21st and will announce a make-up date on the 25th.

UG has taken this decision in the light of the news that Gokhan Saki has not recovered sufficiently from his broken hand (an injury sustained during the K1 final held in Japan). As a result of the injury, Saki would have been unable to fight in the Glory World Series on 30 January 2011.
In view of his unique kickboxing skills and enormous public popularity, UG believes that the event cannot continue without him. UG aims to prevent the major disappointment among fans that would result if he was not given a fair chance to prove himself in the Glory World Series. The recommendation to postpone the event in order to ensure that the favourite Gokhan Saki can still take part was also made for the sake of the TV companies who broadcast the Glory World Series to countless fans. The move is also of major importance for the sponsors of the Glory World Series.

Read the entire release on the United Glory website. Keep your eyes glued to LiverKick.com for more information when we have it.

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