HISTORY IN THE MAKING AS MUAY THAI HITS LONDON

13 Mar 2006


A Muay Thai World Championship will be the closing act for one of London's famous sporting venues. The historic Wembely Convention Centre - the venue for the WBC Middleweight World Title contest between local hero Steve Wakeling and Australian superstar John Wayne Parr this Sunday night - will be closed down in the wake of the mega Wembley Sports Complex and arena nearing completion nearby.
The high profile contest is drawing a near capacity crowd to the historic Wembely centre which has been home to BBC snooker and Sky TV boxing.
As the football premiership season draws to a close, sports loving Londoners are showing special interest in the full contact Muay Thai world title contest between two outstanding British and Australian rivals.

The WBC Muay Thai World Champion belt went on show at Harrods last Friday. Among those to get a sneak preview of the coveted green belt were Harrods Chairman and owner, Mohammad Al Fahid and Chantelle, the glamorous TV star of "Big Brother".
"I am happy to see the Thai fighting art going onto the world stage. It's a big achievement to have the WBC come here to London and put on a world title contest," said Mr Al Fahid.
"I like Thailand and have invested (money) in the country. I am delighted to see Muay Thai getting worldwide recognition through the WBC."

Londoners are hoping that the much younger Wakeling (21) can overpower Parr (29) in first WBC Muay Thai world title contest to be held in the United Kingdom.
The build-up to the contest is adding extra color to London's enthusiasm for the spring season, even though temperatures have been hovering unseasonably at freezing point.
At today's weigh-in at the Wembley Quality Hotel (Saturday) Parr, the Aussie Muaythai legend who has fought the best during a 10 years fighting career, commented that "it's cold outside�but it's going to be an exceptionally hot during the world title contest."
"The English are walking around in their overcoats, but they can leave their hats and coats outside because it'll be sizzling in and near the ring on Sunday night."
Parr said there was so much riding on contest that he wouldn't be surprised if the fight ends with a KO.
Wakeling said he was feeling "right at home" and that he had peaked for the title shot.
"I love London and the Londoners, and I know that I'll be getting all the support I need."
Parr (29) has won 57 of 78 professional contests while Wakeling (21) has been beaten only twice in 20 contests.

Writtten by : Patrick Cusick

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