Boxer and kickboxer Nieky Holzken will be competing under an unfamiliar ruleset at ONE on TNT Part III. The former Glory welterweight (170lbs) champion will be facing John Wayne Parr under Muay Thai rules.

He thinks it has been nearly a decade since he last competed in Muay Thai,

“(It) has been a long time for me, like ten years. Normally, I never do it, especially not with small gloves but I said, ‘Okay, you get your weapons, but then I want a weapon’.”

Parr has won too many Muay Thai titles to list but while the ruleset definitely favours his opponent Holzken thinks fighting in smaller gloves gives him an edge and suggests he might have a surprise in store for the Australian,

“Because I know I’m a hard hitter, small gloves are a bonus point for me. I have trained in Thailand, I know their game but I have one big surprise and that’s my knockout power. When he comes for the elbows and he comes for the clinch he will get surprised, I promise that.”

Feeling good

The two have never fought before but do have several opponents in common. Both have faced Buakaw Por Pramuk, Cosmo Alexandre, Marco Piqué and Lamsongkram Chuwattana.

Holzken is seven years younger and admits he has been following the Australian’s career for a long time,

“John Wayne Parr is a legend. I like his style very much and I always wanted to fight with him. I feel excited that it’s actually going to happen,” Holzken says.

He is coming off an impressive first round stoppage win of Elliot Compton at ONE: ‘Big Bang’ Part II last year. Holzken looked back to his best and says he was in the right state of mine heading into that contest,

“Obviously, it feels very good to get back on track with a big KO in the first round. I was really sharp. There was no stress on my head and you see the result,” he said.

No fear

Holzken has occasionally competed under Muay Thai rules but has been a kickboxer or boxer for the vast majority of his career. By contrast Parr has made his name in the former sport, although he did compete in several K-1 tournaments at the start of the century and has an impressive boxing record of his own.

The Dutchman is impressed by his opponent’s versatility and ability to compete in multiple striking sports,

“John Wayne Parr is an all-around martial artist. He can box, he can do Muay Thai, and he can do K-1-style kickboxing. He is a good pressure fighter also,” he said.

Holzken was in the right frame of mind for his last fight and says that will be the case again this time around,

“There’s nothing but respect from my side, but I know I’m very strong and I’m very good in my head right now like 1000%. I have no fear of anybody.”

Much better

While he’s competing under his opponent’s ruleset of choice Holzken does not believe that the smaller gloves will be the only factor in his favour,

“I think I hit harder. I think I have better eyes. I think I have good counters and defense, and I think I’m much, much better with my boxing.”

Having dropped back to back decisions against Regian Eersel in lightweight kickboxing title fights he got back to winning ways last December. Holzen needed just over 90 seconds to knock out Compton and is hoping to finish Parr in a similar timeframe,

“I want to win with a knockout in the first round.”