One hundred! It’s a special number for most sportspeople and their fans.

It usually means a significant milestone, an Everest that has been achieved through more than enough determination and sacrifice – the old blood, sweat and tears.

My 100 is within reach. So close. I can taste it, touch it. In fact, I believe, I should already have achieved it.

Later this year (December 1), in Italy, I am scheduled to fight a tough, up-and-coming southpaw Tiziano Campus. Win that war and I will have achieved one of my lifetime career goals – 100 victories.

John Wayne Parr exclusive insight

Right now I have 99 wins, 33 losses in my fighting discipline – Muay Thai kick boxing. There are many Thai fighters who clock up as many as 200 or even 300 victories, but only a handful of westerners have achieved 100 wins and cemented their legacy

I believe I should already be way past that number. At least half of my 33 losses have been ‘head scratchers’. In fact that was the case in my most recent bout, against Portugal’s Eder Lopes in Budapest, in April.

That was a hard three-rounder. But I was very confident I had won the first two rounds, with the third being very close. But the judges didn’t see it that way and handed the decision to Lopes. I was pretty disappointed. Initially it was a case of ‘What the!’ when the referee raised the other guy’s hand. But you just have to take those knocks. Just part of the sport.

I am very confident I can etch the magic 100 in Italy. But like every fight at international level, it will not be easy. At this stage I don’t know a lot about Campus. His record is 25 wins and five losses. What I do know is that once upon a time I was in his shoes, the young bloke chasing after the champions. Wanting their title, their reputation.

John Wayne Parr exclusive insight

It seems like I blinked and the years flew by … then there I was the person with the target on his back. I became the champion that the younger fighters had in their sights. So those 99 wins have been hard fought – getting there and staying there. I was the hunter then the hunted.

And I know the immense pride I will feel when I have notched that 100th win. Because I know I never took a short cut. The wins, the losses and my 10 world title belts are a testament to that.

I never took the easy road. Never dodged an opponent. I always have fought the best of the best. Anyone can look at my record and see that and it is the reason I can put my head on the pillow at night and sleep well.

I am 42 years old and I am enjoying this sport as much as ever and working harder at my trade than when I was an eager, raw teenager. My short flirtation with retirement five years ago only rekindled the fire.

Back then I had become jaded with having done the same thing for 30 years. But those months out of the ring made me realise why I started in this sometimes brutal sport in the first place.

I love it and there is nothing in the world that I would rather do than be in the ring, or cage, and be fighting.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 04: John Wayne Parr poses for a portrait after losing his fight against Brad Liddell during the Cage Muay Thai 8 bout at Logan Metro Sports Centre on March 4, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 04: John Wayne Parr poses for a portrait after losing his fight against Brad Liddell during the Cage Muay Thai 8 bout at Logan Metro Sports Centre on March 4, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Now I know that the plan I have had ever since I was a youngster remains in place – I will keep fighting until the wheels come off. OK, sometimes these days the wheels feel a bit wonky, but they are still going around.

Seriously, I believe, overall, as a fighter I am as good now as ever. I was slightly faster during my early 30s, but these days I am hitting harder than I ever have before and the experience is still growing between the ears.

So, when I pass 100 wins there is no other magical number – wins or age – that will decide it is time to retire. My body will tell me that.

I am as eager now for the adventures, the travel, the crowds, the semi-celebrity status that this sport brings. I am also extremely proud to represent my country whenever I am on the international stage.

In recent years I have linked with American promoters, Bellator Kickboxing. They have been amazing, very professional and I am earning the highest prize money of my career.

Sure, the money helps, but I never started as a kick boxer to become a millionaire. As a professional fighter the aim was always to earn enough to be happy, live comfortable and pay off my house and gym – it would be nice not to have to worry about the future.

It would be great to have the Conor McGregor paydays, but I know that will not happen. And I don’t regret the path I have taken. I still get a laugh when people I know go to Thailand and, no matter where they go – to a gym to train or just hop in a taxi – as soon as the locals know they are from Australia, one of the first things they are asked is: “Do you know who John Wayne Parr is?”.

So although I am a massive fan of MMA and I admire their fighters – and their purses – to leave a mark in Thailand, the homeland of Muay Thai, is the biggest compliment I could have achieved in my career.

John Wayne Parr exclusive insight

I would rather be a superstar Muay Thai fighter and be semi-good at MMA. No regrets.

I have nothing but respect for everyone that fights in the sport of MMA as it would take years to learn all disciplines. But under pure Muay Thai rules, I would love the opportunity to test my skills against all of today’s superstars. With no fear of being taken down, I know my relentless style would make for some exciting fights on the big stage.

After 31 years in martial arts and 145 fights between Muay Thai and boxing, in between fights I now enjoy sharing my knowledge with the students in my gym. I’m also grateful for the opportunities to travel overseas teaching seminars to packed gyms. It’s always humbling to hear the host of the seminars say: “The seminar sold out and we had to turn 50 people away as the gym can only hold 100 people.”  

There is no greater rush than sharing with a room full of people with the same passion to learn, even if they do have funny accents!