Millad Farzad: The Sky’s the Limit

Nemesis 3 Muay Thai

International Kickboxer Magazine, May/June 2014

Most under-age kids are trying to forge a fake ID in order to go clubbing. Millad Farzad had plans far more distinct than that and, as it turns out, far more successful. Millad began training in Muay Thai at the age of 13 and was fighting a year later with shin guards. At the age of fifteen, he was fighting grown men under Full Thai Rules on promotions with a thousand people in the audience. Rather than having to sneak out with friends, he had his trainer, Peter Boyd, on his side.

“Mum and Dad didn’t know; they thought it was like karate,” says Millad. “Peter took me and bought me home; signed my parental consent forms, the lot.”

It would be harder, one expects, to conceal cuts and bruises than the smell of alcohol or associated effects of a big night out.

“I’ve had about 35 stitches all up; six cuts in my face from fighting with elbows. I was cut probably every six or seven fights.”

One can only assume that Millad’s parents were less than impressed.

“The first two years, they were not so keen,” he admits. “Now, they are fully supportive. They both come to [watch my] fights.”

Millad’s parents would have had an idea of his vocational love of fighting from an early age, given his difficulty with organized sports of other codes.

“I used to play AFL and then rugby, but I got kicked out! [I was] too violent. The Rugby people said to my parents that I should box. I did that for about two weeks. Then, it was on to Muay Thai.”

Millad’s motivation was similar to many other people who want to wear the mongkon.

“My brother showed me a Ramon Dekkers highlight reel and I was hooked. I went into the Muay Thai gym the day after. I always liked the kicking; I even kicked the bags at the boxing gym.”

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At the age of 14, Millad was certain that fighting was for him.

“I had my first fight after two months of training,” he remembers. “I wanted to fight straight away. My father said to Peter that it would be better to put me in a fight straight away so I didn’t lose interest. Dad said, ‘He won’t care of he wins or loses; just put him in.

At the age of eighteen, Millad has a resume that would give a fighter twice his age something to be proud of. He holds a WMC junior 70kg world title, a WBC Australian title, WBC and WKA state titles and also lays claim to the WMC state championship. It’s an impressive swag, especially given his beginnings.

“I lost my first five fights,” says Millad. “All points losses to kids that were older than me. People used to say it was because I didn’t have my ‘man-strength.” Persistence paid off, however. “Eventually, I started winning. I took every fight; I did it for experience, the Thai way. I fought everyone; some of them fully-grown men.” The approach seems to have worked. “Last year, I had 11 fights for 10 wins.”

Millad’s first five fights were kickboxing rules. At the age of fifteen, he got his first taste of Full Thai.

“I loved it. I won that fight by elbow stoppage on a show with a thousand people in the audience.” Rather than being intimidated, Millad found the size of the crowd motivational. “It makes for a lot of adrenalin from the pressure. It motivates you to win!”

While other kids his age are planning tertiary study and apprenticeships to work towards a career in an uncertain future, Millad is definite about his direction.

“I’ve already been and trained in Thailand at ‘Jun Muay Thai’ on Koh Samui. I’m training there with the current 140lb Lumpini Stadium champion, Chamuak Tong Sor Yupinda; I train with him. I’ve just been there for three-and-a-half months; I just finished year twelve, and I’m due to go back in 4 weeks.”

The training regimen at Jun Muay Thai is intense.

“We train twice a day, six days a week and run on Sunday as well. It’s about 15-20km running a day. The training sessions are 3.5 hours in morning, and the same at night.”

It shouldn’t be too much of a shock. At Peter Boyd’s gym, WATBC (West-Australian Thai Boxing Centre) where Millad currently trains, the workload is quite similar.

“At the moment, I run before training; 14km in the morning and 6km at night. There are two pad sessions a day and we clinch twice a day.”

Nemesis 3 Muay Thai

It’s a lot of training for anyone to handle, and doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else.

“Some days your body needs a rest; some days, it’s your mind. The mind gets burned out, because you never get a break from Muay Thai. Sometimes you need to go to the beach and rest your mind, or you lose the plot.”

Millad has developed an understanding of how to tolerate the rigors of training, and also has his career trajectory all planned out.

“I’ve got an international manager, he’s Persian as well – I met him over Facebook. He’s based in Thailand and will get me fights when I’m there. The plan is to go on and train and fight around the world.”

These are big dreams for an eighteen-year old fresh out of high school.

“My parents weren’t too happy to begin with, but now that I’m committed, they think I should give it all I’ve got.”

Millad’s training and fighting at Jun Muay Thai in Thailand has bought him a swag of high-level experience against some noteworthy opponents.

“My toughest fight was against Thepsutin Pumpannuang. We fought at Phetch Buncha Stadium in Koh Samui. He was very experienced; he didn’t want to fight, he just wanted to win. He stuck to his left kick, trying to keep me away and left kick me, while I tried to pull him into a war. He won on points. My arm was hammered after; very big and swollen. I iced it, though and it came down. The next day it was fine. His was the hardest kick I’ve felt by far.”

Petch Buncha Stadium was also the setting for the most significant win of Millad’s career.

“I fought against Thomas Carpenter. He’s twenty-three, and had over 100 fights. I fought him on the nine-year anniversary of the stadium. It was crazy; the best atmosphere I have experienced. The gym made a lot of money on me that night [because] the odds were really one-sided. I think it was seven dollars to one dollar fifty. I took it by decision win. At the end of round five, [Carpenter] admitted defeat. He touched my gloves and admitted I won.”

Australian fight fans have the opportunity to see Millad fight once more on home soil on April 12 in Perth.

“I’m fighting on a promotion called ‘Nemesis’ against Brendan Harris. He’s 26 or something.” Millad is not intimidated, however. “I’ve been fighting full-grown men since I was fourteen or fifteen.”

A junior world title at eighteen is a formidable achievement. After two years training at a Thai camp of the highest standard, the sky is the limit for a young man as driven as Millad.

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