By Jarrod Potter
ROHULLAH Paykari has fought his way to the top of Australian kickboxing, with world titles and further success the next looming challenge.
Paykari, 21, is the WKA Australian welterweight champion, (weight division for fighters weighing between 67 and 69 kilograms), taking the title when he beat Chris Horne in a knockout in front of 4500 spectators at the Moonee Valley racecourse on 17 October, 2010.
In his most recent fight, Paykari further improved his record to 16 wins, four losses (with one draw), when defeating Marc Gelsei in a points decision.
Paykari, from Lynbrook, emigrated from Afghanistan with his family when he was three years old, and became interested in martial arts and boxing soon after.
“I have been into martial arts since I was nine,” Paykari said.
“I have been kickboxing since I was six or seven.
“My dad was a tae-kwon-do fighter, I did that up to blue belt, then I got into boxing and kickboxing.”
Paykari says one of his most memorable fights was when he won the Victorian Amateur Kickboxing championship as a 16-year-old. He not only got the title – but two black eyes also.
Paykari enjoys the structure kickboxing gives him, as it allows him to focus on something substantial.
“It’s a disciplined sport,” Paykari said.
“Training for my fights keeps me away from all the bad stuff in life and gives me a good name and reputation.”
The real estate agent, nicknamed ‘The Afghan Ruler’ by his trainer Don Miller, hasn’t got a fight scheduled, but is always looking forward to the next opportunity to defend his title and get another chance to prove himself in the ring.
“My next fight won’t be for a couple of months, but I’ll be happy to defend my title if I get a challenger,” he said.
By Jarrod Potter