Mini Muay Thai marvel turning heads in Thailand
NOT many 14 year olds could give you a blow-by-blow account of what it feels like to knock someone unconscious, or to be knocked out, but Tweed's John Robinson is an exception.
"Getting knocked out feels like waking up in the morning," the Australian Junior Muay Thai Champion said in a matter-of-fact manner.
"Knocking someone out feels good, mainly because I feel happy it's a win."
Robinson lives in Phuket, Thailand, for six months of every year, spending his time training and competing in the martial art of Muay Thai.
When we first met John in January he told us he began participating in the sport at age five, following bullying in Thai schools due to his freckles.
Now he trains five hours a day, six days a week and with 26 fights under his belt it's unlikely anyone would be dumb enough to lay a hand on him. After all, he has walked away the winner of 18 matches.
"The last fight I had his (opponent's) dad said not to hurt him," John said.
"So I used my knees to win the fight without hurting him too bad.
"Then there was another fight where they switched fighters 10 minutes before the fight."
When he's home at Tweed Heads John works at Get Hooked Seafood and trains at Urban Fight Gym, Miami.
Recently finishing Year 9 at a Thai high school, John, who is bi-lingual, spends his time in Thailand fighting in the ring, earning about $140 a match.
This makes him the highest paid young boxer at Banglar Stadium, Phuket.
"It's great, I've got lots of mates over there," John said.
"And if I'm not injured I fight every two weeks.
"I think it's good I started so young. In Australia most kids can't kick as well because they start late."
Fighting five three-minute rounds per match, John's dad Mick Robinson said his son was easily stepping up to his well-trained Thai counterparts.
And most Aussie kids don't stand a chance, according to Mr Robinson.
"He knocks some of the Aussie kids out in 10 seconds," he said.
"Most kids would get completely gassed (tired) if they were to go for as long as John does, but he handles it no worries."
Mr Robinson previously told the Daily News he wasn't concerned about his son's participation in the often-brutal contact sport.
"I think rugby league is more damaging, all that running into people, they all have to get knee operations in their 20s," he said.
Mr Robinson just said he was happy to see his son keeping active instead of sitting glued to a computer screen.
When asked where he would like to be in 10 years, where his career was concerned, John said he will continue to pursue a professional Muay Thai career and wants to be "retired with lots of money".
Mr Robinson said he and John's mum Daranee were extremely proud of John and his non-stop determination to dominate in the ring.