In a previous interview WBC Muay Thai champion Mathias Gallo Cassarino discussed his muay thai career and his recent WBC title win. Today, his father and muay thai manager, Italian expat Roberto Gallo Cassarino discusses managing Mathias as well as foreign nak muays in Thailand.
What is your role as a muay thai manager?
I supervise everything with my boxers; goal setting is the first thing! Many boxers have a dream but don’t know the way to reach it. Usually, I talk regularly with my boxers on the way to reach their goals. We choose: where and when to train, the diet for their best weight category, the psychology of training and I ensure that the boxers are disciplined not only in training, but also regarding their Muay Thai life. If a boxer isn’t disciplined, they’re not my boxer! But my first job is to give my boxers the best fight opportunity to reach their goals.
You have been very vigilant as Mathias’ manager, which differs from the Thai model.
Generally Thai parents send their children to the camps and leave the promoting up to the gyms. However, you have bridged the Western model of management with the Thai model. How have you achieved this?
My case is different because I also trained Muay Thai. I was a fighter when I was young but unfortunately no as good as Mathias. Boxers have to stay alone in a camp because this gives them the power of the camp. They have to be part of the camp family and have big champions to emulate. This is the way to grow quick and strong! Western parents are so protective and this is damaging for boxers. Farang boxers need a farang manager but they also need a strong Thai camp where they can be part of the team.
Tell us about Muay Farang.
Muay Farang is my dream! My style is not to talk about my dream, just work to transform the dream into a real fact! But only for you I say that: Mathias is 100% farang but speaks Thai, eats Thai food and in the ring looks like Thai…..Now I have the Muay Farang team with 5 boxers from 11 years old to 20 years old…stay tuned!
Have there been any difficulties along the way?
A lot of difficulties! Everyday I think to stop and resign from my Muay Farang dream…Mathias helps me a lot because he never gives up and then I think we can go on to our new dream’s realization!
What has been instrumental in your success?
My previous experience in sales communication, in marketing, in business and my experience as a boxer. In anything that I do I plan ahead and then I adjust my plan every week, like every kind of good project. The secret is to be a team and work as a team, but only one is the boss and the boss has to make decisions quickly and have a strong approval from the team!!
Unlike Thais nak muays, foreigners training in Thailand long-term often pay for training expenses (i.e. outside of tourist areas).
This often creates a sense of urgency where ambitious fighters are searching for opportunity before their money runs out, particularly if they feel their gym isn’t interested in their careers. As a result, there is the dilemma of being loyal to your gym (the Thai model) or changing gyms, sometimes more than once. What are your thoughts on this subject?
I know farangs better than Thais and I agree that farangs have to pay for training because most farangs stay in Thailand only temporary and the camp cannot recover money from their fights. Also, I’m sorry to say this, but a lot of farangs are good talkers but don’t have discipline and often aren’t as hard as Thai boxers. Then they just fight to take pictures and put on Facebook, not to reach a real success. For farangs, the better way is to pay and they can change camps every time that they like, refuse fights and go and comeback from their country. Mathias studied in Thai school and lived in Thailand, he is as a Thai boxer.
Any last advice for fighters managing themselves in Thailand?
Fighters have to do like fighters do and this is a very difficult job. They have to be helped from a good manager and a good coach to be free and spend fulltime concentrating on training, eating, rest and boxing to reach their goals and live a happy life!
You can catch Roberto and the Muay Farang team here.