YOKKAO 35 - 36 is fast approaching, taking place next Saturday 26 January at the PalaRuffini arena in Turin, Italy. Organized with Italian promotion, Thai Boxe Mania, one of the most anticipated matchups has to be the WMC Intercontinental showdown between Manachai and Luca Falco. Falco is a ISKA and WTKA Italian Muay Thai Champion, fighting out of Herculaneum Training Center in Naples Italy. We speak to him ahead of the WMC title match to know more about the man and his thoughts on the coming fight and opponent:
YOKKAO (Y): Hi Luca, can you tell us how you got into the sport of Muay Thai?.
Luca Falco (L): Hi. I started training Muay Thai in the very beginning of 2013. My friend and MMA fighter Vittorio Marotta, went to Angelo Veniero to train Muay Thai and improve his stand-up skills. I had different martial arts background but never really accomplish much. When I followed him into Muay Thai, I felt it was what I needed to be a better fighter and a better person. My career in Muay Thai was fast, I had many fights in the beginning, it was really what I wanted to do.
Y: How do you feel about competing for the WMC Intercontinental title?
L: I always wanted to face the best fighters so, when my trainer told me I could fight for such an important belt, I was the happiest man in the world!
Y: Manachai is the WBC world champion. What do you think of your opponent?
L: Manachai is of course a big name, a very strong and tough fighter and he has nothing but respect from me. But I'm not afraid of him. He has a good style, strong low kicks.
Y: What do you think are your chances of winning the title?
L: We all have two legs and two arms, he has his weapons and I have mine. No fighter goes into a fight if he doesn't think he can win and, of course, I know I have my chances. He fights strong but I fight strong too. We are focusing on my power and my stamina, I will give all of myself to take this prestigious belt home with me. I am ready to make a big war!
Y: How is your training coming along for YOKKAO 36? How have you been preparing yourself for this fight?
L: Alongside my team, we never stop training for one single day. For this fight, my coach decided to make me gain weight because I usually fight at 63kg. So we put the emphasis on my power because we know it won't be an easy fight. I will knock him down, we think it's the only way to take this belt home.
Y: This is your first time fighting on YOKKAO event. It will be at the huge PalaRuffini arena. How do you feel about it?
L: I'm am pretty excited to fight for YOKKAO. We all think it's the biggest Muay Thai promotion in the world. My goal is to become a regular fighter for their promotions, like the famous champion, Liam Harrison. Palaruffini is a very beautiful venue, and Carlo Barbuto is one of the best Italian promoters. I am proud and grateful that he wanted me for this fight. I know there will be a lot of people in the arena, and many more who will be connected via live stream. Honestly, I don't care now. I only care about the man whom I will fight. After the show, I will enjoy videos and pictures and will tell to myself ""man, you did this!""
Y: Anything you would like to say to Manachai?
L: I don't like trash talking. He has my respect, but he will have also all the punches and kicks and knees and elbows I can throw to him. I think this is real respect between fighters: do your best and make your fight the best possible.
Y: Anything you wish to say to your fans?
L: I really want to thank my fans for buying the ticket to support me. Palaruffini is almost 1000 km away from we are and they will be there as a little army to support me. After the fight, I envision my fans thanking me for the big fight! We all want the WMC belt and I will make it happen!