All it takes is heart – NY’s Christopher Romulo retires from active competition. Story by John Wolcott

By John Wolcott

In the world of Muaythai there are many aspects of the art that can be taught to and learned by a student. Everything from technique and balance to ring strategy and how to score points. However, there is one thing that cannot be taught or learned, and that is heart. Heart is one of those qualities that a person is born with; a feature that you either have, or you don’t. Heart is what makes up the substance of a fighter. It’s that intangible force that reveals itself when adversity is at its peak. Heart is something that is tested time and again and grows with each obstacle it overcomes. Heart is what raises a champion off of the canvas when they have been felled in battle. It’s what motivates a combatant to step up and take on any and all challenges placed in front of them. Heart, when speaking in terms of the fighter, is what fuels and drives a person to be the best they can be both inside and outside of the ring, not only for themselves, but for everyone around them.

As a fighter methodically moves under the bright lights of the ring canopy it’s easy to tell who has it and who doesn’t. It’s their display of heart which tells us a story of who they are, what they are capable of achieving, and just how far they are willing to push themselves. It’s a fighter’s heart which also inspires us, and in turn, causes us to look at our own lives and demand more from ourselves. As fight fans, we’ve all experienced this as we watch our favorite fighters do battle. Being from the New York City area, I’d experienced this every time I’d see Chris Romulo fight. As he’d make his way to the ring, draped in his trademark red cape which distinctly displayed the Philippine symbol for strength, heart was the weapon in which he drew to slay the dragons before him.

1If heart is about overcoming adversity than Chris Romulo fits the bill. I can vividly recall two occasions where Romulo surpassed previous expectations and showed New York fight fans that, despite being on the brink of defeat, it was his heart that carried him forth to victory. Even on shaky legs he managed dig the soles of his feet into the canvas beneath him, shake off the punishment from his adversary, and bounce back to end the fight early by scoring a knock out of his own. And let us not forget earlier this year when Romulo was the first east coast Muaythai fighter to publicly go on record and take the challenge that his west coast counterparts had offered. Having gotten the chance to do so, Romulo took on the seasoned veteran in Shawn Yarborough. Despite being the smaller, less experienced fighter, Chris Romulo showed fans once again exactly what his heart was made of. Mind you, throughout his fighting career he did this with the utmost integrity. Read More