Giovanni “The Fox” Petrillo: This is what I want to do...I finally found ‘my thing’


Interview by: Chris DeFilippo




The 18 year old Muay Thai practitioner from Lodi, New Jersey has found his calling and wants to “take it all the way.”


AFL: Gio, you had a real back and forth fight at AFL: Proving grounds. What do you think about your performance?

Gio: I definitely think my fight was the most competitive. I understand the decision totally, but I think I was moving him back and controlling the ring. In the clinch I was taking some big shots so I understand, but I’m not mad at all about how the fight played out. The real takeaway for me was I had so much fun. I took a lot of big knees in that fight and I feel like that would have tested a lot of people, like are you going to quit or are you about this? I learned that this is what I want to do. I have what it takes to do it, for not quitting in that fight making the adjustments towards the end.


AFL: What adjustments would you make, if any, from your first fight?

Gio: I should have let my hands go a lot more. I need to be less nervous and more aggressive. Just relax and do what I do. But even though I lost the last one, I looked at my coaches after and told them I had the best time. All smiles.


AFL: Where do you think you are with your development as a fighter?

Gio: I think you have to work on everything at all times. When I like to throw, it’s what’s there. I definitely have my stuff that I like, but I’m not a one trick pony, if I see something’s open, I’m gonna throw that, and if I want to throw something that’s not open, I’m going to work on a way to create that opening so I can throw the shot I want.


AFL: Who are your favorite fighters?

Gio: My favorite fighter is Liam Harrison, I'm a little bit of a fanboy. Everytime I see him do a technique I’m like alright, I need to try that. I think you're definitely going to see Liam Harrison in me Friday night.


AFL: How would you describe your time so far with the AFL?

Gio: I'm really thankful for the AFL. They do a great job with keeping in touch with us and promoting us. I’ve seen other promotions, they are so disorganized and it stresses out fighters. The night of the first fight, even with the delay, the AFL was so professional. I just want to keep competing and hopefully one day, be one of the first AFL champs.


AFL: What are your thoughts leading up to AFL: Rising Stars?

Gio: I'm very excited, sometimes I can't sleep. It’s all I think about.


AFL: What did you learn about yourself in your first fight and where do you see yourself going forward?

Gio:I learned that this is what I want to do. I want to take it all the way. I'm one of those people who isn’t good at a lot of things. For a while, I was trying to find the thing that I was going to be good at. I guess I finally found my thing.


AFL: Most importantly - Favorite food, Movie, Book, Band?

Gio: Braciole, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Berserk by Kentaro Miura, System of a Down



“The Fox” makes his return this Friday, July 15, 2022, taking on Sanjay Chaudharyat at AFL: Rising Stars, live from the 5 Star Banquet Hall in Queens, New York. Tickets are selling out fast, follow the link HERE, and we can’t wait to see you this Friday night!



Interview by: Chris DeFilippo



Photo by: Jeff Chu