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Interview with ROMAIN DENEVAUT ROSSI, boss of the famous Muay Thai brand made in Thailand “SKS”

Temps de lecture : 5 minutes

Interview with ROMAIN DENEVAUT ROSSI, boss of the famous Muay Thai brand made in Thailand “SKS”!
by Serge TRÉFEU (2024)

Hello Romain, thank you for the interview. How long have you been living in Thailand?

Hello Serge, I arrived in Thailand in 2006 with my Muay Thai teacher, Piem Outhaithavy. So it’s been 17 years…

Professor Piem Outhaithavy

At what age did you start Muay Thai?

Quite late, at the age of 20 years, in a gym in Nantes in the Brittany region. I am of Corsican origin but I grew up in Brittany region

What gym was it in?

The Nantes gym S.N.S.C. by Piem Outhaithavy. Piem is a Laotian expert in Muay Thai, very renowned. He is one of the pioneers of Muay Thai in the west of France

What attracted you to this Muay Thai gym?

It was the fact that it was an Asian who coached at this gym that attracted me. I wanted to practice a Southeast Asian contact sport with an authentic teacher…

You fought in France?

In France, I didn’t do an official competition. It was only fights between gym. I did a dozen fights between gyms

Did you know champions of this discipline when you started Muay Thai?

Yes, of course. It is also this magical side of the great Thai boxing champions that made me love this sport. The first time I really discovered this sport was when I watched the DVD “Kick Boxing Anthology” (released in 2004 and 2005). I saw the crazy fights of Skarbowsky, Nikiéma, Prestia, Villaume, Sari, Dekkers, Dany Bill, Dida, Krongsak, Kaman, Jérôme Le Banner, Kamel Jemel…

In 2006, you landed in Bangkok with your teacher Piem Outhaithavy, how was your first stay in the country of Muay Thai?

I came with Piem for the Muay Thai Amateur World Championships. I did not participate in this competition but I joined the staff of the Piem team who invited me to come with him. When I arrived in Bangkok, it was a real culture shock. We left directly by bus from Bangkok in the Lopburi region, three hours away, and we landed in a village called Kok Samrong where the camp of the legendary Wangchannoi was located!

Did you train at his camp?

Yes, we stayed about ten days in this authentic camp. Then, the boxers went to Bangkok, I accompanied them, and three weeks later, they all left for France, and I stayed in Thailand. My teacher Piem was surprised and the day they left, he asked me: “Are you sure you want to stay in Thailand…?” “. I wanted to discover this country, its culture, its sport, for myself, I wanted to go on a bit of an adventure…

Did you stay in Bangkok?

I went to Pattaya because I had the idea of boxing but also trade, business, because I had experience in the field of textiles, especially in ready-to-wear streetwear. I worked in Paris for IV my People, the label of rapper Kool Shen. I also worked with 2 High, the brand of Kool Shen

You trained in boxing camps in Pattaya?

A little bit at Sityodtong camp and other tourist camps. But it was just quick training….

What was your first Muay Thai camp where you trained seriously?

I went back to the Lopburi area, with my backpack and the little money I had left, and I happened to find Singklongsi camp, a roots camp lost in the countryside. I was on a bus and saw two boxers running on the road, it was Luknimit and Oy. I got off the bus and said, “Muay Thai, Muay Thai, training, training.. with you…” (Laughter)

How did they welcome you to their camp?

Well first, they asked me if I had money before I trained (Laughter). But as I did not have much money, I managed to negotiate with them and they accepted me in their camp. I was the first farang (foreigner) to train in their camp. And after a week, I made my first fight in Thailand!

You slept with the boxers in the camp?

Yes, I slept in the boxers’ rooms. It was kind of the ghetto (Laughter), really very spartan living conditions in the camp…

Training at the Singklongsi Gym

It was not easy to live and train in a country boxing camp, especially for a stranger. You were really motivated, you stayed long?

At the time, I was in that delirium. I wanted something roots, hard, that forges me a mind and especially I wanted to make a place for myself among the boxers, to make me accept them by proving to them that I could train as hard as they…

How was your first fight in Thailand?

Very bad… I lost by KO. But I won my second fight!

What category were you fighting in?

I weighed 61 kg at that time

What champions were there in the Singklongsi camp?

It’s a large family of boxers who run this camp. The father, who created the camp, died some time before I arrived. It was his children who took over the camp. There was the youngest of the brothers, Luknimit (Radja champion in 108 lbs, WMC world champion), Charnsak and Kotchasarn, the big brothers, and the twins Taweeporn (Hong Kong boxing champion) and Taweesak (champion of Lumpinee in 108 lbs, world champion S1).

Charnsak was a great champion. He won the Lumpinee belt in 108 lbs, he was one of the favorite boxers of the famous promoter Songchai Ratanasuban. He twice received the “Best fighter of the year” trophy as well as the “Best fight of the year in the Lumpinee stadium” trophy. Charnsak also won a world championship belt and beat star Saenchai Sor Kingstar twice!

Kotchasarn beat big names like Nungubon Sitletchai, Khunpinit Kiettawan and he knocked out star Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn. But unfortunately, this champion died tragically at the age of 23 in a motorcycle accident…

Romain Rossi with Radja champion Luknimit Singklongsi

Has this camp been around for a long time?
Yes, for a very long time. It has even been voted “Best Camp of the Year” several times by specialist newspapers. At one time, in addition to his sons, the father had around twenty boxers who fought for the camp. He had great champions at Singklongsi Gym like Semapeth Sor Chaowalit (winner of the Tiger cement TV7 tournament) and Daoden Singhklongsi (WBA world boxing champion)!

How long were you in that camp?

About three years

How many fights have you done for this camp?

I participated in 17 fights, but I didn’t have the ambition to become a champion. I did it out of passion, just to prove to myself what I was worth in a ring and if I could compete with a Thai fighter. I was far from having their technical level and experience. But I had very good experiences in the festivals of provinces villages in Nakhon Sawan, Saraburi and Lopburi.

Sometimes, we left with a dozen boxers, crammed into a pick-up truck, to go boxing in the depths of the rural province. It was folkloric, but that’s what I was looking for: this authentic, old-fashioned atmosphere…

Romain at Singklongsi camp with Khru Charlton Henri who coached at Singklongsi Gym

How many fights have you won?

Out of the 17 fights, I won 10, lost 5 and made two draws

This camp has become like a family to you, that’s why you created your brand SKS in reference to this camp?

Exactly, SKS stands for Klong Si’s Sing (Lion), Singhklongsi stands for «Klongsi Lions».

Contrary to what many people think, SKS has nothing to do with Skarbowsky (Laughter). Jean-Charles is a good friend, we often collaborated together for his events and boxing equipment for his camp in Bangkok, but SKS is not the initials of Skarbowsky. I want to thank Jean-Charles for all that we have done together and continue to do…

Singklongsi Gym is a big family
The legendary Jean-Charles Skarbowsky is well equipped in SKS
Romain Rossi and Jean-Charles Skarbowsky are long-time friends

Your brand started to be known, and then you opened a store in Bangkok, what year was it?

I opened my first shop, the «SKS EMPIRE SHOP», in Bangkok in 2017, in the Pathum Wan district. Then I opened my second store in 2021 in the Lumpinee Stadium Mall.

I now have a manufacturing plant for my equipment that is distributed in several stores across the country and abroad. It works very well, and it’s nice to succeed in this boxing equipment business. Because it is not easy for a foreigner in this environment in Thailand…

SKS store in Pathum Wan
SKS store at Lumpinee stadium

Do you also sell your SKS brand internationally?

Yes, now I work with many European and Asian countries. At first, I focused mainly on France, but today, I expanded

How many employees do you have now?

At first there were only two of us, my brother Guillaume and me. He worked with me for four years as a designer for SKS. Today, I have about thirty employees and my own manufacturing plant in Thailand. I am proud to say that SKS now produces high-end equipment, of the same quality as the big Thai brands!

Romain Rossi with some of his employees

Is it difficult to establish yourself in the market of this business compared to big brands like Twins, Fairtex, Top King, which have been in place for years?
It’s true that it’s not easy. It takes time and perseverance. I have enormous respect for these major brands who have managed to establish themselves on the market, even internationally. But I believe in my business. You must not give up, persevere, have a clear objective, and sooner or later, it will pay off!

Your brand is now well established in Thailand, plus you just signed a partnership with the biggest promoter of Thailand, Mr. Peerapong Theeradejpong alias Chun Kietpetch, can you tell us about it?

I really thank Chun Kietpetch for trusting me, he is a great figure in the boxing world in Thailand, he is a bit the «Godfather» of Muay Thai, he has been a promoter for more than 40 years in the biggest stadiums of Bangkok. He gave me my chance a decade ago by sponsoring some of his little shows and today he has become my No. 1 partner. I showed loyalty to him and in return he helped me well. I again thank him and his son, Deer, who took over.

We are building a strong organization. In March, the first event «SKS KIETPETCH» will take place in the stadium of Omnoi in Samut Prakarn broadcast live on channel 5!

Official contract between SKS and Kietpetch Promotion
Chun Kietpetch is one of the biggest boxing promoter in Thailand, he is co-owner of the famous stadium TV 7

Have you ever sponsored SKS events at the Lumpinee and Radja stadiums?

Yes, in Radja we did about twenty events and in Lumpinee about ten. But now with Chun Kietpetch I will have the opportunity, I hope, to make events at the stadium TV7 on channel 7, one of the most watched channels in Thailand!

You work with foreign partners?

It is in my projects to make partnerships with foreign, French or European organizations. Moreover, I appeal to all serious organizations who wish to work with us, we are open to any interesting proposals!

Thank you for the interview Romain and I wish you Chookdee for all your projects!

Thank you very much Serge

SKS World Belt


Report on Singklongsi Gym :