The Knockout, photography by Ricardo Muñiz + interview with Frank “The Tank” Castillo for HUF Magazine

Artist and educator Ricardo Muñiz returns to HUF Magazine with a sweet and sultry story on a local, rising boxing prospect. Frank “The Tank” Castillo stars in THE KNOCKOUT, a pretty boy with pretty good boxing skills. Frank Castillo is a professional boxer with a 6 and 0 record.

Photographer: Ricardo Muñiz
Model: Frank “The Tank” Castillo

Interview with Frank “The Tank” Castillo

My full name is Frank Felix Castillo, Jr. My parents are both from the Dominican Republic, but my two younger brothers and I were born in the U.S. I’m 24 years old. I’m a professional boxer, college student and part-time cab driver working alongside my brother and a friend, who are also both students and cab drivers.

My parents have shown my brothers and me the importance of academic studies and the value of hard work. They remind us about this almost every day, especially when they threaten to kick us out the house if we don’t go to school. My parents have also supported my dream to be a fighter and a boxing champion.

As an amateur, my parents did everything possible to help me as far as training and going to see all of my fights. When I turned pro, they supported me financially for two years after I left home to pursue my career in a training camp in Miami, Florida. There I had the opportunity to train with world-class athletes from all over the world. I worked hard day and night to become a better fighter. And, I did. I am currently an undefeated 6 and 0 as a professional boxer.

However, my career was moving too slowly for many reasons including bad financial times the training camp was having, my own homesickness because I’m really close to my family, and the fact that moving away caused the breakup with my girl because it was the first and only time in six years that we were apart. It was a real hard time for me, but I always stayed strong. One of my favorite quotes that keep me moving is from Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

And, that’s exactly what I did, and what I will always do.

So, I chose to move back to New York, and I returned to school to continue my studies. I work, and I am still training. I know what makes me special and sets me apart from other fighters and from other people is that I’m a work horse, and I’m never complacent. I will work hard until I drop and I can’t work anymore. I give everything I do a 100% effort. I don’t give up. I don’t quit. I don’t make excuses.

Boxing has taught me that hard work is a must to be successful. But, it has also consumed a lot of time in my life: a time that I can’t get back. This is why my long term goals are to have enough money where my parents don’t have to work anymore, where we can just enjoy our lives, and be with our loved ones. My advice to young people is to value the loved ones in their lives and to always work harder than what they did the day before. But, also, remember to make time for fun. On my down time, I enjoy watching soccer games, especially my favorite team, FC Barcelona. I also enjoy joking around, laughing and having fun. They tell me I have a great Russian accent for a Dominican boxer.