Longtime Boxing correspondent, Bob Santos, originally from San Jose, CA, who has relocated to Las Vegas, NV, has been awarded the 2022 Ring Magazine and Sports Illustrated “Trainer of the Year”.
In 2022, Santos led super lightweight Hector Luis García (16-1, 10 KOs) to one of the biggest upset victories in recent history when they defeated the heavily touted rising star, Chris Colbert (16-1, 6 KOs). Santos took García into this fight, a main event bout televised worldwide on Showtime Championship Boxing, on two weeks’ notice, and dominated the fight.
Shortly after, Santos guided García in defeating Roger Gutierrez (26-4-1, 20 KOs) to capture the WBA super featherweight title. On the same night García defeated Gutierrez, Santos led Alberto Puello (21-0, 10 KOs) to win the vacant WBA super lightweight world title against Botirzhon Akhmedov (9-2, 8 KOs). Puello, like García, was a big underdog going into this fight.
“Winning two world titles in one night is something I could’ve never imagined happening,” stated Santos. “It’s truly amazing to realize that I guided two Dominican fighters to world titles on the same day. The Dominican Republic has some of the best fighters in boxing right now.”
Santos was also credited with the re-birth of Carlos Adames (22-1, 17 KOs), who now holds the WBC middleweight interim title after a huge 2022.
“I have surrounded myself with good people and put God first,” Santos declared. “2022 was amazing and I am grateful to all the publications that have given me this award. I grew up reading Sports Illustrated and the Ring Magazine, so that is huge to know I am a part of history. I also want to say thank you to the smaller publications who have said nice things about me as well. It is a special time in my life. I like to be in the background, but I am learning how to accept the praise.”
Santos learned from some of the best trainers in the world, which include Joe Goossen, Emanual Steward, Ronnie Shields, Ruben Guerrero, Joe Chávez, and the great Chuck Bodak to name a few. He gives homage to everyone who he’s worked with during his accomplished career.
“It’s important to remember this was a team effort,” said Santos, who many might remember for serving as an advisor to Robert Guerrero during his world title run to the pinnacle of boxing when he fought Floyd Mayweather in 2013. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and those I work closely with. I remember being in some of the best training camps, soaking up knowledge from some of the best minds in boxing. I made sacrifices, leaving my family for months, just to put food on the table. What I learned in boxing over the years cannot be taught in any university, you must live in the boxing gyms to become a great trainer. I want to thank all the great people in boxing that showed me the way.”
Bob Santos’ success as a boxing coach is undeniable as being part of boxing’s biggest PPV events; Mayweather-Guerrero, Canelo-Lara, as well as boxing’s biggest gate sales; Davis-García. It is no surprise that he was awarded this prestigious award in 2022. He is an inspiration to all aspiring trainers who want to make their mark in the world of boxing.
“When looking at the list of names who have won these awards it is humbling,” stated Santos. “Boxing is a lonely sport, and awards matter. Getting this award really helps me feel the sacrifices I’ve made in this sport has been worth it. It is always great to be told you do something well, but the job is not done. I have a lot of fighters who count on me, so though I am honored, I also have an obligation to be the best coach to my fighters and the best man for my family.”
Notable names that Santos has worked with include Robert Guerrero, Joel Casamayor, Erislandy Lara, David Morrell Jr., Mario Barrios, Rances Barthelemy, Tomoki Kameda, Héctor Lizárraga, Livingstone Bramble, Eros Correa and Jose Celaya.
In addition to García and Puello, Santos also trains Cuban Olympian brothers Lenier and Dainier Pero, both highly decorated amateur heavyweights, WBA minimum world champion Erick Rosa, and is now taking over top ten middleweight Amilcar Vidal, from Uruguay.
With over 30-years in the sport, this prestigious award is a testament to Bob Santos’ hard work and dedication. After a lifetime invested in boxing, Santos now has a career-defining award, after serving most of his career behind the scenes.