MANILA, Philippines – Robert Garcia, the trainer of Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios, has been voted “Trainer of the Year” for 2012 by boxing fans, RingTV announced.
It is the second straight year that Garcia has been voted the best trainer by RingTV.com readers. Garcia garnered 57.4% of the readers’ votes.
Virgil Hunter got 19% of the fans’ votes, while the late Emanuel Steward received 18%.
“Garcia, however, trained more world-class fighters than his competition and his boxers were busier than the other top trainers,” wrote RingTV’s Doug Fischer, pointing out that Donaire alone fought four times in 2012.
Garcia’s other top fight, “Bam Bam” Rios, fought twice in 2012, with his October battle against Mike Alvarado one of the top contenders for Fight of the Year.
Aside from Donaire and Rios, Garcia also trains his younger brother, Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia, Kelly Pavlik and Marcos Maidana. Fischer believes that it is Garcia’s work with Pavlik and Maidana that proves his abilities as a trainer.
“Pavlik, who was thought to be ‘mentally shot’ after losing his middleweight title to Sergio Martinez and checking into rehab for alcohol addiction in 2010, turned in three solid performances in 2012,” Fischer wrote.
“Maidana looked like a one-dimensional puncher who had hit his ceiling... but the former 140-pound contender rebounded with Garcia’s help,” he added.
Garcia’s only high-profile fighter to lose a bout in 2012 was Hernan “Tyson” Marquez, who was knocked out by Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria in the 10th round of their flyweight clash in November.
But Fischer noted that in this fight, Garcia showed his growth as a trainer by throwing in the towel in the 10th round to spare Marquez more punishment.
“Garcia... was rightfully criticized for not keeping Antonio Margarito on the stool during his one-sided drubbing against Manny Pacquiao in 2010,” Fischer said.
“In his lone high-profile loss of 2012, Garcia showed the kind of growth that promises many more Trainer of the Year awards.”