Former Filipino Boxing Champion, Roberto “The Hitman” Garcia is the Head Boxing Trainer at Pacific Ring Sports. He is a sought-after trainer who has been immersed in the fighting scene for the past 30 years.
Training pro fighters. Robert’s contribution to boxing has made many fighters what they are today in the fight world. He has assisted in training World Champions, including #2 Pound-for-Pound boxer Andre Ward, as well as Andre Berto, and Amir Khan. He has also assisted in training NABO and NABF middleweight champion Fernando Guerrero, Brandon Gonzales, Karim Mayfield, and Alfredo Angulo. He was head trainer for IBF World Champion and WBC International Champion Manny “King” Melchor and WBO World Champion Tiger “The Priest” Smalls. He has also trained MMA pro fighters Israel “Lito” Ornelas and “King of the Cage” Champion Dean Lister.
Training amateurs. Robert nurtures fighters from day one and provides them the individualized training needed to fight at top levels of competition. He trained Jovann Jones who went to the 2004 U.S Western Olympics Trials and Yukence Andino, who became the California State Golden Gloves Championship and U.S. Men’s Regional Champion in 2003. Yuko went on to become the U.S. Western Trial Champion, and made it to the quarter finals of the 2004 Olympic Trials, fighting against Andre Ward. He also trained Omar Jabarr, 3-time amateur National Champion; Anthony Sango, amateur Ringside World Champion, whom now represents the US Navy Team; and Chris Martin, who won the 2005 Ringside World Championship and California State Golden Gloves Championship.
When he joined Pacific Ring Sports in 2009, his momentum never stopped. Robert has organized and run 13 USA Boxing events, regularly works the corners of pro and amateur fighters, while continuing to build the PRS boxing program. He has trained Cecilio Mills who won the Golden Gloves District Championship and the U.S. Men’s Regional Championship. Cecilio also made it to the 2012 quarter finals of the Olympic Trials in Colorado Springs. Robert also trains Berkeley public school teacher Becky Villigran who became a 2-time Golden Gloves District Champion and U.S. Men & Women Regional Champion in 2011. Up-and-comer Markshaun Fields, Golden Gloves District Champion and U.S. Men’s Regional Champion, has built an impressive record of 18-1 under coach Robert.
Robert always leads an impressive boxing class, giving patience and guidance to beginners, even in a large, mixed-level class. Robert’s signature method for working the classes is “keeping people on their toes and techniques looking sharp.” He is easy-going and has a great sense of humor.
Robert was born in the Philippines, the youngest of seven kids. His father and mother, a doctor and teacher, respectively, had high expectations of their children following in their footsteps. All Robert’s siblings eventually did; Robert, however, followed a different calling. At age eight, he took an interest in boxing, inspired ironically, by his father’s twin brother, who was a former Filipino Boxing Champion. Robert joined a boxing gym in his hometown of Angeles City. At age nine, Robert turned amateur, with an undefeated record of 40-0. At age 17, he turned pro.
His teenage years were rough; he took to the streets and got into numerous fights. The one thing that kept him off the streets was boxing. It was a good outlet for his energy, so he stuck to it.
Robert moved to Japan to continue to fight professionally, but when the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo volcano erupted in the Philippines and completely destroyed his family’s home, he was forced to give up his dream and look for steady income. He ended up working in the junkyard, and sent money home regularly. After his day job, he got paid to be a sparring partner for WBC World Champion Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. He came back to the Philippines and began coaching boxing to the street kids of his neighborhood, becoming a role model in his hometown. He then started managing and training Manny “King” Melchor until Manny captured the IBF World Championship and WBC International Championship titles.