2022 Boxing Trainer Of The Year: Bob Santos
Boxing Trainer of the Year
Winner 2021: Eddy Reynoso
A very easy choice this year, in my opinion.
Bob Santos has led a slew of Dominican fighters to performances no one expected outside of their team.
Hector Luis Garcia defeated Chris Colbert on short notice, with Santos working with him, Carlos Adames now has had the best year as a professional under Santos, and Alberto Puello won a world title with Santos in his corner.
Santos, who has worn many hats in the industry, who I first met when he was working and helping with the career of Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, now is as famous as ever as he has found a group of fighters, who believe in his system.
In a head-to-head fight between the #1 and #2 coach of the year, Frank Martin did stop Jack Marinez who took a fight against Martin on a few days notice, but the underlying theme I saw was how well-prepared Marinez was for the fight, and the fact that he won rounds was impressive.
Santos entered this year as a coach, but not one that many people looked at as a contender for Coach of the Year, but pulling off multiple upsets in one year, to me, proved Santos earned the honor.
His fighters took and won the hard fights this year.
Gennady Mashianov – The lead voice to the best fighter of the year, Dmitry Bivol. Mashianov has shown just how technical and well-schooled of a coach he is and if Santos didn’t have such a run this year, it would be easy to give him this award, but sadly for him – he came up against an emerging star coach. Mashianov is a top-tier teacher.
Derrick James – This award could easily have gone to him as well, but simply put his marquee fighters of Errol Spence Jr., and Jermell Charlo fought only once this year. For fighters at the top of the sport, that just isn’t enough. His other fighter, Frank Martin, a brilliant lightweight, had a breakout year, as well
Colin Nathan – A lesser-known coach from Africa, who pulled off a major upset win when Hekkie Budler defeated Elwin Soto. His major claim to fame though was his corner work which was largely credited for Sivenathi Nontshinga’s upset victory over unbeaten junior flyweight champion Hector Flores Calixto, in which the duo traveled to Calixto’s hometown to win the fight.
Billy Nelson – Often outspoken, Billy Nelson is someone who is unapologetic in his belief in his fighters. That said, Martin Bakole dominated the 2016 French gold medalist Tony Yoka, and despite Yoka not having much U.S. T.V. time that was a huge win. Bakole should be seen as a top-15 at the least, and more than likely a top-10 heavyweight with that win, and Nelson was the man steering the ship for that camp.
Tony Sims – His pride and joy is or maybe was Conor Benn, but after a PED violation the work that Sims has done with him seems to have gone out the window, and to some might be looked at under new circumstances. Yet, Sims helped Joe Cordina win the IBF 130 lbs. world title, before being stripped of it, as well as got John Ryder the biggest win of his career this year against the former world champion, Daniel Jacobs.
Ismael Salas – Year after year, Ismael Salas will be nominated for this award. A legendary trainer, who continues to show why he is one of the best. This year it was with Brian Mendoza, who took a last-minute bout against Jeison Rosario, a former unified world champion, just to stop him.