SOMODIO MAKING WAVES AS A TRAINER IN THE U.S.
By Eddie Alinea
Tue, 20 Nov 2012
MANILA(PNA)- He wanted to be a civil engineer and use boxing as vehicle to realize his dream.
Marvin Somodio was to fail though in his first two attempts to excel in the sport he started to love as an engineering student at the University of Baguio in the country’s summer capital where he was also a member of the school’s boxing team.
As an amateur, the farthest this native of Iloilo could go was to become a member of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines national training pool then in the company of more illustrious teammates, Olympian Harry Tanamor, Asian Games Games gold medalist Joan Tipon and Southeast Asian Games campaigners Violito Payala and Bill Vicera, among others.
“Masyado daw akong maliit kaya hindi ako nakapasok sa Philippine team” recalled the 28-year-old Somodio, who barely stands five-feet and fought as a light-flyweight.
Somodio turned pro but frustrations in the manner he was handled by his coach then forced him to forget his desire to earn money to augment his financial needs to complete a degree in college.
Last Saturday night (Sunday in Manila), Somodio stood in the World Boxing Organization flyweight champion Brian Viloria’s corner guiding his compatriot to a 10th round knockout victory over Hernan “Tyson,” Marquez, the defending World Boxing Association122-pound kingpin.
Viloria’s historic feat unified the division for the first time in nearly five decades and gained for himself and for Somodio the respect they both have long been seeking.
“Masayang-masaya at sa wakas ay tapos na yata ang kamalasan ko,” Somodio exclaimed in an interview with People’s Journal Sunday, a day after he and Viloria caught the entire boxing world by the storm.
“Masayang-masaya dahil isang Pilipino na naman ang matagumpay na naisulat ang Pilipinas sa aklat ng kasaysayan at nakasama pa ako,” Somodio said. “Ito na ang pinakamaligayang sandali sa buhay ko.”
“Actually, katulong lang naman ako dito. Lahat ng ginawa naming sa training kinunsulta ko kay coach Freddie. Araw-araw nagre-report ako sa kanya sa progress ng preparasyon,” he said unassumingly. “Talagang magaling lang si Brian at sinusunod niyang lahat ang instruction ni coach Freddie.
Viloria himself did not hide his appreciation to Somodio for the wonders his “kababayan” has done to him as a complete fighter.
“Marvin is marvelous, I tell you,” the new undisputed 122-pound kingpin said in a separate interview.”Watever I am now I owe to him and, of course, coach Freddie.”
Somodio’s misfortune looked to have ended though when, as caretaker of the Shape Up Boxing Gym inside the Cooyeesan Hotel, considered as eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao’s home at the Pines City, he was spotted by the Filipino icon’s chief trainer Freddie Roach during training for one of his latest fights.
He became Roach’s man Friday for the past three years until Pacquio’s conditioning coach Alex Ariza left the Baguio camp earlier this year in the course of the Pacman’s preparation for his ill-fated fight against undefeated American Timothy Bradley Jr.
The five-time trainer of the year honoree designated the tiny Filipino to take the place of the Colombian conditioning instructor, albeit temporarily, and soon joined Roach at the latter’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
Somodio now works full time as assistant trainer to Roach at the Vine Street sweat shop after inking a three-year contract that will see him oversee the training of Amir Khan and Julio Cezar Chavez who were then fighting under the Wild Card stable before they decided to move to their separate new stables.
Roach said that Somodio’s work ethics and his ability to learn fast were the reason he decided to hire the college dropout to be his assistant and confidant. “Marvin works hard and I like his attitude.”
Roach even calls his Filipino student “son.”
“Nagpapasalamat nga ako ng lubos kay coach Freddie at kay Cong Manny (Pacquiao) sa pagtitiwala nila sa akin, “Somodio said. “Nagpapasalamat din ako sa media sa suportang ibinigay nila sa akin.”
(File photo – Somodio with Pacquiao)
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.
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