This Saturday, Joshua Franco takes on Kazuto Ioka in a rematch for Ioka super flyweight world title, six months after their first encounter ended in a majority draw. In Franco’s corner for the clash in Japan will be Robert Garcia, himself a former world titlist at 130 pounds who has gone on to have perhaps an even better career as a trainer than as a boxer. ProBoxTV recently sat down with Garcia and asked him to list the top 5 fighters he has trained in his career. After clarifying that any list would have to exclude his recently retired brother Mikey, for obvious reasons, Garcia obliged:
1. Brandon Rios
Brandon is always going to be one of my favorites, because he became family.
2. Nonito Donaire
He became someone who, every time I see him and every time he fights, I am 100 percent supporting him.
3. Antonio Margarito
Margarito became really close to me, too. So, I would say those three – Brandon, Nonito, Margarito – those are the closest ones.
4. Marcos Maidana
Working with Maidana was unbelievable. Those huge fights we had with him and the exposure he gave us makes me mention him among the top ones I’ve trained.
5. Joshua Franco/Jesse Rodriguez
And I would probably say the fifth ones are the two brothers, Joshua Franco and Bam Rodriguez, who are both world champions. I count them as one, but I think they are a perfect example of anything is possible; we worked hard to bring them from the amateurs to the pros, but nobody wanted to sign them, nobody was interested in them because they are in small weight classes. And now they are world champions, and we brought them all the way there from the amateurs. I think that means a lot.