Bob Santos has become a household name among fight fans, with the icing on the cake coming in 2022, when he received trainer of the year awards from numerous reputable publications.

Santos has been a jack of all trades in boxing, operating as a manager, cut man, assistant, strength and conditioning coach, and head trainer.

“When the opportunity comes, you’ve got to be ready,” Santos said. “Some people talk about ‘It isn’t what you know, but who you know.’ Yeah, that is true to a degree. But what you know will keep you there.”

“To be recognized by your peers in the media, and [by] fans, that was big,” the coach said. “That being said, the Joe Goossens of the world, the Robert Garcias of the world, they have always seen me around. They have always known what I was capable of. They have always given me my respect.

“But to have it on that level where the fans and everybody could see the opportunities I had, and what [the fighters and I] were able to accomplish – and give them all the credit in the world, because they are the ones who step in the ring. They actually put their life on the line.”

Santos also credits his work on the regional scene for a lot of his success.

“Doing the club shows in Sacramento with Don Chargin,” Santos gave as an example. “Obviously, a Hall of Fame promoter who launched Golden Boy [Promotions]. He was basically the architect that taught Robert Diaz and Eric Gomez, working those type of club shows.

“I learned a lot doing those types of shows … you’d see Freddie Roach there, too. Man, this guy is at the top – and this is many, many years ago – and you could see him at all these club shows. He told me, ‘No corner is too big or too small, because every corner you work, you get more and more experience.’” 

“Don Chargin was the promoter for my cousin, Louis Molina, who was a 1956 Olympian, and the first-ever to represent the Marines as an Olympian. So he was his promoter, if you can imagine that. Then my cousin Anthony De Jesus fought for him in the early 2000s. So that tells you how long he was around and the things he was able to accomplish.”

Santos, a former San Jose resident, has spent his whole life in boxing. Now his name is etched in the history books. 

“By doing those things,” Santos said, “when the opportunity came, I was ready to take the reins and guide some of my ponies to titles.”