Like the popular combination deals of fast-food chains, Coach Marvin Somodio is a complete package. He is a combination of intelligence and strength, passion and composure, and hard work and luck.
More than 20 years ago, 12-year-old Marvin left his home town of Iloilo and ended up in Baguio City. When he was 15 and in the third year high school, Marvin was influenced by a classmate to try his hand at boxing with the Baguio Basic Amateur Sports Program Council. He pursued engineering in college, where he became a member of University of Baguio’s boxing team. He went on to join the National Team (formerly Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines) as its 99-pound pinweight bet, trained by Coaches Leopoldo Tatancio, Nolito Velasco, and Boy Katoliko.
Training at Cooyesan Hotel’s Shape Up gym proved to be Marvin’s greatest stroke of luck when he was discovered by famed trainer Freddie Roach, who brought him to his world-renowned Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles as assistant trainer.
In his seven years at Wild Card, he helped Roach train his kababayan, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and five-time and four-division world champion Miguel Cotto, among others.
“Masarap siya katrabaho, araw-araw may bago ka matututinan,” Marvin said of seven-time trainer of the year Roach.
Somodio also trained Brian Villoria, Ruslan Provodnikov, Victor Postol, Jose Ramirez and Dennis Levedev.
Since he set foot in the USA to work with Roach, the idea of putting up his own gym has been in his mind. He wants to emulate Roach, who search for young talents and train them to become world champions. He also aims to discover Filipino-American athletes who he can help develop to represent the Philippines in different international competitions.
“Malay natin, makita na natin ang first Filipino Olympic gold medalist in boxing,” said Somodio.
After the March 18, 2018 fight of Ramirez, Somodio took a break and has been staying in the Philippines with his wife and two children when the People’s Champ Pacquiao hired him as one of his chief trainer Buboy Fernandez’s assistants for the Keith Thurman fight.
In July 27, 2019, Somodio’s dream gym was finally realized when the Combinations Boxing Academy in Los Angeles was inaugurated.
The 4,000-square feet gym has two boxing rings, free sets of barbells, a pair of threadmills, stationary bikes, a mobile sauna, three double end balls, four speed balls and eight heavy bags.
“Dito siguradong ma-maximize ko ‘yung potential ko bilang isang trainer. Mahal ko ang pagtuturo ng boxing at gusto ko mag-share hindi lang sa mga elite, kundi sa lahat ng tao,” said Somodio, adding that the gym is open to those looking to develop competitive boxing skills or boxing for self-defense.
The gym has welcomed baseball player Adrian Gonzales and rap artist Usher.