Marvin Somodio takes over as Mark Magsayo’s head trainer
Mark Magsayo will have a new head trainer in the corner when he faces Brandon Figueroa on March 4.
The Filipino fan favorite has hired compatriot Marvin Somodio as head coach after five fights under Hall of Famer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym. The 27-year-old Magsayo is currently training out of Brickhouse Boxing Gym, just a short drive away from Wild Card in North Hollywood, Calif.
Magsayo cites the ease of communication with Somodio, who, like Magsayo, speaks the Filipino language of Bisaya, as a primary reason for the switch. Somodio had been in the corner as an assistant for all of Magsayo’s fights under Roach.
“I can understand more when Coach Marvin explains to me the instructions I need. I feel I have more chemistry with him as we have the same culture, come from the same region too where we grew up with the same dialect,” said Magsayo (24-1, 16 knockouts) of Valencia, Calif. by way of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines.
“We all came from Coach Freddie and we all learned from him, we are very grateful to him for everything he taught us. This is a great time for Coach Marvin to show the world what he can contribute to boxing as a head coach and as a Filipino competing in the world stage.”
The 39-year-old Somodio has worked under Roach in Los Angeles for most of the past decade, handling training duties for world champions like Miguel Cotto, Brian Viloria and Jose Ramirez, among others. Prior to his coaching career, Somodio was one of the top amateur boxers in the Philippines. He was a member of the Philippine national boxing team from 2004-2007 before embarking on a brief pro career in 2011.
Much of the rest of the team remains the same, with Pedro Garcia handling the assistant coach, conditioning coach and nutritionist roles, Sean Hampton working as his physical therapist, and Ash Parker as neurovision coach.
Magsayo is promoted by Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, which is headed by company president Sean Gibbons.
Magsayo will be fighting for the first time since losing the WBC featherweight title to Rey Vargas by split decision last July. He has been in the gym since the beginning of October, adjusting to the soft-spoken Somodio’s style of coaching.
The fight with Figueroa (23-1-1, 18 KOs) will take place at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, Calif. and will headline a Showtime Championship Boxing card. The WBC interim featherweight title will be at stake.
“Brandon is a great fighter and always engages and I am the same, we are giving what the fans want in boxing,” said Magsayo. “I feel really good coming in to this fight, I feel well prepared and excited to get into the ring again and put on a great show for the boxing fans.”
Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].