Born and raised in Los Angeles California, of Salvadorian descent, Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez began to practice sports at a young age in an effort to stay out of Los Angeles’ most troubled streets. He tried various disciplines, such as swimming, baseball, soccer, tae kwon do, and karate, becoming US National Champion for the latter. In his heart, he wanted to become somebody who would make his parents’ war-stricken country very proud.
Famoso discovered his passion for boxing at age 14, when his father Carlos, Sr. took him to a boxing gym to get a good workout and lose some extra weight. Nobody imagined what Famoso had in him. He made his professional debut at age 21 and went undefeated for 21 fights, rising to the world’s Top 10 in his category for most of his career.
His years as a professional boxer were not the easiest, but the ups and downs shaped his character and work ethic. Determined to achieve glory for himself and the country of his roots, he did not choose the easy road. He faced numerous talented opponents throughout his career. Among his most memorable was one of the best champions of all time, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Famoso had the fortune and privilege to be trained by several great trainers who left an indelible mark in his life. The legendary Argentinean Amílcar Brusa—trainer of 15 World Champions, including the legend Carlos Monzón—took Famoso to the top of his class.
His grandfather named him “Famoso,” which means “Famous” in Spanish, after hearing non-stop complaints about him from neighborhood kids. Famoso earned the respect of the boxing world by showing relentless perseverance and determination, especially when all odds were against him, qualities that ultimately took him to Las Vegas to win the World Title on February 1, 2003, at the Mandalay Bay Casino & Resort with the President of El Salvador and his cabinet at ringside. That night, he became the first World Champion in any sport to represent his country of El Salvador in Central America, where he enjoys being one of the country’s most popular and beloved athletes and role models.
Famoso is a true example of many proud Latinos’ discipline, hard work, and family values. In 2003, HBO Latino featured a documentary on Famoso’s preparation for a title bout against Mayweather, Jr. called “More than Famous.” It was a story of love, dreams, and perseverance. The film won the Grand Festival Award at the 2003 Berkeley Video & Film Festival.
Famoso’s wife, Veronica, who is Latina, as well, is a psychologist and was Famoso’s manager in boxing, a rarity to have a female manager in a sport dominated by men.
Together, as a team, they are motivational speakers spreading Carlos’ story of perseverance across the US and Latin America. In January of 2017, Carlos and his wife were keynote speakers at the G.R.E.A.T (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Latin American Conference in Panama City. Panama. G.R.E.A.T. is a program that has been preventing gangs and building trust between law enforcement and communities for 30 years.
Since 2007, the Hernandez family has resided in San Antonio, Texas, where Famoso trains promising talent, like Javier “Pitbull” Rodriguez, Fedelatin Champion ranked 12th in the world, Eddie “Hollywood” Ortiz, two-time US National Champion, and Adam “Mantequilla” Lopez. These young talents are some of San Antonio’s up-and-coming fighters who are often featured in Famoso’s “Night of Champions” Boxing Event. The next event promoted by Famoso Productions and SkyBOX Sports will be held at the San Antonio Shrine Auditorium on 1604 on October 27th, 2018, and is dedicated to showcasing local professional fighters. The event will consist of ten matches, and will include three Title Bouts sanctioned by the American Boxing Federation. Please call 210.422.8787 or 210.573.8248 for ticket information.
Famoso is also a dedicated father of two children, both elite athletes. Christian, age 14, plays D1 Soccer and has participated in the US Soccer Olympic Development Program. Camila, age 12, is one of the youngest members of the US National Team for Acrobatic Gymnastics, and was ranked sixth in the world at the World Acrobatic Gymnastics Competition held in Belgium in April 2018.
Talking about his program for the boxers he trains, Famoso says his technique is similar to the Tabata Protocol. He says, “I know the body needs that shock-and-awe-type of approach to achieve maximum output in sports like boxing, where the athlete gives out a solid 4-6 punch combination. Train like you’re actually fighting while training.”
In response to the question of what he hopes to accomplish with this type of technique, Famoso replies, “I train my fighters to emulate an actual fight. I want their bodies to be used to that explosion during short periods of time. Once they have mastered that, they will be ready for a fight, and it should not be a surprise to their bodies.”
In October of 2016, Famoso Hernandez was inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame, another accolade that he cherishes after 30-plus years of his illustrious career. With his talent and exceptional knowledge of what it takes to train a winner, he hopes to train many more boxers in the future, the second half of his career. There is a new, top-of-the-line training facility in the planning stages to be built here in San Antonio, where Famoso will be able to train many more boxers, male and female, who would like to follow the professional circuit.
Asked if there were any more fighting bouts in the future for him personally, Famoso smiled and said, “There just might be something in the works…” So, stay tuned. 2019 will prove to be an exciting time for San Antonio boxing. We will be hearing more about Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez in the very near future!
“Perseverance pays off.”
~ Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez