Adam “Bomb” Flores was a Ventura County heavyweight prospect back in the 90’s. It was rare but exciting to see a local Latino heavyweight when the city of Oxnard had just started to make some noise in the boxing world. I first saw Flores on an undercard fight in Oxnard which featured the debut of the city’s 1996 Olympian “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas that was televised on USA’s popular “Tuesday Night Fights” series on March 25, 1997. Since ending his career in 2000, Flores has managed and coached local fighters and fighters who have come from out of the country to train here. His brother, Cicilio, is a popular strength & condition coach who worked with such fighters like Sergio Martinez and Vasyl Lomachenko. Today they run a gym in Camarillo called HIIT Sports. Also, training at this gym is former boxer Roger Romo of Oxnard. Stop by their gym and meet them all! Read this and get to know Adam Flores ... Read the Q & A below and get to know Adam Flores ...
TheBoxingBar : In your high school years you excelled in football and wrestling. Were you always a good athlete?
Adam Flores : In all honesty, I think I was more of a hard worker than a good athlete. My desire of being good at anything super exceeded any natural talent. I was always a big kid, that was fairly strong growing up. In my high school years, I worked really hard in perfecting my skills.
TBB : How did you find boxing?
AF : The movie Rocky in 1976. Also, at the time, my sister Patty was dating a boxer, Clemente Hernandez, that initially taught me the basics. He was coached by boxing coach Felix Vega (trainer of former world champion Lupe Aquino) out of Santa Paula. Long story short, Felix, later assisted in helping me win the 1995 Golden Gloves Championship in Los Angeles.
TBB : You’ve trained under Eduardo Garcia (Robert Garcia’s father) at the famed La Colonia Boxing Club back in the 1990’s with that group of fighters that would later put Oxnard on the map. What was it like training in that gym back then?
AF : Yes, it was really awesome looking back now. Fernando Vargas, Robert Garcia, and Carlos Martinez to mention a few that helped put Oxnard on the map. It always felt special training there. Especially when Fernando became one of the youngest Olympians ever to qualify as a member of a Olympic boxing team in 1996. Also, Carlos Martinez qualifying to be on the Mexican selection as did I. But he went on to become a member of the 1996 Mexican Olympic team. I remember Fernando and Robert turning pro. All those events were part of history in Oxnard and it was remarkable to be a part of it.
TBB : If I remember correctly, you made it all the way to the Olympic Box-offs to make it on the 1996 Olympic team for Mexico. What is it like knowing that you got that far as an amateur?
AF : Yes, I was on the “Mexican Selection Team”. I qualified to the Olympic Box-offs which are equivalent to the Olympic trials here in the US. I lost in the semi-finals. The Box-offs took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I believe they were a little more difficult than the Olympic trials here in the US. The Box-offs trials were basically a big portion of the western hemisphere countries which were Canada, Mexico, all of the Central American countries, the Caribbean countries, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas etc., except for Cuba. I was just really fortunate. But like the saying goes, “preparation meets opportunity”. This opportunity wouldn’t have presented itself if I had not worked hard in preparing myself. I was prepared. When these opportunities came my way, I was ready. Perhaps the coolest thing about being on the Mexican selection team was traveling all throughout the whole Republic of Mexico. That’s probably what I cherish the most. Along with staying in Cuba for months at a time and training at La Finca de Los Monos in Havana where the A-Team of the Cuban National team would train. I got the opportunity to spar against the likes of Olympic legend Felix Savon, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and many other great athletes.
TBB : I was a big fan of the late Julio Gonzalez that was on that ’96 Mexican team. What do you remember about him?
AF : Of course I remember him. He was a good friend. In fact, I inspired him to come try out for the Mexican Selection. He eventually qualified and became a member of the 1996 Mexican Olympic team. He boxed as a light-heavyweight. In the same fashion, I encouraged Carlos Martinez from La Colonia Boxing Gym to come try out also. They both became Olympians on that team.
TBB : In October of 1996, you made your pro debut there in Port Hueneme winning via knockout in front of your local people. What was that like?
AF : It seems like just yesterday. Boxing was really getting going here. It actually seemed like nothing else was going on in life here but boxing. Robert Garcia fought on the same card. I opened the show with a knockout of “The Mighty” Mark Quinn.
TBB : Just a few years back, the first Mexican Heavyweight champion was crowned. When you first started, being a Mexican heavyweight with skills was an oddity. Did you feel that way when you would come out to fight?
AF : Yeah. I was definitely an oddity and very decent. But in retrospect, knowing what I know today as a trainer/manager, I had no business fighting. I was a big, strong, eager, and savvy kid. But in all honesty, I had no business fighting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud that I did lace up them gloves, but I would have loved to have had more understanding of the sport like I do now.
TBB : In 1998, the film Snake Eyes was released starring Nicolas Cage which you had a role in. What was that experience like being in a movie?
AF : It was fun for sure. Rubbing elbows with probably the hottest actor in Hollywood at the time, Nicolas Cage. I hung out more with Gary Sinise. Great people! One of the best breaks for sure. Staying first class at the top hotels, all expenses paid, receiving a weekly per diem, getting a paycheck one month in Atlantic City, and another month in Montreal. All of it was unreal. One minute I get a call from Jimmy Gambina, the legendary filmmaker, who sent me a script. On that same day, he asked me to audition. I go to Paramount Studios for that, and on my way home I get a beep on my pager saying that Mr. Brian DePalma wanted to see me in Atlantic City the following morning for a reading with the rest of the cast. Then the best and coolest thing happened that same day. Lennox Lewis’ camp called me to fight camp, and I turned it down.
TBB : One of the standout fights you had as a pro boxer was in May 2000 in Las Vegas. You won a decision victory over Otis Tisdale, who would go on to fight many popular fighters after that. What do you remember about that fight?
AF : That was the first time I ever fought in Las Vegas and one of the first events put on at the Hard Rock Hotel. Everything and everyone there was wonderful. My older brother coming home from serving and watching me perform for the first time as professional fighter made it a very special day for the family.
TBB : You only fought for four years as a pro and then retired. Why did you retire when you did?
AF : Well, I don’t know how to say it. I don’t want this to sound as if it was some sort of sacrifice. But my mother had gotten ill, and my life stopped. I stopped what I was doing at the time and devoted every minute to her and her recovery. I spent the remaining years caring for her until she passed. All I can say about that is that it was the best decision I ever made. Clara Raquel Flores may you rest in peace. I forever love you.
TBB : Over the years you’ve been around top fighters like Fernando Vargas, Sergio Martinez, and Robert Garcia. Also, top trainers like Eduardo Garcia and Gabi Sarmiento. Your brother, Cicilio, has worked as a strength and conditioning coach with many top guys including Loma. How did you grow from this?
AF : I’ve been fortunate and privileged to be around this group of guys. In one form or another, I’ve been influential in their lives. Not only as an athlete, but as a team member. I have assisted or partnered with them in one way or another. I’ve owned the gyms where these guys had the opportunity to bring in talent. I’ve assisted in their daily training regimens. There’s a lot of moving parts in the making and building of a fighter as we all know very well. One person can’t do everything. You need a team, and team members. Everybody has a job. These people all help in the making of a fighter.
TBB : You’ve been known to have trained at different gyms in the past. Now you have a new gym with the help of your brother Cicilio and trainer Roger Romo there locally in Camarillo. How has this new venture been like for you so far?
AF : I’ve recruited this team and as I speak I am adding members in hopes of building a great team. My brother, Cicilio, had his first experience as a strength and conditioning coach with me. I brought my brother into the world of boxing, and he has helped revolutionize the sport with his knowledge. We both come from high school and collegiate sports that accompany strength and conditioning to their programs. Awhile back, boxing didn’t have that element in place. It was very rare or even nonexistent. Strength and conditioning, boxing, and his physical therapy background and knowledge of sports has made a tremendous mark in the sport. It’s got him working with the best and most elite fighters in the world.
I’ve known Roger Romo pretty much his whole life. I remember him as a young fighter at age of eleven. In fact, I named him “Prime Time” because of his flashy way of boxing. At the time Deion Sanders was the biggest thing in the NFL and he went by the name of “Prime Time”. He has always been a really good kid and super loyal. Fast forward ten years, I not only trained him as a professional fighter but managed him to a 11-0 record. Today we’ve teamed up again in the pursuit of helping and coaching the next generation of fighters. This is all happening here at HIIT Sports, in the city of Camarillo.
TBB : What do you want to say to all the people that remember you from your fighting days, and all the local boxing fans in the 805?
AF : I want to say “Thank you” for your support. I invite you all to come out to our new Boxing and Fitness gym, HIIT Sports, in Camarillo.
1371 Del Norte Rd.
Camarillo, CA 93010
Fun Facts :
Favorite ice cream flavor?
31 Flavors - Gold Ribbon
Football – KC Chiefs
Too many but favorite five top foods. Mexican, good steak, sushi, Thai, and kabab.
Favorite vacation place?
Favorite sport (other than boxing)?
First book you remember reading?
Muhammad Ali Story
Your favorite phrase?
“When you’re right you’re right, but when you’re wrong you can’t be right.”
Who was your biggest inspiration?
Mom … Ali
Favorite childhood toys?
What was the first school you attended? Where is it located?
Fillmore, CA, Sespe elementary school.
First job you had? How old were you?
I was a runner for the Milk Man at 10 years old. Got paid in chocolate bucks, and chocolate milk.
Favorite place to relax?
Adam "Bomb" Flores