WBA Boxing World Champion Drian Francisco is the new head of Evolve MMA’s boxing program, and he has a few bits of knowledge to share in lieu of assuming his new post at Asia’s top martial arts academy.
Francisco brings with him over 14 years of professional boxing experience, having competed in his native Philippines as well as overseas in Thailand, Mexico, and the United States. During his prime, Francisco was known as a fast and powerful puncher with a unique style.
Opponents had constant difficulty in deciphering his rhythm and pace, which offered a dynamic offensive repertoire coupled with sound defensive skills. The 36-year-old is excited to impart his knowledge with Evolve MMA members and the world-class athletes of the Evolve Fight Team.
“Evolve MMA is Asia’s number one martial arts academy. I’m really excited to be here and to share my knowledge and experience with anyone who wants to learn. I’m sure I will also learn many things from everyone too, and we’ll all grow together,” said Francisco.
Nicknamed “Gintong Kamao”, which loosely translates to English as ‘the golden fist’, Francisco was a workhorse throughout his career. Discipline played a huge role in training camp. It’s a mantra that Francisco hopes to bring to his students.
“Training is hard. That’s the nature of it. But when you train hard, the rest is easy. Reaching your goals becomes easy. If you have an upcoming fight, you’re better prepared and the fight becomes easy,” said Francisco.
“The hardest work happens behind the scenes. If you can defeat yourself, then you can defeat your opponent. I believe you should operate at your own pace and listen to your body and how it responds to training. From there, you’ll learn about your own capabilities and how to maximize your potential.”
Having faced some of the toughest opponents in boxing during his time, Francisco knows the importance of every aspect of the fight game. With notable victories over veteran Roberto Vasquez, Ricardo Nunez, and Michael Domingo, Francisco brings with him the expertise to help take any student to the next level.
Francisco knows being physically tested during training is important. But as a thinking fighter and a capable strategist, the veteran boxer stresses the importance of mental fitness too.
“In boxing and martial arts in general, it’s true that physical fitness is very important. But for me, equally as important is mental fitness. You have to be in the right mindset to achieve results and to accomplish the goals you have set for yourself,” said Francisco.
“Remember, the first opponent you will ever face before you even step foot in the ring is yourself. You have to constantly fight yourself, when you feel lazy to work out, when you try to make good decisions in terms of what you eat. It’s a battle against your mind, one that you have to win.”
Francisco is a firm believer in hard work and perseverance. His philosophy is to put in the work during training so that you are well-prepared for anything that comes your way.
After spending his first couple of days at Evolve and witnessing the sights and sounds of Singapore, Francisco likes what he sees and recognizes the huge potential for the future of Evolve MMA’s boxing program.
“People who train at Evolve have a huge advantage because the equipment and the facilities are all top-notch. The instructors are all World Champions in their martial arts disciplines. Every resource is available. This makes it easier to go from learning the basics, to really learning the advanced techniques and to get to that professional level,” said Francisco.
“It’s an absolute honor for me to join this prestigious group of World Champions who teach at Evolve MMA. They are all legends and there is a lot of respect that goes around. I’m looking forward to learning from them, maybe try a little Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu myself.”
Francisco is excited to embark on the newest chapter of his professional boxing career, one that involves guiding the next generation of boxing superstars in Singapore.
“Singapore is a beautiful country. It’s small, but it’s world-class and really organized and clean. I love it. There’s discipline and orderliness. All nations meet here too, and there’s good diversity. It’s a melting pot of cultures and I’m glad to be a part of it,” Francisco concluded.