Robert ‘Tiburón’ Hilario, known locally as the ‘Shark’, is Dominican by birth but lived in Lanzarote from the age of eight. All eyes were on him a few years ago when he starred in a historic night for Lanzarote. On 31st May 2014, he took to the ring in Teguise’s Sports Pavillion to defend and ultimately regain his title of European Union super middleweight boxing champion. Shortly afterwards he relocated to Madrid, where he has lived for nearly nine years.
“After regaining my title that night I went on to lose it and regain it two more times, taking four titles in total, always in the same weight category. I retired from professional boxing three years ago, now I’m a kickboxing trainer,” says the ‘Shark’.
Lanzarote’s champion boxer admits, “I feel nostalgia for the ring, of course. But contrary to what many people think, boxing at that level doesn’t pay particularly well. Although the sport has its fans, there’s not a lot of television coverage and you have to work other jobs to make a living, which is very hard to juggle with a tough training schedule. The physical blows you get are not exactly easy-going, either!”
“I came to the island when I was eight years old. I grew up in Lanzarote and I have my family and many friends here. I visit twice a year,” says the champion, who began his career as a fighter in Lanzarote with Alexis Callero and Manuel Santa Cruz Socas, aka Palenke.