When Nonito Donaire Sr. and Jr. decided to let the past be the past

Milan Ordoņez on Feb 18, 2015 12:51 PM
When Donaire Sr. and Jr. decided to let the past be the past
Nonito Donaire training with his father ahead of his March 28th bout (Photo credit: Nonito Donaire Facebook fan page)

History dictates that in the realm of boxing, father-son relationships are not always an advisable set-up. Just ask Roy Jones, and Floyd Mayweather. Both men may have reached the pinnacle of greatness in their respective careers, but had not done so without some moments of tension with their fathers.

Our very own “Filipino Flash” is no different from these boxing greats. Nonito Donaire Jr., who is still touted as one of the country’s top flag-bearers in boxing’s grandest stage, had his own clash with his elder counterpart. To some extent, it made for a classic soap opera drama that Filipinos are accustomed to seeing, with his wife Rachel being dragged into the mess, herself.

According to reports, the feud between father and son began around 2008, when accusations of jealousy of the family’s patriarch towards his offspring’s success came about. Both men did try to mend ties for the first time some years after, but to no avail. It was then followed by years of distance and non-communication.

It was five years after in 2013, when Rachel reached out to the elder Donaire and arranged for him to meet his grandson, Jarel, for the first time. The younger Donaire couple flew in Donaire Sr. to the United States and had him stay with them in their Las Vegas home.

For Donaire Sr., it was a reconciliation that rekindled their relationship as a family.

“Humingi naman ako ng tawad sa kanila at sabi ko kalimutan na 'yung mga nakaraan (I asked for forgivness and told them to let go of the past),” said the elder Donaire in a September 2013 interview. “Nag-sorry din naman sila pero ngayon talagang masaya ang pamilya namin na maayos na ang lahat.” (They did the same thing, and now, we are just happy that we are a family again, and that our differences have been settled)

Donaire Sr. adds that his son immediately contacted him the day after and asked if they could partner up as trainer and fighter once again. In 2007, Nonito Sr. was in “The Filipino Flash’s” corner when the latter fought and knocked out Vic Darchinyan for the first time.

For the younger Donaire, however, the experience of being reunited with his father was a bit “weird,” albeit a life-changing one.

“Like I said, it was the weirdest thing about it was that it wasn’t weird,” Donaire Jr. said in a separate October 2013 interview.  “The last time, when we tried to reconcile, everybody was pointing fingers at each everybody, you know? You did this, you did this, this and this and that. Pointing fingers.”

“But this time, we were like, ‘Let’s not even talk about the past,” he continued. “Let’s just move on and be a better family and be father and son. We just refused to talk about the past and to move on and to learn from it and to bury all of our pride and that was just how it went.”

As “The Flipino Flash” prepares for his March 28th comeback against Mexico’s William Prado at Pinoy Pride 30 in Manila, it can be guaranteed that he will have his beloved father in his corner to guide him through the fight. And for what it’s worth, the renewed father and son tandem of Nonito Donaire Jr. and Sr. only proves that such a set-up can bode well with a sport like boxing, wherein a clash of egos between alpha males is inevitable.

“I'm always thankful of my dad for making me who I am,” the younger Donaire said of his father. 


Follow this writer on Twitter: @Mr_Ordonez

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