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By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Mon, 23 Sep 2013

Surely one of the most distressing aspects of life is seeing a family torn apart by dissension as was the case when Nonito ?The Filipino Flash? Donaire and his wife Rachel had a bitter difference with Nonito?s father, Nonito Donaire Sr.

Unfortunately it seems that Rachel was the target ? if not the cause ? of the father?s anger while Nonito did what any good husband would do ? he stood by his wife.

But the passage of time has a wonderful attribute of healing and after some three years we learned, first from youthful colleague Dennis Principe who is close to both father and son, that whatever differences they had were settled and that all three, Rachel included, decided to let bygones be bygones.
From the very beginning we ourselves politely refused to take sides since to us, family feuds may be the grist for gossip-prone media, but do not have a place in our valuation of fighters and their fights although conceivably such quarrels may serve as distractions that ultimately affect the performance of a fighter as it appears to have happened in one or two instances with 2012 ?Fighter of the Year? Manny Pacquiao.

Looking back over the period when the quarrel between Nonito and wife Rachel and Donaire Sr was given what we felt was far too much attention with individuals ranged on either side based mostly on friendship rather than a fair assessment of the facts, media must accept some of the blame for widening the gap rather than helping to bridge it.

While there are those who may argue that media is not supposed to act as peacemakers, we contend that media is certainly not assigned to aggravate an already dicey situation.

Nonito Donaire must be commended for having called his father and invited him to visit them in their Las Vegas home for which Donaire Sr was very thankful. The Dad who lives in San Leandro, California said it was one of the best feelings he had. It was the natural response of a father towards a son whom he introduced to the sport of boxing and helped become a world champion.

Like any grandfather the opportunity to hold his grandson Jarel in his arms probably brought tears to his eyes as he himself admitted that he felt his heart applaud.

By a strange coincidence Nonito will face Vic Darchinyan in a rematch in Corpus Christi, Texas on November 9, some six years after Donaire, nicknamed ?Jun Jun? scored a stunning 5th round knockout to win the IBF/IBO flyweight title on June 7, 2007 for which he was trained by his father.

When Nonito told his Dad, without going into specifics, that he would be in their team once again, Donaire Sr said he had goosebumps and vowed to help his son regain the skills he had demonstrated in the past.

When we spoke to Nonito?s trainer Robert Garcia about the reconciliation he was obviously overjoyed. ?That?s awesome? he told us, adding that " its always a great relationship between father and son. Forget bad-mouthing each other. They had differences for a few years and I?m glad its over? even as he welcomed the assistance of Nonito?s dad in their training camp.
Robert?s family has a similar situation where one brother, Danny, doesn?t talk to any of them. Robert told us, ?it?s a perfect example as we are together even though one brother doesn?t talk to us and my father doesn?t understand and in fact cried in front of me.?

We are certain that both Nonito and his Dad cried deep down inside at what went on and it is an even greater tribute to Rachel that she is the one who reportedly arranged the get-together.

Ephesians 6 in the Bible reminds us ?Honor your father and mother? while in an admonition to fathers says, ?Do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.?

We believe the good Lord has, in his own wonderful way, brought about a reconciliation and as Robert Garcia exulted, ?It's awesome.?

Photo: The Donaires, 2007 photo. Photo by Salven Lagumbay.

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