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Makati City, Philippines – While “trick-or-treaters” hit the streets in the US, it was the beginning of “Undas” in Manila, when the predominantly Catholic nation mourn and commemorate the dead and the saints in an extended holiday weekend.
In town was Nonito Donaire, Jr., who is coming off his successful title defense against then undefeated challenger Omar Narvaez in New York, together with his beautiful wife Rachel who is also mourning the loss of her grandmother Ines Marcial who passed away last October 13. Donaire dedicated his recent win in New York to his grandmother-in-law.
The couple were in good spirits and enjoyed the ambience as we dined at one of their favorite spots in Greenbelt 3 in Makati. Fans were quick to spot the laid back and chill Donaire, who happily obliged every photo and autograph request that came his way.
As usual, I took the opportunity to talk to Donaire about matters regarding his boxing career and things in-between, and update his fans about the things that are going around him.
On the Narvaez fight:
ND – “He caught me at a lucky time for him. I was coming off a long layoff and I really wanted to put on a show for the New York crowd. We packed MGM man, but he didn’t want to fight. Clottey stood in front of Pacquiao with his guard and allowed Pacquiao to hit him, but this guy (Narvaez) was on his feet before I could even throw any of my power shots. I wasn’t able to hit him with any of my real power shots because he would already be running after I throw my jabs and set-up punches. He didn’t want to fight. He was happy to finish the fight. But during the post-fight press conference, he said he felt my punches even when he blocked them.”
“I may have overtrained for this fight a little bit. A lot of things went on and around the 8th round, I started to cramp up from chasing him the whole time. When I threw that one punch, I felt my leg give up on me. He was lucky, but even if I was cramping, I tried to make it an exciting fight and I went after him, but he just didn’t want to engage. That won’t happen again. I was away from the sport for much too long.”
On his next opponent:
“I’m ready for whoever. Maybe after seeing that last fight, some of these guys will want to fight me since Narvaez finished the fight. I want whoever is willing to step to the challenge and fight me; Arce, Nishioka, Darchinyan, whoever! But they will have to do it for the right reasons, and not just want to get paid then they won’t come to fight. I want to fight the best and I’m ready to move up and face anybody.”
On comments floated on the forums that Boom Boom Bautista said he wanted to fight him (Boom Boom told me the said comments are fabricated):
“I know Boom Boom from training with him in the past. It doesn’t sound like something that would come from him. He’s a nice and humble person. I don’t pay attention to stuff on the forums, especially negativity like that. I support all my fellow Filipino boxers man, you know that.”
On his 11/11/11 church wedding with wife Rachel:
“I’m excited and we’re here finalizing plans and everything. I always wanted to do the traditional Filipino-style church wedding to celebrate my love for my wife. She means the world to be. She has been there for me from day one, and always takes care of me and my every need.”
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