MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing star Nonito Donaire Jr. confirmed that he has indeed reconciled with his dad and former trainer, Nonito Sr., ending a family feud that lasted three years.
“We just want to make things right. Both sides suffered a lot of pain, suffered a lot of everything from sleepless nights and embarrassment,” he said in a video posted on his official YouTube site.
Nonito Jr., known to fight fans as “The Filipino Flash”, told his supporters through the video that he was glad that they were able to sort out their differences to again unite the Donaire family.
“I just want to apologize to my dad for the things I've said to my family, the Donaires. A lot of people had been hurt by this,” he said.
“I'm really happy that my family and I with my wife (Rachel)... We got to talk and clear things out… This is a blessing.”
Nonito Jr. credited his father for guiding him to become what he is today.
Father guiding the son
It was Nonito Sr. who introduced Jr. to boxing, guiding the Filipino Flash from his amateur years up to the professional ranks.
The father was Nonito Jr.’s head coach when he scored his first major victory in pro boxing: a 5th round knockout of the then undefeated Vic Darchinyan in 2007.
Nonito Jr.’s most recent victory was over Mexican champion, Fernando Montiel, whom he halted in just two rounds. As a result, he was crowned as the new World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight champion.
|Nonito Donaire Jr. (left) receives instructions from his father, Nonito Sr. (right)
“I'm always thankful of my dad for making me who I am,” said Nonito Jr.
A teary-eyed Nonito Sr. also spoke in the video.
He said he has long been waiting to be reunited with his son after they parted ways in 2008.
“I've been hoping for this (reconciliation) for so long,” he said.
Nonito Sr. offered his apologies to his son, to Rachel, and also to Rachel’s family, the Marcials.
“Maybe I've said something bad to Junior and to Rachel. I asked for apology. In my heart, I did mean to say it. To her parents, if I've said something... I apologize to you,” he said while wiping off the tears from his eyes.
Nonito Jr. and Rachel went to Nonito Sr.’s home in San Leandro, California to have a heart-to-heart talk.
It was Rachel who arranged the meeting between father and son.
“I called Papang (Nonito Sr.) last night to put this meeting together. I thought that this is the best time and the only time before everything went out of control,” she said.
‘We all make mistakes’
Nonito Jr., meanwhile, clarified that the “money issue” between him and his father was just a misunderstanding.
“My dad never stole anything. My dad was always there to protect me. He's always looked out for my benefit,” he said.
Nonito Jr. added that the back-and-forth between them was played up by media, blowing the issue out of proportion.
|Nonito Donaire Jr. with his wife, Rachel.
“What has been said in the media was... blown into something really big,” he said.
This was echoed by his wife.
“As much as there were a lot of rumors that ran around, Papang never stole the money. It was all a misunderstanding,” said Rachel.
“It didn't help that the media twisted and edited the words to actually make us fight more,” she added.
She admitted that there was an exchange of bitter words between both parties but said that they were said out of anger.
“We all make mistakes. I'm sorry if I hurt the Donaire family, I'm sorry if I hurt Papang. All of us said everything out of anger,” said Rachel.
“I hope that in time, everyone will forget everything, all the wounds have been healed, all the scars will be gone. We'll be a happy family again,” she added.
Nonito Sr. meanwhile has this to say against his son’s detractors: “To those people who said that Nonito Jr. is ungrateful, I think I'm the only person who can say that because I'm his father.”