MANILA, Philippines – Respected boxing trainer Robert Garcia will not be handling the training of former world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire for his May 31 fight against South Africa’s Simpiwe Vetyeka in Macau.
Instead, it will be his father, Nonito Sr., who will be in charge of putting together a fight plan for “The Filipino Flash” as he challenges Vetyeka for the WBA featherweight belt.
This does not mean, however, that Donaire is now considering a bout against his trainer’s younger brother, Mikey Garcia, who holds a 28-0 record as well as the WBO super featherweight belt.
“That depends on them, you know,” Donaire said when asked if a bout with Mikey is now possible.
“With me, I respect Mikey a lot. I think he’s a great fighter, and I look at them like family,” he added.
Donaire compared his relationship with Garcia to the bond that he has with the fighters of the ALA Gym, where he has been training ahead of the Vetyeka fight.
“It’s like the ALA guys. They’re like brothers to me,” he said. “You’ll never see me fight them unless they really, truly want that fight for me.”
“But you will never see me na maghahamon ako sa kanila,” he added.
Garcia won several titles at featherweight before moving up. In his last fight at the weight division, he came in two pounds overweight and had to relinquish his belts.
Donaire said he will not actively seek a showdown against Garcia, even if it is a big-money bout.
“I will never cross that path just because it will be a marquee fight or a big fight for bigger money and all that stuff. I’m not all about that. I’m all about respect,” he said.
But Donaire also made it clear that he will not back down if he and Garcia ever end up facing each other.
“If they chose to do that, then I’ll let them do that. You know, us fighters, we never back out. Mikey will never, either,” he said.