In the sports world, wives and girlfriends, known as WAGs, usually sit back and relax as their athletic husbands compete, unless you're Rachel Marcial Donaire.
The former taekwondo champion and model has been married to Nonito Donaire Jr for the last 13 years and aside from raising their two boys, she's been taking on his managerial duties.
"What really turned me, first of all, in the managing part and all the other stuff is because of the fact that boxing is known to be a dirty businesses. If you align yourselves with the wrong teams, things can happen whether it's through sponsorships, promoters, or managers, and things fall through the cracks and end up affecting the family in the long run," Rachel shares.
This past year, the 'Knockout Queen' has taken it a step further, serving as her husband's head trainer and occasional sparring partner.
"For the last 13 years, he's always looked at me when I was sitting ringside and he would listen to me but I'm never in the corner. It gave us an opportunity during the pandemic to sit down and watch tapes together, really have discussions on it, and it was starting to see what I'm seeing so let's give this a shot and see what happens."
The hardwork has paid off with a four-round knockout victory over Nordine Oubaali for the WBC world title in May, and then a four-round defense against Reymart Gaballo this past weekend. Rachel has now been nominated by the World Boxing Council for Trainer of the Year.
"It's amazing just to be mentioned, I think of course, the other coaches have been around for so long. They have an amazing stable of fighters. I hope this pushes a lot of other women to step up on to the stage and to be part of camps and to be head trainers. We do have women head trainers and it just hasn't been to a world title fight yet. I'm sure there will be way more after this," Rachel says.
Donaire's corner has become a family affair, with his original trainer, father Nonito Sr. also working the corner, while Rachel's dad Gerry heads his security team. While their victory over Reymart Gaballo has helped their cause, fans can still vote for her on the WBC's website.
Nonito himself is nominated in several categories, along with fellow Bohol prospect Mark Magsayo.