by Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO and Ring Magazine super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire arrived at the Centennial Terminal of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport this morning and received a warm welcome from Immigration and Customs officials, airport personnel, passengers and fans.
ABS-CBN’s TJ Manotoc teased Donaire about why his wife Rachel was not with him as the four division world champion fueled the speculation that she may be pregnant when he said “the doctor asked her to rest up and get ready for the holidays.”
Donaire said he came home even though he is without Rachel because “I wanted to say hi to everybody.” Asked whether his wife was pregnant. Donaire replied “we’re hoping but right now its more of relaxing since we haven’t been to our Las Vegas home its always in the hotel and training camps this year” because of his four title fights.
Donaire said “first and foremost I wish to thank all of you because without you I won’t have an inspiration so I wanted to give you all something to smile about and something to be proud of. I did all I could to get that knockout (against Jorge “Travieso” Arce) so everybody can have a good Christmas.”
He admitted that he felt some pressure but I was determined to knock Arce out because the fans wanted it and wanted to get excited so I did my best when I was in the ring.”
The four division champion who was interviewed “live” over ABS-CBN which telecast the fight last Sunday over Channel 2 and The Filipino Channel in the Middle East and Australia said that “at the start my body felt weak but then when my body got hot and I warmed up my strategy started to come out and that’s when I did what I had to do.”
He said while Arce also connected “I was the stronger puncher but I told myself I cant be reckless so I had to set him up with the jab and then the left hook and the straight.”
Told that he is a candidate for “Fighter of the Year” Donaire said “for me I don’t think about it but just do what I can do inside the ring but if that is the opinion of the people and sportswriters I am honored.”
HBO Sports commentator Jim Lampley on his well-regarded boxing show “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley” last December 15 named Donaire as “Fighter of the Year” for his participation in the Voluntary Anti – Association or VADA’s rigorous drug testing program all year round while Dr. Margaret Goodman, who formerly worked with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, as “Person of the Year in Boxing” for her fine work in trying to clean up the sport.