NONITO DONAIRE: After the other Sunday’s crushing Pacman downfall in Las Vegas, it was a splendid “revenge” by the Talibon, Bohol-born winner named “The Filipino Flash.”
What the Mexican did to Pacquiao, he did to a Mexican. We often talk about the “passing of the torch;” the act of a younger, newer champion taking over from the aged, near-retiring legend — and that’s what we witnessed in a span of one week.
Twice, I’ve sat down and talked with Nonito. The latest one was during the yearly Cebu Sports Awards when Nonito and Manny Pacquiao were special guests at the Casino Español. It was the 27th SAC-SMB Awards Night in 2009.
Our first meeting was back in November 2007 when Salven Lagumbay of Cebu Daily News introduced us. That evening, we invited Nonito, together with a group of friends and media personalities, to Mooon Cafe. Nonito Jr. and Nonito Sr. were together. And, after a few hours chatting with them, you leave the room with the same feeling: it’s hard to find a nicer, more gentleman-like duo than the two Nonitos.
With Nonito Jr., my initial reaction was this: As nice and amiable and respectful as he is, is he a boxer, one who bloodies and “puts to sleep” opponents for a living? As we saw against Jorge Arce and three others this 2012 (Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr.; Jeffrey Mathebula; and Toshiaki Nishioka), the 30-year-old “Flash” is a certified world champion. In boxing, he’s proven that it is possible to both be friendly (off the ring) and destructive.
My brother Charlie with Nonito
Sports Editor Mike Limpag with Nonito