Nonito Donaire posted a picture of himself after the World Boxing Super Series Gala Draft Draw on Friday relaxing and having a meal with his wife.
The one thing that firmly stood out and made everyone take notice was the fact that Donaire and spouse Rachel were enjoying dinner with forthcoming opponent Ryan Burnett and his partner.
In what is a showing of sportsmanship that should be highly praised and is the epitome of what boxing is all about, amazingly the scenario was greeted with abuse in some quarters.
@ryanburnett_1 selected me as his pick. Its refreshing that we both agree this is a sport. This isn't street fighting. There's no need to trash talk and be a way that doesn't align to us. Make no mistake inside the ropes we will both try to take each others head off. pic.twitter.com/nubF24LAUV
— Nonito Donaire (@filipinoflash) July 20, 2018
Donaire recently made a trip to Belfast where the whole country fell in love with the multi-weight world champion for his graciousness and good conduct throughout, although when posting on social media, those who disagreed made their feelings known and the ‘Filipino Flash’ felt compelled to defend himself.
“I’m getting flak for being a sportsman. Can u believe this bulls***? – Y’all want me to be a bully?” said Donaire when met with questions about his desire to get in fight mode with Burnett after being drawn together in the Quarter-Final of the WBSS minutes earlier.
“Stop with the pettiness and BS! Boxing is a sport and is respected as such just as much as a soccer player can have dinner with another soccer player from another country or basketball player from another county. It’s a sport and there is nothing personal.
“So stop accepting that you need to be a bad guy to get viewership. Stop accepting that you need to be a stereotypical uneducated person who needs to be mad at the world to get support.
“Support those who want to make a difference. That colors and borders dont mean s***. We are all human and deserve respect. Because honestly, we have started to forget that.
“Stop supporting fake hate. As a matter of fact, how about you stop supporting HATE altogether?
“Y’all dont need bad blood for a good fight. A good fight starts with two amazing talented fighters without any political, racial or religious agendas. Period.”
The response was passionate and true, once again shining a light on how much of a credit to pugilism Donaire really is…something nobody who is truly in love with boxing would ever want to change.
Veteran Donaire meets Burnett in the first round of Season 2 when the WBSS kicks off in September and October, with a return to Belfast potentially on the cards for the 35 year-old ring legend.