There’s a line many athletes don’t cross during fight promotion, but Nonito Donaire feels that’s exactly what John Riel Casimero’s camp did.
The bout, which was billed as the first ever Filipino vs Filipino title unification, was already jeopardized this past week after drug testing issues had Donaire threaten to call off the fight. The last straw for the four-division champion it seems, were the smack talk directed at his family afterwards.
Donaire wasn’t happy about previous statements Casimero made, but the pre-fight smack talk between the two camps only got uglier and much more personal since then.
Rachel Donaire, Nonito’s manager, trainer and wife, was targeted with insults and smack talk. They took offense to the “disgusting” and “misogynistic” actions and statements, but the two camps decided to go on Instagram live in an effort to try and discuss things better.
Unfortunately, it only devolved into even more ugly bickering and insults, in a feud that at times got petty and also very personal.
“The only reason I came in is because it was going to be Filipino vs Filipino, and regardless there was going to be a Filipino champion,” Donaire said on the Instagram chat. “Now you guys come in… and you’re demeaning Filipinos! No? You’re telling my wife to suck some dude’s d—k!”
“My goal is to be undisputed champ. But the moment you guys disrespected my wife, you disrespected me and my family, I don’t care if I become world champion anymore,” Donaire said in a mix of English and Filipino, and translated by Bloody Elbow. “I will protect my family. I am here to protect my wife. That is all that I have to say and there is nothing you can do to change my mind. You disrespected me, you disrespected my wife, when I have not said a single bad thing about you guys. I’ll rest my case on that.”
Apart from Nonito’s relatively brief appearance, the rest of the session on social media was mainly just bickering and insults between the other participants from the two camps. It only seemed counter productive, and soon after, Donaire issued an official statement saying the fight is off.
“I am known to take stands people are afraid to take. I STAND for VADA 24/7/365 testing for ALL boxers. This should never be refused or delayed. I stand against BULLYING in any form. I STAND against the disrespect and ABUSE of women and children physically, mentally and emotionally. AND I STAND against misogynistic culture.
“A grown man recently told the mother of my boys to ‘snack on his —-’. We cannot ignore this unprofessional behavior. We cannot excuse the disgusting trolling memes created of my wife as ‘just for entertainment’. I don’t want other pro athletes to cross this line and think this type of behavior is acceptable. We have to maintain a respectable character, especially online, for the future generations to emulate, and not promote ignorance and foul behavior. For the boxing culture to change, promoters and networks should veer away from unacceptable behavior and not encourage it.
“That being said, as we’ve stated before, we cancelled this fight when they delayed turning in the VADA paperwork for 5 days. We have proof that the opposing side was neither honest nor forthcoming in providing the proper information to begin VADA drug testing. AFTER we cancelled the fight, then and only then did the paperwork suddenly appear.
“I do what I say. And as much as I want to knock him out, I’m going to take the high road and instead of highlighting his misbehaviors, I’m not going to give his example the stage or the payday that comes with it.”
Meanwhile, Casimero’s camp is adamant that the fight is still pushing through. His promoter, Sean Gibbons of Manny Pacquiao Promotions told Boxing Scene that “The fight is happening. I guarantee that.”
Should it indeed fall through, the Guillermo Rigondeaux bout that was scrapped in favor of this all-Filipino title unification could conceivably be in play for Casimero again.
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