Sunday, 28 February 2010

World Champ Nonito Donaire

"Oh my! That's ano, ano... Nonito Donaire!!" exclaimed a fan infront of me during lunch at Fiji Restaurant in Plantation Bay in Mactan, Cebu. When I turned to look, he didn't resemble the mean fighter last February who knocked out his opponent Manuel Vargas in the third round. In fact, he looked more like the boy next door, wholesome, pleasant and always smiling. One fan who shook his hand exclaimed that his hand was softer and smoother than hers!

27-year old Nonito a.k.a. The Filipino Flash is currently the World Boxing Association (WBA) interim World Super Flyweight champion and is rated by The Ring magazine, as the #6 pound-for-pound best boxer in the world (Note: fellow pinoy boxer Manny Pacquiao is rated #1). His boxing record is impressive - 23 wins out of 24, 15 of which are KOs.

Taking a weekend break from his training under the Penalosa brothers, he was with his wife Rachel Marcial and her father Gerry and his Cebu-based cousins. Without any posse, he was surprisingly easy going and was taking time out to pose, talk to fans and even sing! Yup, he sings! After the Brazilian night dinner show, he was called onstage and I was actually rolling my eyes. Well, after the Jimmy Kimmel bout last November, I was not too sure. Surprise, surprises! He sang My Girl by Temptations well and his rendition of his wife's favorite song I'm Yours by Jason Marz was quite good. I found out later that he performed a shadow boxing dance in the lobby that afternoon while the pianist played Eye of the Tiger.

I asked him about the next fight of Pacquaio against Clottey. He said that in boxing you'll never know what will happen and added that he and Rachel will fly to Dallas to watch the fight but will be back in Manila to train. His next fight is this May against Mexico's Fernando Montiel for the WBO bantamweight crown.

When asked if Filipino boxers are respected abroad. He said "not until boxers reach a certain level. Boxing is still considered a poor man's sport in this country and fortunately, not quite so in the States." He is happy that he is representing the country of his birth, the Philippines.

Unfortunately, according to his father-in-law, this is not true for his daughter who is a USA National Collegiate and Military Taekwondo champion. He said "She has not been considered by the Philippine Sport Association to represent the Philippines despite beating USA's taekwondo Olympic contender." As a side note, funny that Jofer Velez is experiencing the same problem with his 19-year old daughter, Karyn Velez's status in badminton. She is now training in Florida and doing well in the international circuit. He said "this is the first time for a pinay (well now, american) to score olympic points in BWF/IBF international competition."

After meeting and talking to Nonito and Rachel, I must say I am a certified fan of both. I can't wait to watch his next fight and I do wish that Rachel gets to represent the Philippines in taekwondo! I am now pondering on the politiking involved and the poor state of the athletes in this country that I may just give, despite the hullabaloo on the Party-List representation, "Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta" my vote!

Nonito onstage:

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

My fave running gadget: 310xt

Yup! I confess! I'm a gadget junkie and got a Garmin Forerunner 310XT recently, right after the Condura Race.
In the next race, I promise to just cross the finish line, get the medal and take off instead of hanging around and checking out what's inside the tents. Well... I must confess that I also got an Asics after having my foot scanned and examined by the two japs who flew in for the event. They said that since my right foot is longer (22.8 cm) and breadth wider (9.2cm) plus I'm flat footed and wearing a heel support, the best would be a Kayano. Yup! Sucker. Bought a pair.
I ran with both this evening. I am currently tinkering with the 310XT and downloading all the freebie stuff online (including blackberry). I must say I am very very happy because not only can I sync it to Mac [unlike my old polar watch], it is to boot, GPS-enabled and I can view the route on the tiny 1.3 x 0.8 inch screen!! And, it is water resistant up to 50-meters! Should I go snorkeling with it? ha ha...