AFTER so much noise and fanfare pushed Nonito Donaire Jr. to cancel his unification bout with Johnreil Casimero, the camp of Cuadro Alas has issued an apology to the Filipino Flash, saying that some things were said that shouldn’t have been said.
What were those things? Misogynistic things and comments that border on being racist.
A couple of weeks ago, Donaire pulled the plug on the fight, and demanded an apology. In response, Casimero said the fight was still on.
Then, a couple of twists--a rematch with Naoya Inoue for Donaire suddenly looked like a sure thing, while Guillermo Rigondeaux got back on the table as Casimero’s Aug. 14 foe.
Then, the apology, which was issued just as Manny Pacquiao arrived in the US for his training for his fight against Errol Spence.
I think Pacquiao is the reason for the apology. We all know that Pacman has been the subject of clownish and even downright nasty insinuations of steroid use over the years, and I think he reminded the president of his Manny Pacquiao promotions to keep the comments above board. And besides, Pacquiao’s life is under the microscope now, owing to his spat with former ally President Rodrigo Duterte. He doesn’t need the extra baggage of having his ward making below the belt comments against the US-based Donaire.
We all know that President Duterte has a strong support among the overseas Filipino workers, the US-based ones included and Pacquiao, already the subject of numerous troll-based attacks on social media, can’t risk alienating his support base.
Hence the apology, which came a week late after Donaire’s threat.
Does this mean the fight is back on? I don’t think so. It’s just five weeks away, and I don’t think there will be sudden changes. But I hope the apology means Casimero and his camp have learned that even in the crazy world that is boxing, where fighters say the craziest things to sell a fight, there are just some lines you don’t cross.
Will they be talking of a fight again soon? I hope so. I hope Casimero beats Rigondeaux and we can revisit the unification bout with Donaire. Rigondeaux beat Donaire via decision seven years ago for the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) 122-pound titles and I hope Cuadro Alas wins his Aug. 14 bout via knockout and keeps his WBA and WBO 118-pound titles.
Knocking out the guy who beat Donaire by decision is a better “sell” than his poor attempt at being a heel when their unification bout was first announced.