By Dyan Castilljeo, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Oct. 20, 2014
MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. – Nonito Donaire had just about an hour of sleep in the evening after his fight, but the “Filipino Flash” felt upbeat as he relaxed in his hotel suite, the morning after the loss to Jamaica’s “Axeman,” Nicolas Walters.
Donaire is overflowing with thanks to God for keeping him safe, after suffering his first knockdown and knockout loss in his career.
“I’m really so thankful to God that I’m safe,” said Donaire. “Strange feeling talaga. Nag flash na light, hazy nakita ko corner at iyong referee.”
Donaire looked back at the punch that ended the fight.
“The last punch bagsak ako,” said Donaire. “Nakikita ko iyon referee na bumibilang, pero hindi ko siya marinig, narinig ko nalang siya nuong sabi niya, ‘seven, eight, nine.’ I was telling myself, ‘get up, get up,’ then the referee hugged me. Buti nalang kasi I probably would have continued and get hurt worse.”
Nonito admitted he didn’t stick to the right strategy.
“Bumalik kasi ako sa dati kong way,” admitted Donaire. “I should have boxed him.”
But he has learned much from this loss, and looks forward to starting a new, stronger chapter in his boxing career.
“Wala nang pressure, no title, so I need to change all my bad habits in the ring,” said Donaire.
Though he had a good camp leading up to the Walters fight, Nonito wants an even longer training period for his next fight.
The continued support from Filipino fans is giving him the inspiration to come back.
“Everyone who sent messages, thank you,” said Donaire. “I’m inspired, I’m good, I will come back stronger.”
Donaire traveled back to his home in Las Vegas for a good rest, before calling his team back together to plan his next move in boxing.