SHORTLY after he tested positive for COVID-19, Nonito “The Flash” Donaire Jr. asked for a confirmatory test from the boxing network Showtime but was turned down.
So he did the next best thing: He paid for the confirmatory test himself.
To his relief, he tested negative. By then, however, he had withdrawn from his fight for the interim World Boxing Council bantamweight title against Emmanuel Rodriguez.
That left Donaire bristling. He posted a screenshot of his latest test conducted by Cue Health that said he took two “molecular NAAT tests 24 hours apart and a rapid antigen (test): ALL results NEGATIVE. 3 tests 3 NEGATIVE results.”
Donaire’s travail was reported by TJ Rives and posted on the website bigfightweekend.com.
The former world champion was originally set to face Rodriguez on Dec. 19 of the ring card jointly promoted by Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut but got sidelined due to the earlier positive result.
This paved the way for undefeated fellow Filipino Reymark Gaballo, who is the top-ranked World Boxing Association bantamweight contender, to step into the picture as Donaire’s last-minute substitute for the fight, which Showtime announced in a statement last week.
It was supposed to be Donaire’s comeback fight since losing by unanimous decision to reigning Japanese WBA super bantamweight and International Boxing Federation bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue in November 2019 in Saitama, Japan.
In a separate statement, Donaire’s wife-manager, Rachel, detailed the ordeal they experienced when they thought that his husband was COVID-19 positive.
“My world turned upside down, and my heart sank. I feverishly waited for Dr. A from Baker Street Health to call with protocol and/or instructions. No call. No email and no check-up,” she recalled.
“Fear settled in, realizing that if I hadn’t taken the time to log in and check myself, we wouldn’t have known until they decided they wanted to update us,” Mrs. Donaire added.
“I panicked and got my kids out of the house. They weren’t around my husband anyway because it was camp,” she said. “When I returned, I double, triple, quadruple disinfected the house, opening all the windows, letting air into the room.
“Nonito isolated in the bedroom, and every so often, he’d come out to grab something. Like a pariah, I shunned him going anywhere near me, teasing him about it but also being firm.
“I slept on the couch night after night. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t just pick another bedroom, even one of the boys’ rooms, lol. I was alone in my own home.”