Nonito Donaire upset the bookmakers this Friday after a shock victory over WBSS bantamweight No. 1 seed, and WBA (Super) Bantamweight Champion), Ryan Burnett.
Burnett threw a right hand in the fourth round, and almost immediately fell to the canvas. The injury is now believed to be a slipped disc.
Trainer Adam Booth absolutely did the right thing in pulling his fighter out with such an injury before the start of the 5th. Donaire showed every inch of class that has made him a fan favourite for the better part of a decade. He didn’t celebrate in the injury and the world title it gave him. Instead, he apologised to Burnett, and explaining it was “not how he wanted to win.”
WOW… no-one saw this coming… @filipinoflash wins after @ryanburnett01 has to retire due to a freak back injury in the 4th round… Wonderful sportsmanship from the Filipino Flash ?#BurnettDonaire #WBSS2 ? #AliTrophy pic.twitter.com/ApjIh8yPVW
— World Boxing Super Series (@WBSuperSeries) November 3, 2018
However, three days after the fight, the four-weight world champion revealed via Twitter that the win has been somewhat overshadowed by the refusal of betting outlet Betfred to pay his father-in-law.
In a post on Facebook, Donaire’s father-in-law explained that he placed a wager on his son-in-law to win. He had also placed a separate bet for Donaire to win via stoppage. Using his “lucky birthday money” in the process.
The wager came in, and due to catching a flight back to the Philippines, he gave the ticket to his daughter, Donaire’s wife, Rachel, to claim.
Betfred stated that their decision is because of the family ties to wager in question.
The heart of the betting issue
The issue comes in an attempt to crack down on match-fixing/fight-fixing. This is whereby fighters intentionally lose in order to claim large payouts – odds get very good if you know what round your fighter is going to lose in.
However, Donaire’s father in law bet for his son-in-law, not against. The BBBoC has no explicit regulation regarding the wagering of a bet by family members for a certain outcome should it be in favour of an outcome, and proving they have no influence on the fight. It appears the bet was made based on belief in his son-in-law’s ability to win the fight. It was not based on insider knowledge that he was going to lose the fight intentionally.
Rachel Donaire’s involvement
Nonito Donaire also claims that the Betfred staff bullyed and insulted his wife when she attempted to claim the winnings from the Betfred shop. They appeared to question Rachel Donaire’s intelligence. They claimed that because she was ‘an American’, she ‘didn’t know what she was talking about’.
The attempt to bully and undermine Rachel Donaire into accepting that the bet placed was illegal, clearly has not worked. Rachel Donaire has continued her efforts to claim what is rightfully her father’s on twitter, and clearly has the support of the public. Nonito reaches out to me on twitter that she is “wrong person to bully”. Betfred are on notice it would seem.
Here u go @Betfred since you are so "knowledgeable" to tell me that it's in the regulation of BBBofC that my dad cant bet bc hes family and would "know" if hed win or not is BS. pic.twitter.com/G72Zp0Nw6J
— Rachel Donaire (@Knockout_Queen) November 6, 2018
Neither Rachel Donaire, or her father are members of the BBBoC, nor are they licensed fighters. The wagering of bets for an outcome, as opposed to against is therefore fully justified and legal. This means that Betfred has no reason to withhold these funds, as per the letter of the law.
Should Nonito Donaire have placed a bet on himself, he likely would have come under investigation. David Haye was subject to this, after claiming he would knock Audley Harrison out in the third round. Notably Haye did indeed bet on himself, did win in the third and STILL received no punishment from the BBBoC over the issue. Betfred should pay out if they are the follow this outcome.
Betfred should do the right thing
As a long-time fan of Donaire, I hope Betfred does the right thing and pays his father-in-law the money that he is rightfully owed. The win, whilst controversial, should be celebrated by Donaire and his family. The winning of money based of a legal bet should add these celebrations.
In terms of fighting, Donaire is facing South African Zolani Tete in the WBSS Bantamweight Semi Final in what will be a unification of the Filipino Flash’s WBA (Super) title, and Tete’s WBO title. The venue has not been announced as of yet. Promoter Kalle Sauerland, along with brother Nisse, have flirted with the idea of the fight taking place in the Phillipines, or South Africa.