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How Nonito Donaire's wife Rachel is using her military background to plan Carl Frampton's downfall

By David Kelly

Behind every boxer there is usually a woman struggling on fight night to watch from ringside how they earn a living - but that's not the case with Rachel Donaire, who even helps out in the corner.

Rachel is the 35-year-old wife of legendary fighter Nonito Donaire, who has come face to face with Northern Ireland hero Carl Frampton ahead of their big battle at the SSE Arena in April.

The bubbly American is no stranger to combat herself having competed internationally in taekwondo. She controversially missed out on the 2000 Sydney Olympics after losing a bout in the US Olympic trials before going to work for the US Air Force.

Now Rachel spends her time looking after her boys, aged two and four, as well as the career of Nonito who has won world titles at four different weights and is eager for more glory in 2018 at the expense of the Jackal. Come April 21, Rachel will be part of the team in Nonito's corner, offering him advice when required.

"I am at all the training so I can tell on fight night if he is on point. That's why I am in the corner; sometimes I don't say anything but he likes me to be there. He feels that it helps him have more attention, keeps him focused," said Rachel.

"He obviously has his head coach but we go over his strategies before the fight, what he wants to do in the ring and if we see that he isn't doing what he wanted to do, I will speak up and remind him."

The Californian has used her military background for Nonito's training regime.

"After I missed out on the Olympics spot I went on to join the US Air Force. I was in administration with a General and then when it came to competition they would give me active duty status to go and fight in events across the world," she said.

"After five years I got out as a senior airman. It taught me a lot. It helped me to be very good at having an attention to detail, not letting things slide. Especially with Nonito's camp, we have become a very efficient team because of the way I was brought through in the military.

"So, I kinda look over everything - even coming to Belfast I was the one who was in touch with promoter Frank Warren's team, organising when we would come."

As for his welcome from the public here, Nonito said: "I have been overwhelmed by the warmth I have received and the loyalty the people have here for Carl. They have wished me well - but not too well!"

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