- Veteran sports journalist Ronnie Nathanielsz passed away at 81
- He suffered a cardiac arrest while on the way to the Pacquiao-Vargas match in Las Vegas
- He is a respected boxing analyst who regularly wrote for various publications
Veteran sports journalist Ronnie Nathanielsz passed away at 81 after succumbing to a heart attack.
Nathanielsz was rushed to the intensive care unit of the Mills-Peninsula Medical Centers in Burlingame, California last November 3 while he was on the way to the boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He reportedly suffered some chest pains en route to Las Vegas and then had a cardiac arrest.
The family decided to pull him off life support after staying several days in the intensive care unit.
“Told him yesterday that if he wants to let go already, just come home to Jesus. He would always tell me ‘I’ve lived a full life,'” his daughter Rachael Nathanielsz told Rappler.
Originally from Sri Lanka, Nathanielsz made his way to the Philippines in 1962 and eventually acquired Filipino citizenship in 1973. By then, he had already begun making a name for himself as a sports journalist.
In 1975, he served as a liaison officer between the Philippine government and the organizers of the historic “Thrilla in Manila” between boxers Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
He would later become a courtside reporter at Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) games in the 1980s and 1990s.
However, Nathanielsz became best known as the go-to boxing analyst, having followed the careers of iconic Filipino boxers such as Gabriel “Flash” Elorde and Pacquiao.
The veteran broadcaster also made his opinions heard in a regular column in publications such as the Manila Standard-Today and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The World Boxing Organization, as well as colleagues in the world of sports journalism, offered their condolences to the family of Nathanielsz.