Carl-Frampton-Nonito Donaire set for April 21 in Belfast
“The Jackal” versus “The Filipino Flash”.
Carl Frampton takes his final step towards another world title fight and Nonito Donaire gets the opportunity to prove that he can still hang with the best when the pair collide in a 12-round featherweight attraction at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on April 21.
Frampton, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING at 126 pounds, is a former two-weight world titleholder and THE RING Fighter of the Year for 2016. Donaire, a former four-weight world titleholder, is a serious threat and the U.S. based Filipino will be looking to stake his own claim for a title fight at Frampton’s expense.
“It’s a brilliant fight – a four-weight world champion against a two-weight world champion,” said Frampton. “Has a bigger ‘away’ fighter ever come to fight in Belfast before? I don’t think there’s been a bigger name than Nonito Donaire and he’s coming to fight a local guy in his hometown.
“But I think both of us are in the same situation – a slip-up here and one of us might never fight for a world title again. There’s a lot on the line for both guys.”
In November, Frampton got himself back in the win column by outpointing Horacio Garcia over 10 rounds. That was his first fight since losing a 12-round majority decision, and his WBA featherweight title, to Leo Santa Cruz in January of last year.
The ideal scenario is for Frampton to come through against Donaire and then vie for a world title at Windsor Park (Northern Ireland’s national soccer stadium) in the summer. However, Frampton is aware that he has his work cut out for him against a gifted operator.
“(Donaire’s) been at the top of four divisions, but he was in the same weight division as me for quite a while and he’s someone I’ve always kept an eye on,” said Frampton. “He’s someone I admire as well and I think he’s a great fighter, but I think this is the perfect fight to get me ready for a world title fight in the summer.”
While Donaire has suffered three defeats since being named 2012 Fighter of the Year by THE RING, ESPN and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America – the same honors Frampton picked up in 2016 – the 35-year-old technician is eager to prove that he is still an elite force.
“This is exactly the type of fight I live for — going in against one of the best in the world in the lion’s den of his hometown of Belfast,” said Donaire. “I can’t wait for the first bell. I know I’ll have to be the best I can be on fight night. Make no mistake, I’m already training like never before.”
“I plan to put on a spectacular show for my fans, his fans and boxing fans in general. When I walk out of the ring victorious, it will have all been worth it.”
Information courtesy of a press release issued by Frank Warren PR
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for THE RING. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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