Carl Frampton: ‘Nonito Donaire is a fantastic fighter, an amazing talent’
There’s no title world championship belt on the line, but it doesn’t matter in the slightest.
Former two-weight world titleholder Cal Frampton came face-to-face with former four-weight world titleholder Nonito Donaire at the Europa Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Wednesday to formally announce their eagerly anticipated featherweight fight which will take place at the city’s SSE Arena on April 21.
Frampton, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING at 126 pounds, is aiming to book a world title bout at Windsor Park (Northern Ireland soccer stadium) this summer, but the talented boxer-puncher is acutely aware of the threat posed by the 35-year-old Donaire.
“I need to make sure that I’m going to put in the performance of my career, which it might take to win this fight,” said Frampton.
“Nonito Donaire is a future hall-of-famer, a fantastic fighter. I need fights like this to get up for and I need big names. Nonito’s an amazing talent. He can punch and he doesn’t just knock people over, he’s put guys to sleep before. But that gives me a fear factor and I think that’s when I’m going to be at my best.”
Both men were previously recognized as Fighter of the Year by THE RING Magazine, ESPN and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America, with Frampton awarded the honors for 2016 and Donaire in 2012.
Forty-two-fight veteran Donaire remains determined to reclaim world honors and echoed Frampton’s comments about quality of opposition.
“We need an opponent we can truly respect and at the same time you have that voice behind you that says, ‘this guy is tough, this guy is good and anything can happen’,” said Donaire.
“It allows the warrior within us to come out. One thing’s for sure, and I can see it from looking into Carl’s eyes, we’re both warriors and we’re willing to give it everything we’ve got for this fight. At the moment, age is only a number for me because I’m very inspired to be here.”
Information provided courtesy of a press release issued by Frank Warren PR.
Limited tickets for Frampton vs. Donaire are available to purchase from the SSE Arena Belfast Box Office, www.ssearenabelfast.com and 028 9073 9074. Tickets range from £40 (Tier) to £400 (Inner Ring Hospitality).
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for THE RING. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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