Belfast Telegraph

Frampton v Donaire: Christine in Carl’s corner once again as The Jackal weighs in for crucial fight

By Mark Bain

Christine Frampton weighed in behind her man yesterday ahead of tonight's big fight in Belfast.

Husband Carl takes on former four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire at the SSE Arena this evening.

Yesterday hundreds of boxing fans gathered to cheer on 'The Jackal' on the eve of his bout against the Filipino.

Christine watched on as he stepped onto the scales at the weigh-in ahead of the WBO Interim Featherweight title bout.

And after a hiccup in proceedings with the announcer frantically trying to tell someone that his mic had stopped working, it was left to Frampton himself to call out his own weight.

The Tigers Bay boxer scaled 8st 13lbs 3oz, with Donaire weighing 8st 13 1/2 lbs.

And the 31-year-old Belfast man says he's in "the best shape of his life".

Frampton is attempting to re-establish his world title credentials after losing the WBA featherweight title against Leo Santa Cruz 15 months ago. In that fight in Las Vegas the Mexican avenged his defeat by The Jackal six months previously.

Ahead of tonight's fight, Frampton said: "I'm very lucky. I've got fantastic support and a fantastic fanbase, but I don't kid myself.

"There are people who would like to see me fall flat on my face and would take great joy out of it.

"I'm using this as a motivation to prove to people that I've still got a lot left. It's almost like sticking two fingers up to people who think I'm done. Because what I've been doing in training, I'm far from done."

And Frampton is hoping that a win tonight will help seal his long-held ambition of a world title fight at Windsor Park.

"A win over Donaire can kick off a world title shot at Windsor which has always been my dream, and then you could quite possibly have a rematch with Leo Santa Cruz in December. That would be the ideal year for me," added Frampton.

"Looking back, 2016 was an amazing year for me. I unified the super-bantamweight titles and then became a two-weight world champion, but if I have the year I want, then 2018 would even top that. But I'll only start thinking and asking questions about Windsor and world title fights come Sunday morning."

Promoter Frank Warren has promised that if Frampton does triumph tonight, he will have his dream bout this summer.

"I can make Windsor Park happen but I can't guarantee Carl wins this fight," said Warren ahead of the bout.

Donaire's 17-year professional career has seen him win world titles at flyweight, bantamweight, super-bantamweight and featherweight, in addition to holding an interim super-flyweight belt.

"Donaire will be the best foreign fighter who has ever appeared in Belfast in my lifetime. This guy is on the money and he fancies this job," he added. "We want to be back here in the summer at Windsor Park putting on a big show but Carl cannot afford to slip up against Donaire. His career depends on this fight."

Frampton took time after the weigh-in to mix with fans in the foyer at the Europa Hotel, posing for pictures and signing autographs.

Ahead of the fight, Christine paid tribute to her late father yesterday.

She tweeted a photograph and said: "16 years without my daddy today. He was so funny & so smart & what a good looking guy (his own words). I can just imagine us in Lady Dixon park with all the grandkids. That would be my perfect day. Miss him."

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