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Carl Frampton's bout with Donaire is bigger than Selby v Warrington clash, claims Belfast boxer

Tickets for the April 21 fight at the SSE Arena go on sale this Thursday from 10am

By Gareth Hanna

Carl Frampton reckons his April fight against Nonito Donaire is a bigger fight than Lee Selby and Josh Warrington's IBF World Featherweight title fight.

Donaire arrives in Belfast for the April 21 SSE Arena clash in what Frampton hopes is the final step on his road back towards another title bout of his own.

Boasting a record of 38 wins in 42 professional fights, Donaire is the biggest fighter 'maybe ever' to come to Belfast to fight a home opponent, according to Frampton. And he says the pair's coming together creates a fight that tops Selby's title defence against Warrington, scheduled for May 19.

“It isn’t a world title fight but in terms of the world stage, it’s a bigger fight than Lee Selby and Josh Warrington," the Tiger's Bay boxer told 32red. "That’s a big fight in the UK and a good fight but this just shows you the calibre of the names involved in this fight here. Both guys are chasing world titles and a win gets either one of us a shot at a champion.

"It’s a great fight to lead into a summer world title shot. He’s a big name fighter and Belfast is a big boxing city. He’s also a four-weight world champion. To have a fighter of Nonito Donaire’s quality coming over to face one of their own is a big deal. I’m glad that we can bring a fight like this to Belfast.

“The atmosphere on the night is going to be unreal. It was incredible last time and it just seems to be getting bigger and better every time I come back to Belfast. Nonito Donaire is the biggest fighter who’s ever come to Belfast to fight one of their own, maybe ever. The fans deserve this. It’s going to be a good night.”

Frampton was taken all the way by Horacio Garcia in his long-awaited comeback fight back in November. And he admits he made errors that night that he vows to put right when he steps into the ring on April 21.

“It’s got to come together a bit better," he conceded. "It’s got to be perfect this time and it will be. I was aware of the mistakes I was making last time but they were things I was trying out. The difference between doing them wrong and doing them right was a split second. I was maybe staying on the ropes a little too long and maybe blocking a few too many shots before coming back with my own. These are things that I’m aware of. I’ll rectify them this time.

“I needed to be fighting somebody a step up from Horacio Garcia and my performance will probably need to be a step up from that night too. I wanted a step up and I wanted a fight that’s going to get me ready for a world title fight and Nonito Donaire will certainly do that.”

Donaire, nicknamed the Filipino Flash, is now 35 and 30-year-old Frampton is confident he will get the win he craves to tee up his much-discussed world title bout at Windsor Park this summer.

“(Nonito) is a boxer but he really turns that left hook over well and he’s put a few fighters to sleep with it so I’m going to have to be careful but I just feel that at this stage of our careers, if I’m at my best I’ll win the fight,” Frampton said.

“He’s got a lot of notice for it and he’s going to be well prepared. This isn’t a last minute job. He’s coming towards the end of his career and if he loses here it’s probably the end for him. That’s going to give him a bit extra motivation and it’s something I’ll need to be fully aware of.”

Tickets for Carl Frampton's fight against Nonito Donaire at the SSE Arena on Saturday April 21 will go on sale this Thursday (January 11) from 10am.

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