Carl Frampton's delight at interim world title fight in Belfast
Carl Frampton's fight against Nonito Donaire next month has been upgraded to a world title eliminator with the WBO Interim Featherweight crown on the line.
The bout, which will be at Belfast's SSE Arena on Saturday April 21, was originally the second step in his comeback, but now he'll get the chance to immediately return to the pinnacle of boxing should he win.
The fight now has interim status in case current WBO champion Oscar Valdez is unable to defend his title within the organisation's timeline, particularly with the Mexican currently sidelined with a broken jaw sustained against Scott Quigg.
Donaire (35), who hails from the Philippines and is a former seven-time world title holder himself, will prove a tough opponent for Frampton having only lost four times in his career.
"A huge night of boxing in Belfast just got even bigger," Frampton commented.
"This is great news and it adds a whole lot more razzmatazz to the event - not that it needed it.
"I was sure that the winner of this fight was going to go on to fight for a world title in their next fight and having an interim world title on the line on April 21 all but confirms that."