Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Boxing

Donaire is biggest away fighter ever to come to Belfast, says Frampton

By David Kelly

Carl Frampton says it will be “an honour” to share the ring with Nonito Donaire on April 21 at Belfast's SSE Arena in a fight that has a 24-carat guarantee to deliver a night to remember.

Filipino Donaire is a four-weight world champion, the most decorated boxer to ever fight in Northern Ireland, and he will arrive knowing the Jackal is his gateway to another title shot.

Frankly, Frampton could have taken a much easier route to the opportunity of meeting the winner of the May clash between IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby and Josh Warrington, but instead he will take on Donaire, who in recent years has held the WBA featherweight and WBO super-bantam titles.

“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.

“He’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.

“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.”

Like Frampton, Donaire is a former Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year and for two such fighters to be meeting is quite special.

Known as the Filipino Flash, Donaire has his sights on a world title showdown this summer, with WBO titleholder Oscar Valdez on his radar.

“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.”

Promoter Frank Warren stated: “Belfast fight fans are going to be in for another treat on April 21. This is a guaranteed barn burner between two elite featherweights.

“If Carl comes through this fight then it’s the big one next at Windsor Park in the summer. That is what we promised him and that is what we will deliver if he gets the win in April.”

Tickets go on general sale tomorrow, priced between £40 and £400.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph