Filipino first, then Windsor for Frampton
Carl Frampton must overcome a difficult test when he steps back into the ring in April.
The Belfast favourite will take on former four-weight World champion Nonito Donaire at the SSE Arena on Saturday, April 7, knowing a big performance will be required to tee up a much-anticipated World title clash in the summer.
Filipino-American Donaire has won 38 of his 42 professional bouts and, like Frampton, the 35-year-old is fresh off the back of a comeback victory as he bounced back from losing his latest World title by beating Ruben Garcia Hernandez in September.
The Filipino had vowed to take on the world's top featherweights and is now looking forward to stepping into the ring with Frampton.
"He's an incredible fighter and I've always wanted to get in the ring with incredible guys," said Donaire. "There's a lot of excitement, a lot of people are wanting to see this fight so I am ready."
And directing a pre-fight message to his opponent, Donaire continued: "I've great respect for you and that's what it's all about, being with incredible fighters inside the ring."
After Frampton's return success over Horacio Garcia last month, promoter Frank Warren said that his man would step into the ring only once more before the promised big World title bout at Windsor Park.