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Promoter Frank Warren promises Carl Frampton: win and your Windsor Park fight is on

Face-off: Carl Frampton (left) and Nonito Donaire at Europa Hotel yesterday as Frank Warren looks on
Face-off: Carl Frampton (left) and Nonito Donaire at Europa Hotel yesterday as Frank Warren looks on
Divided audience: Amir Khan also fights on Saturday night
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Promoter Frank Warren says he is ready to hand Carl Frampton his dream fight at Windsor Park - if he defeats Nonito Donaire on Saturday night at Belfast's SSE Arena.

Frampton and Donaire came face to face at yesterday's press conference in the Europa Hotel with both men exuding a relaxed confidence ahead of their clash for the WBO interim featherweight title - a belt that places the winner on the cusp of a showdown with the champion Oscar Valdez.

Top promoter Warren is waiting to not only see the outcome of Saturday night's fight but also on word regarding Valdez who suffered a broken jaw in his last successful title defence against Scott Quigg.

While Mexican Valdez is the obvious target, the Jackal also has the option of facing the winner of next month's duel between IBF champion Lee Selby and Leeds hero Josh Warrington.

Early August at Windsor is the preferred option for Warren, who believes that Saturday night's clash can provide the perfect platform from which the 31-year-old Belfast man can kick on from to challenge for a world title. "I promised him Windsor Park and I intend to deliver on that," said Warren.

Warren added: "In some ways this is a crossroads fight for both fighters. Both guys know what they want. Winning the interim title will get them a shot at the WBO champion Oscar Valdez.

"All being well that Carl wins then I'll be on the phone Monday morning to the WBO to see when negotiations can start for a fight with Valdez but also I've also heard that he may consider moving up a weight so we have to see."

Warren also took the opportunity to lambast the fact that Frampton-Donaire on BT Sport is going up against the return to the ring of Amir Khan on Sky Sports.

"It's stupid that we have two big shows like this at the same time. We announced our show and then Khan gets announced… you don't have Arsenal and Spurs playing on the same day at the same time.

There are no winners because the audience will be divided but in terms of what show is giving the fans what they want, Frampton against Donaire wins hands down," said Warren.

"This isn't Big Brother or Celebrity Jungle Juice or whatever they call it, this is real boxing and if you want to see real fights all the way down the card then this Saturday night Belfast is the place to be.

"The fans of the Jungle will watch Amir but the true boxing fans will be watching Frampton against Donaire because this is the best against the best, that's what fans want - not a knockover job.

"These are the fights that Carl has said to me from the start that he wants. The first guy he faced, Horacio Garcia last November, was not an opponent I wanted - I thought he could have gone for someone a bit easier but he wants to be tested. If you cut him in half it would say one word, fighter.

"Carl and Nonito represent everything that boxing is really about and I've got a lot of admiration for Carl because he doesn't want easy fights. He's a promoter's dream."

Frampton concurred with Warren, insisting: "I think it does a disservice to the sport to have the two shows on the one night. But I just have to focus on my job. To have a guy like Nonito Donaire coming Belfast to fight me almost feels like an honour. In terms of accolades, he's accomplished more than anyone I've fought, that includes Leo Santa Cruz. He's a future Hall of Famer and hopefully I can put my name in that bracket one day.

"Some people want the easiest fights, but that's not me and I don't think that's Nonito either. I'm experienced enough to know that I need to be in fights that excite me and get me nervous."

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