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Warriors Frampton and Donaire don't need trash talk with future title tilt on the line

 

By David Kelly

Two Rolls Royce combatants arrived at the Europa Hotel, both with engines purring and one, Nonito Donaire, admitting he is preparing for the ultimate MOT on April 21 at the SSE Arena when he locks horns with Carl Frampton.

"This is a make or break fight for me. I want to be world champion again and this will show me where I'm at," said the 35-year-old from the Philippines.

A world champion for two years by the time Frampton was making his professional debut in 2009, Donaire has a classy persona that sits perfectly with a man who has world titles at four different weights on his CV.

The same could be said for the two-weight champion in the opposite corner.

There wasn't going to be any trash talking when they came together to discuss a clash that could easily be one of the most enthralling duels on UK soil in 2018.

"We don't need to do that. He's going to be trying to take my head off and I'll be trying to take his head off, that's the business we're in, but there's mutual respect. We're both real top fighters and this fight sells itself," said Frampton.

"The response from the public has been great and just shows you how big this is. There's not too many tickets left already. To have Nonito Donaire in Belfast is just great and when the fight was put to me I didn't hesitate."

One fan seemed to speak for the thousands who will be at the SSE Arena on April 21 when simply stating that it "feels surreal that Nonito Donaire is in Belfast".

The Filipino Flash, like Frampton a former Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year, is certainly relishing the chance to cross swords with the Jackal - a man he has admired for some time.

"I've known a lot about Carl for a while, I've seen his fights. We have wanted to fight each other for a while," said Donaire.

"This is about finding where I stand in boxing. Carl is a guy against whom you have to be at your best, he inspires me to be at my best and will ultimately show me where I'm at. I think Carl will be at the level that he will excel to the point he was at when he fought Leo Santa Cruz. A lot of people have written me off and I will use that as motivation to get better. It's a must-win fight."

Frampton revealed that their clash could end up as a final eliminator for the WBO featherweight title, which is being contested in March when Scott Quigg challenges Oscar Valdez in the States.

The Belfast man will also be in pole position for a shot at the winner of the IBF title clash between Josh Warrington and champion Lee Selby - with Windsor Park the target venue.

"I'm just focused on this fight but, of course, in the back of my mind there is the thought of a world title fight at Windsor," said Frampton.

"But Donaire's record shows you that he is a very dangerous fighter. He can really punch, he doesn't just knock people over, he puts guys to sleep. But that gives me a bit of a fear factor and that's when I'm at my best."

On the back of his last performance, when he outpointed Horacio Garcia, Frampton received some criticism and admits it did sting a little.

"I think I've been doubted more than I've ever been but this will answer a lot of questions. The criticism did annoy me a bit but, I suppose when you think about it, they're probably guys sitting at home in their mum's bedroom giving you grief on a laptop, so it doesn't really matter."

There will be no room for disgruntlement on April 21 when these two warriors cross swords.

Belfast Telegraph

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