He has shared the ring with 41 opponents from various parts of the globe, fought in numerous world title fights, and been beaten by the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux and Nicholas Walters but Nonito Donaire [38(24)-4(1)] still claims April 21st brings a challenge of the likes of which he has never seen before.
The four-weight world champion and future Hall of Famer takes on Carl Frampton [24(14)-1(0)] in Belfast in just over a week’s time and claims the Irishman brings something unique to their WBO interim title fight.
‘The Filipino Flash’ claims ‘The Jackal’s’ ability to both box and fight makes him stand out in terms of style from his long list of previous foes.
However, that doesn’t mean the 35-year-old doesn’t feel he can emerge victorious in front of one of the most partisan supports in world boxing.
“Frampton’s not like anyone I’ve fought before,” Donaire told Philstar.
“He reminds me a little of Fernando Montiel whom I knocked out with a single left hook in the second round in 2011.”
“Frampton’s more of a straight-up kind of fighter and, unlike Montiel, I don’t think he’ll give me a wide opening for my left hook. He’s both a boxer and puncher. Whatever style he’ll use, I’m ready so bring it on.”
Donaire has welcomed the addition of the WBO interim title to the spoils, claiming a fight between such talents deserves some form of prize on the line.
“Frampton and I are both champions and our fight deserves to be a 12-round title match.I was told that the fight was upgraded a week or two ago and I think it’s great. It’s a reflection of how big this fight is,” he added before once again playing down the influence The Jackal Army will have on proceedings.
“I know the fans will go all out to cheer for Frampton in his hometown but that’s not a problem for me. Once the fight starts, my mind will just be focused on winning and I won’t hear the crowd.”
The long sock-wearing Philippine fight favourite will arrive in Belfast tomorrow, eight days out from the fight, and claims he arrives with a great camp behind him.
“I’ll do heavy training but no sparring in my first two days in Belfast then I’ll taper off,” he added.
“Weight’s not an issue. I’m comfortable in the featherweight division. Right now, I’m walking around at 130lbs and it won’t be difficult to trim down to 126lbs for the weigh-in.”
“I’ve sparred at least 80 rounds with five or six different fighters,” he said. “I had to cut down sparring long rounds to avoid peaking too soon but now, I’m back to sparring 10 to 12 rounds. I like rotating spar-mates with different styles so I can work on my adjustments.”