Carl Frampton “guaranteed” Windsor Park fight if he can beat Nonito Donaire


Carl Frampton has been assured victory over Nonito Donaire next weekend will provide him with the keys to Windsor Park this Summer.

The Belfast featherweight revealed he had demanded a Windsor fight night for him and his fans after he parted company with Cyclone Promotions and was in talks with promoters.

Having signed with Frank Warren, it was believed the two-weight world champion would meet the winner of Lee Selby and Josh Warrington’s May 19th IBF world title fight at the football stadium in August.

However, August looks perhaps slightly early for the winner of that fight to return and Frampton seems to be going the WBO route. The WBO interim title is now on the line as Frampton and Donaire meet in the SSE Odyssey Arena on April 21, but a WBO tilt in August is off the cards as champion Oscar Valdez is out having broken his jaw when defeating Scott Quigg.

Leo Santa Cruz rematching Abner Mares in June rules out the WBA strap, while WBC ring king Gary Russell Jr looks set to announce a JoJo Diaz fight in the near future.

With all that in mind, there were some fears the Windsor dream may be delayed somewhat. Despite the 31-year-old’s massive pulling power there were some who suggested a WBO interim title ‘defence’ may not be enough to do capture the attention of almost 20,000 fans.

However, Frampton is adamant a stadium fight will follow if he beats future Hall of Famer, Donaire in Belfast in two weeks time. Indeed, he says he has ‘been guaranteed’ that is the case.

“I have to win this fight first, but if I beat Nonito Donaire, Windsor Park is on, I have been guaranteed that,” The Jackal told the Belfast Newsletter.

“It would mean absolutely everything to me to fight at Windsor Park.”

Windsor has become a fortress for Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland side in recent years and just like the football team, Frampton believes he could punch well above his weight at the venue – to the point where he can see himself taking out a giant.

“I genuinely believe there is not a man in the world in the featherweight division who could beat me if I fought there. I am a proud person, I am proud of where I come from, I am proud of what the national football team are doing at the minute, I am proud of the atmosphere Windsor creates at any sporting event.”

“I would be so proud to walk out of Windsor Park into a ring in the centre circle. I don’t think Goliath could beat me there.”

The Windsor scepticism developed when it became clear after Frank Warren worked some WBO magic to get the ‘Interim’ title on the line, that the Selby-Warrington winner most likely won’t be coming to town this Summer.

Indeed, should a fight take place at the stadium, it would most likely be a ‘defence’ of this belt versus the likes of Mark Magsayo or Sakaria Lukas.

There are a host of fight fans who are anti ‘interim’ straps and one of the reasons ‘The Jackal’s’ honest assessment of all things ‘Interim’ and ‘champion in waiting’ over the years has ensured he holds hardcore as well as casual love.

No doubt he would have questioned the need to open a fight between Irish boxing’s biggest name and the biggest name to ever come to one of the most boxing steeped cities in the world to any ‘interim’ criticism. Warren obviously has a business plan in place that the Belfast man understands, but Frampton is looking at this fight as an eliminator and not a title fight.

“This is going to be a big fight, a good fight. Donaire is in a similar situation to me in that we are approaching a stage in our careers where we can’t afford to slip up. This is an eliminator for the world title, that’s what it is. There is no need for this ‘interim’ belt title. It just adds a wee bit of glamour to it.”

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