When Carl Frampton sat down to watch future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire as a fan little did he know he was actually doing homework that would stand to him by the time he reached the pinnacle of the fight game.
When ‘The Jackal’ made his debut against Sandor Szinavel in Liverpool back in 2009 the Philippine fight legend had already won and defended the IBF flyweight title three times and had set off in search of honours at a second weiht.
A young Frampton was forging his way in the game and the avid boxing fan was, like many, admiring the rampaging ‘Filipino Flash’ from afar.
The 31-year-old, who now has unification and two-weight world title history of his own, will get a more up close and personal view of the Asian at the SSE Odyssey Arena this Saturday night and claims the fact he consumed a host of Donaire fights over the years means he didn’t have to do much study during camp.
“People are asking me, ‘Am I studying him a lot? Am I watching a lot of his fights? To be honest I’m not, because I grew up watching him. I grew up being a fan of his. I know how he fights, I know what he does. I’ll catch up and recap on some of the things he does, but I know how Nonito Donaire fights,” Frampton explained.
“I’ve believed it from the start [that I would beat him], when Donaire was mentioned – we’ve talked about fighting each other for a long time, even at super bantamweight, but nothing really came of it – I’ve always believed I can beat guys like Donaire and I believe it even more so now.”
“I had a load of respect for Donaire back then and I still do, a quality fighter and, in terms of accolades, he’s accomplished more than anyone else that I’ve ever fought.
Increasing Frampton’s confidence against his 35-year-old opponent who, at his peak, was rated just behind Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the pound-for-pound rankings, is the camp he has put in.
The Belfast fighters second camp since trading Shane McGuigan for Jamie Moore took place between Manchester and Tenerife – and ‘The Jackal, who has said there was a more scientific approach to this camp, believes the high altitude has been beneficial.
“I’ve had a new approach. We’ve been training at altitude,” he added.
“We went to Tenerife for a few weeks, over on Mount Teide, every other day we were pretty much up and down Mount Teide. It’s 3,500 metres above sea level, and then when I came back to Manchester we’ve been using an altitude chamber, because you lose the positive effects of altitude training after a week if you don’t continue to use it.
“We’ve been doing two sessions a week in the altitude chamber since we came back, and I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I’m recovering quicker, and able to perform in the red zone for a long period of time, and don’t feel like I’m fatiguing as much as I once was. It’s definitely been very beneficial.”
“It’s something Jamie’s done in his own career as a fighter, and we all know how fit he was. It was hard graft, but I’ve been recording and tracking my heart-rate, and I seem to be reaping the rewards because I’m recovering very quick. That was the objective, and it’s worked.”