Frampton-Donaire undercard hit by big withdrawal

The mouth-watering Carl Frampton v Nonito Donaire all-Irish undercard this weekend has been hit by the withdrawal of another fighter.

Last month it was announced that a knee injury had forced Phil Sutcliffe Jr out of his light welterweight scrap with Tyrone McKenna, with the Dubliner being replaced by Belfast’s Anto Upton for the big fight night at the SSE Odyssey Arena on April 21st.

Dunshaughlin super featherweight Jono Carroll [15(2)-0] has also been forced to pull out of his scheduled IBF Inter-Continental title defence versus Belfast’s Marco McCullough [18(11)-4(3)].

Carroll suffered a nasty cut during sparring two weeks ago and is therefore unable to fight.

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Unlike in the case of Sutcliffe and Upton, an Irish opponent has not been agreed upon to stand in for King Kong but McCullough will remain on the card in a non-title contest.

Carroll v McCullough was being promoted by Frank Warren and BoxNation/BT Sport as the chief support bout to Frampton’s WBO interim featherweight title fight with Donaire.

With Carroll, who impressed on the last big Odyssey bill, out, it looks like the other two all-Irish fights – McKenna v Upton and Conrad Cummings’s WBO European middleweight title defence versus Luke Keeler will be bumped up the card.

The scheduled for the night is not confirmed, but it was believed that, like his defence versus Siboniso Gonya last time, Zolani Tete’s WBO bantamweight title fight versus Omar Narvaez would open televised proceedings at 7:30pm followed by the three all-Irish fights plus Frampton-Donaire and perhaps a swing bout.

It is now assumed that Warren-promoted prospects Lewis Crocker, Ryan Hatton, Sam Maxwell, and Alex Dickinson will fill the gap left by Carroll-McCullough.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: