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Frampton feels Donaire bout is “bigger” than a World Title fight

Carl Frampton [24(14)-1(0)] feels that, while it will not be for a world title, his upcominfight is one of the biggest in the division.

‘The Jackal’ takes on four-weight champion Nonito Donaire [38(24)-4(1)] in Belfast on Saturday April 21st in a de-facto final eliminator – with the winner of the bout getting the winner of Lee Selby’s May IBF featherweight title defence against Josh Warrington in Leeds.

Frampton though believes though that, in terms of international recognition, the eliminator trumps the title fight.

Speaking at the official announcement of the SSE Odyssey Arena fight card, the Belfast boxer described how in terms of the size of a fight, it’s not for a world title but the winner of this fight will no doubt get a world-title shot.”

“On the world stage, I think this is a bigger fight than Lee Selby against Josh Warrington, which is a world title fight, so it’s huge,”

Indeed Frampton believes that Donaire is the biggest ever boxer to be involved in a bout in Belfast.

Discussing the 2012 Fighter of the Year, the 2016 Fighter of the Year questioned: “Has a bigger ‘away’ fighter ever come to fight in Belfast before?”

“I don’t think there’s been a bigger name than Nonito Donaire and he’s coming to fight a local guy in his hometown.”

“He’s been at the top of four divisions, but he was in the same weight division as me for quite a while and he’s someone I’ve always kept an eye on,.

“He’s someone I admire as well and I think he’s a great fighter, but I think this is the perfect fight to get me ready for a world-title fight in the summer.”

While 35 year old Donaire may be a huge name in the sport and a future Hall of Famer, Frampton feels that he could spell the end for the Filipino’s career at the top level in what he sees as a sink-or-swing clash.

Frampton, 31 next month, noted the high stakes of the BT Sport fight and outl=lined how “I think both of us are in the same situation – a slip-up here and one of us might never fight for a World Title again. There’s a lot on the line for both guys.”


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie