Nonito Donaire brings some stardust to the SSE Odyssey Arena this Saturday night as the biggest away fighter ever to man a Belfast ring.
However, Carl Frampton is adamant there is a lot more at stake than the chance to add a future Hall of Famer to his record. ‘The Jackal’ suggests his future at world level is on the line in this weekend’s massive encounter.
The Belfast 31-year-old claims his clash with his fellow former Fighter of the Year is ‘make or break’ for both.
Frampton believes defeat would end his Windsor dream and may hamper his ability to secure a World title shot in one of the most exciting divisions in the sport.
“I suppose people are saying it’s make or break because of the stage of my career that I’m at. Nonito Donaire, I think, would feel in the same boat. It’s not good to lose at any stage of your career, but to lose this fight will not be good for potential fights down the line,” the two-weight world champ told told Gareth A. Davies in The Telegraph.
“And for me its make or break, because if I win this fight I’m going to be fighting at Windsor Park in the summer. I need to win this, I know how important it is. But I know how dangerous Nonito is, and in that sense it is a make or break for me.”
The Jamie Moore-trained fighter is dead set a rubber match with WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz but believes his next World title tilt – if he overcomes ‘The Filipino Flash’ – will be either WBO champ Oscar Valdez or the winner of the Lee Selby’s IBF title defence versus Warrington.
At present a Valdez dust up appeals most.
“To win against Nonito means I’d become mandatory for Oscar Valdez’s WBO title, or I could fight the winner of Selby-Warrington. The Valdez fight appeals more to the boxing public worldwide. The winner of Selby and Warrington would be a big fight in the UK, but is it going to capture the world’s imagination? I’m not so sure.”
“I’m ready for anyone. Selby, Warrington – I’m happy to take the belt off either of them. But the Valdez one is very appealing to me, I think it would be a great fight.”