The future Hall of Famer wasn’t shy about expressing his love for Belfast pre and post his fight with the city’s favourite son Carl Frampton.
The way he carried himself in the build-up, his singing, his dancing, his work with kids, the effort he showed in the ring against the victorious Frampton, the fact he met fans in the pub the day after the fight, and even went out for dinner with ‘The Jackal’ on Monday means that love certainly isn’t unrequited.
There is no doubt ‘The Filipino Flash’ would be welcomed back and it seems the four-weight world champion genuinely wants to return this Summer.
Indeed, Donaire, who is based in Las Vegas, instantly set his sights on fighting in the city again. Unlike a host of defeated fighters, he wasn’t calling for a rematch when stating as much, rather the 35-year-old is hoping for a slot on the undercard of Frampton’s August Windsor Park fight night.
“I think he’s still on top of the division, when he lost to Santa Cruz, it wasn’t like he got dominated, he was not, and I believe he’s still on top and what he showed me inside that ring was a guy who can change at any moment in time when he has to, he can box, he can fight, whatever he’s got for Windsor Park I support him,” Donaire told UTV.
“I would love to fight on the undercard,” said the Asian who is set to move back down to super bantamweight for a second time.
An undercard slot for his former foe is something which two-weight world champion Frampton is open to.
“It’s one thing to be sharing the top spot and fighting someone on top of the bill, but again to have a future Hall of Famer on the undercard, that’s another thing.”
Just like he did with Kiko Martinez, Frampton, who also paid some touching tributes to tragically deceased Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, seems to have struck up a bond with a fighter he shared the ring with.
“When we were in the ring our firsts were talking but there was a lot of great respect, when we came out, we had a conversation and there was an instant kind of friend for life kind of thing.”
“I’m like everyone else in Belfast who’ve taken a real shine to Nonito.”