Photos: Sumio Yamada
Featherweight Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (25-1, 14 KOs) outboxed “The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire (38-4, 24 KOs) over twelve rounds for the WBO interim title on Saturday night at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Scores were 117-111 on all three cards.
Local hero Frampton was the sharper fighter from the opening bell and imposed his will on the veteran Donaire. Frampton controlled the distance well and was strong on the inside, landing a fierce right hand that caused swelling to Donaire’s left eye in the second round. Donaire showed glimpses of why he was named the consensus 2012 Fighter of the Year, landing a vicious uppercut in the seventh and a big left hand in the latter stages of round number 11 that hurt Frampton.
However, Frampton was comfortable throughout the majority of the match, using his jab efficiently and implementing the gameplan of trainer Jamie Moore to perfection. The victory puts Frampton in position to challenge WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez, who is recovering from injury following his fourth title defense, a unanimous decision win over Scott Quigg on March 10.
“I think Jamie deserves a lot of credit because the gameplan was perfect,” said Frampton. “As you saw in the 11th round, Nonito Donaire is a dangerous opponent. I survived the round and stuck to the gameplan. At times, my boxing was beautiful.
“Donaire was a sharp puncher throughout. I was definitely hurt in the 11th round, people could see it. But champions survive and that’s what I did. The only thing on my mind is fighting at Windsor Park. I can’t wait to get there”
Donaire stated via Facebook that the featherweight division is too of weight division for him. “My team, family, and Ringstar will have a meeting but I think it has already been predecided that although I have done my best to gain weight and keep my weight on and strong, it’s best I move back down in weight.”