Frampton poised for Donaire clash

Featherweight Carl “The Jackal” Frampton believes his clash against Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire on April 21 will be one of the biggest fights to ever take place in Belfast and a make-or-break bout for both men. MTK Global-backed two-weight world champion Frampton (24-1, 14KO) is set to take on Filipino four-weight world champion Donaire (38-4, 24KO) in a 126lb showdown at Belfast’s SSE Odyssey Arena.

“It’s a brilliant fight – a four-weight world champion against a two-weight world champion,” said Frampton. “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.

“But 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.”

With a much-anticipated summer fight date at Belfast’s Windsor Park in the works for ‘The Jackal’, 30-year-old Frampton believes a win over the 42-fight Filipino veteran would be perfect preparation ahead of a world-title tilt.

The Irishman is coming off the back of a 10-round points win over Mexican Horacio Garcia last month in what was Frampton’s first outing since the loss of his WBA world featherweight crown to Leo Santa Cruz.

And ‘The Jackal’ is confident that victory over Donaire will tee up a bout against the winner of the forthcoming IBF title clash between 126lb rivals Lee Selby and Josh Warrington.

“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,” said Frampton.

“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,” continued the Belfast native, whose reign as unified WBA & IBF world super-bantamweight champion in 2016 coincided with Donaire’s second spell as the WBO 122lb title holder before both men later claimed world featherweight belts.

“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,” said Frampton. “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.”

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