Nonito Donaire relishing Belfast trip, entering the lion’s den versus Carl Frampton

Joe Hewlett 15/01/2018

Carl Frampton will be returning to his native Belfast as he prepares to go toe-to-toe against future hall-of-famer Nonito Donaire in April.

The bout will take place at the SSE Arena in Northern Ireland with both men anticipating another tilt at world glory.

Donaire, who’s held seven world titles in an illustrious 17 years, has suffered three defeats since being named 2012 Fighter of the Year by The Ring, ESPN and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America – the same honours Frampton picked up in 2016.

His most recent defeat was against Jessie Magdaleno before getting back to winning ways in September, recording a unanimous decision over Ruben Garcia Hernandez, to pick up the WBC Silver title.

The 35-year-old ‘Filipino Flash’ is eager to prove that he is still an elite force at 126lbs.

“This is exactly the type of fight I live for — going in against one of the best in the world in the lion’s den of his hometown of Belfast,” said Donaire.

“I can’t wait for the first bell! I know I’ll have to be the best I can be on fight night. Make no mistake, I’m already training like never before.

“I plan to put on a spectacular show for my fans, his fans and boxing fans in general. When I walk out of the ring victorious, it will have all been worth it.”

Frampton and Donaire will be keeping close tabs on a 2018 fight between IBF world champion Lee Selby and Josh Warrington.

Their fight is set to be staged in Leeds at the beginning of this summer under Frank Warren Promotions.

Warren has underlined his ambition to match Frampton with either Selby or Warrington should he come through the Filipino successfully this spring.

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95