By Steve Kim
On April 21st from the SSE Arena in Belfast, Ireland, a match-up of two well known and accomplished featherweights takes place as Carl Frampton (24-1, 14 KOs) faces Nonito Donaire.
As of now, no U.S. television network has picked up the rights for this bout.
Donaire (38-4, 24 KOs) will be Frampton's toughest opponents since the Belfast star lost a twelve round decision in his rematch with Leo Santa Cruz in January 2017. And for Donaire, it will only be his second fight since losing a twelve round decision to Jessie Magdaleno in November 2016.
But Showtime is certainly interested in picking up this broadcast.
"Absolutely, I mean it fits right in with our priorities, not just our history with Carl recently but because of all our activity in the featherweight division and I think it's just an intriguing stand-alone fight on it's own," said Stephen Espinoza, the head of Showtime Sports, to BoxingScene.com.
Both fighters are entering with fresh starts. Frampton is now promoted by Frank Warren after parting ways from longtime promoter Barry McGuigan, and Donaire parted ways with longtime promoter Top Rank and is now promoted by Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports.
It's a classic crossroads bout with plenty of future opportunities on the line. Recently, the WBO sanctioned this contest for their interim featherweight title, meaning that the winner would be in line to face undefeated full champion Oscar Valdez down the line.
"Donaire's been a little bit inactive but he's always been an athletic, entertaining fighter and it's a tough match-up for him in Carl Frampton who's one of the very best at that weight class," said Espinoza, who says his network is, ''pursuing it aggressively and I think hopefully there will be an announcement within the next week or so."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com