Frampton: I Expect a Big Performance Against Nonito Donaire

By Terence Dooley

Belfast’s Carl Frampton (24-1, 14 KOs) knows that he cannot afford to slip up when he meets former four-weight world titlist Nonito Donaire (38-4, 24 early) for the interim WBO World featherweight title at the SEE Arena in Belfast on Saturday night in a fight that will set the winner up for either a crack at full holder Oscar Valdez, who is recovering from a broken jaw, or one of the division’s other titlists.

“The Jackal” endured a nightmare start to 2017 after losing by Majority Decision to Leo Santa Cruz, who he beat for the WBA’s Super World title by the same result in July of the previous year, and missing the weight for a fight against Andres Gutierrez, which was then spiked after the visitor slipped in the shower and was unable to box due facial wounds.

Currently mired in a legal dispute with former promoter and mentor Barry McGuigan, Frampton decided to join forces with Frank Warren, MTK Global and replaced former trainer Shane McGuigan, Barry’s son, with Salford’s Jamie Moore in a bid to reinvigorate a career that he admits was in danger of going stale.

frampton-donaire-weights (2)

The 31-year-old has also adopted a multi-discipline approach, bringing in a sports psychologist, performance team, and adding other wrinkles to ensure he makes the most of his time in the sport.  Indeed, after a mixed performance against Horacia Garcia in November the two-weight world champion has been written off at the top level in some quarters, and he knows he needs to perform against Donaire to erase the memories of that fight.

“I think I got a bit of a pass with Garcia because of the year I’d had yet I knew I’d have to step up the opposition for the next one,” he said when speaking to BoxingScene. 

“I was keen for it.  It is a risk, no doubt about it, but it will get me ready to make sure that I don’t just turn up for a world title fight, I will come out of it as a winner.”

Frampton’s strong home support will roar him through any sticky moments, and he admits that there is no place quite like home on big nights, but the support, although nice, added an inadvertent and extra layer of pain after Frampton lost to Cruz.  When dropping his daughter off at school the other parents would come up and offer their congratulations to their beaten hero.  It was undoubtedly a bid to boost his moral yet it bridled with him and jabbed at his fighting pride.

“People were being nice, probably because they don’t know what to say, but it was annoying,” he said.  “It felt to me at the time almost like it was patronising towards me.  It wasn’t.  People were just being nice to me.”

The decision to move to Moore’s Astley-based gym was prompted by some rare input from his father, who mooted the former light-middleweight as a possible coach after being impressed with what he had seen of him on TV.  Following a trial period, Frampton decided that he had found the right place for the next phase of his career.

“I was talking to my dad.  I was driving and thinking of who I was going to go with, and he slipped Jamie’s name in—it was a good shout from my dad.  My dad never really gets involved in my career, he’s a big support of course but lets the people do what they are doing.  It was just a suggestion, a good one, and the rest is history.  I felt welcomed in the gym.  It was a good craic with no d*ckheads around.”

The showdown with Donaire has been characterised by mutual respect on both sides, with neither fighter feeling the need to engage in the trash talking that has become de rigueur in the social media age.  Frampton told me that sometimes a fight sells itself, and this is one of those occasions.

“He knows what he is and I know what I am, we are similar characters who don’t need to talk it up,” he said.  “We are clever enough to avoid the hype and the bullshit, but I know that he sees this as an opportunity so will want to take my head off.  All the nicety will go once the bell goes.”

“No, not really, there are other options as this is a final eliminator for the WBO title,” he said when asked if the winner of Lee Selby’s IBF title defence against Josh Warrington is next.  “Valdez draws more attention worldwide so that is an option.  I also want to fight at Windsor Park and know that Frank can deliver that.  I’d like another two this year, a summer one then December time ideally.

“I feel like I want to perform, that the pressure if off me now and that I can prove people wrong.  Some people think I’m done, but I’m far from done.  I’m expecting a big performance, I don’t predict anything but a win and one that will force people to take notice again.”

With all that said, and given that he had been contemplating retirement before switch up his team, I asked if he had continued working on an exit plan or would let his body and form dictate how long he has left in the game.

“I don’t want to put a number on it,” he answered.  “I kind of had the number 32 in my head, but while I’m enjoying it and performing I’ll be able to carry on and bring the top guys.  I’m training smart now, I used to run myself into the ground so feel better for it.”

Please send news and views to @Terryboxng.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by DramaShow on 04-21-2018

winning 120-108 wouldnt be a 'big performance' youre fighting someone who cant pull the trigger anymore. just cause hes got a name doesnt mean its a good win.

Comment by Marvlus Marv on 04-21-2018

This looks like a stinker. A cagey and shot Donaire against a Frampton that'll be too eager to shine in front of his home crowd. I know he'll be desperate to prove a bitter point to Barry that leaving Cyclone…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Anthony Joshua Asks Tyson Fury: Why Am I a Sh*thouse? Alantez Fox Picks Up Return Win, Beats Elvin Ayala Canelo Alvarez Receives Medical Clearance For December Fight Crolla: If I Win, A Good Chance The Lomachenko Fights Happens Bellew: If I Don't Stop After This, My Wife Will Divorce Me! Espinoza: Showtime Not Going Anywhere; Spending More $$$ In 2019 Salvador Briseno Inks Promotional With All Star Boxing News: Zuhayr Al-Qahtani, Ward, McCullough, Doyle, Egbunike Tony Bellew: Usyk is a Monster – But I Can Knock Him Out! Joshua's Promoter: The Sole Focus, 100%, is Wilder Fight in April Usyk-Bellew Card: Cordina-Cardle, Crolla-Yordan, Walsh-Lowe II Photos: Tony Bellew, Oleksandr Usyk - Face To Face at Presser Groves: We Are Supremely Confident of Beating Callum Smith Tony Bellew: I'm Not Scared Of Usyk's 'Crazy Ukrainian Look' Hearn: Joshua Had Horrific Camp, Flu Before Fighting Povetkin WBC Prez: Canelo vs. Charlo Status To Be Clarified at Convention Anthony Joshua-Alexander Povetkin: Afterthoughts Nietes' Trainer: No Palicte Rematch, We Want The Best at 115 McCallum Turns To Former Foe in Bid To Make Improvements Hearn Warns Warren: Fury Will Never Get 50-50 Split For Joshua Kosei Tanaka Beats Sho Kimura in Absolute War For WBO Title Anthony Joshua Smiles: This Payday is Deontay Wilder's Legacy! Zakaria Attou Stripped of EBU Belt, Milas vs. Tintor on Oct. 6 Labour MP Believes Boxing Can Help Knockout Knife Crime Joshua, Wilder, Fury Comprise Boxing's Ultimate Reality Show Eleider Alvarez Felt Golovkin Won, Vows To Beat Down Kovalev Jean Pascal vs. Gary Kopas at Cruiserweight on November 9 Oquendo: WBA Should Do The Right Thing, Crown Me Champion WBC Prez is Proud of Povetkin's Performance With Joshua Linares Finds New Hunger at 140, Still Eyes Mikey Garcia, Loma Oscar Valdez To Start Training Camp With Reynoso on October 1 Anthony Joshua: I'll Fight Wilder Even If He Loses To Tyson Fury Juanma: I Hope Gamboa Faces Me, Doesn't Run To Fight Loma Hearn: Wilder Must Agree Now, We Won't Wait Until Fury Fight! Joshua: Povetkin Strong, But Didn't Hurt Me In The First Round Photos: Luke Campbell Avenges Loss To Yvan Mendy Dillian Whyte To Anthony Joshua: I'm Here, Ready To Fight Next Photos: Sergey Kuzmin Stops Injured David Price in Four Joshua Wants Wilder-Fury Winner April 13 at Wembley Stadium Photos: Anthony Joshua Blasts Out Povetkin - MEGA Gallery

Latest Active Forum Threads