Despite being one win away from potentially securing his childhood dream, Carl Frampton is not getting carried away.
Standing in his way is 'Filipino Flash' Nonito Donaire, who has lifted World Titles in four weight divisions during a stellar career.
A triumph over Donaire on April 21st could set up a World Title shot at Windsor Park stadium in the summer, with the winner of Lee Selby v Josh Warrington a possible opponent for Frampton.
"Donaire is an exceptional fighter and one I need to get everything perfect for. He can truly bang with those hands of his and you do not reach the level he’s reached without being extremely dangerous. This fight will force me to be at my very best," he told The Guardian.
While some fighters engage in fake 'beef' to sell a fight, this contest requires no such thing and the build-up has been refreshing. After the first press conference in January, Frampton and his Filipino foe showed off their vocal talents by engaging in a 'sing-off'.
"Donaire is a genuinely nice guy and that’s great as he is on the same page as me in our attitudes to boxing. It is a sport. You go in there and you give it everything, but before and after the fight, there’s no need for vitriol. Just go in, fight your heart out and then when it’s over, you can get to know them better."
Belfast hero Frampton has always dreamed of walking out onto the Windsor Park pitch with a World Championship on the line. This summer that vision could become a reality, with Selby, Warrington, Oscar Valdez or Leo Santa Cruz all contenders to be in the opposite corner.
"I adore where I come from, so to step out in Windsor Park and fight for a World Title, really I can’t even comprehend it," he continued. "It would be like everything has come together in my life and career. However, I have been involved in boxing long enough to know it is a sport that rarely deals in fairy-tales. I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead."
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