The WBO Interim Featherweight World Title will be on the line when Carl Frampton MBE and Nonito Donaire clash in a blockbuster bout at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Saturday 21st April, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
With a much-anticipated summer fight date at Belfast’s Windsor Park in the works for ‘The Jackal’, 31-year-old Frampton knows that his mouth-watering showdown with four-weight World Champion Donaire is truly a make-or-break fight.
Both men were previously recognised as Fighter of the Year by the Ring magazine, ESPN and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America, and both will be determined to secure a shot at becoming a World Champion once again by claiming the Interim WBO crown next month.
“A huge night of boxing in Belfast just got even bigger,” said Frampton. “This is great news and it adds a whole lot more razzmatazz to the event - not that it needed it. I was sure that the winner of this fight was going to go on to fight for a World Title in their next fight and having an interim World Title on the line on April 21st all but confirms that.
“Oscar Valdez must face the Interim Champion when he is ready and that’s a big incentive for myself and Donaire. The Valdez fight is very appealing to me and obviously the winner of Selby v Warrington is also equally as appealing. I think the Valdez fight would get a lot more attention on both sides of the globe rather than just in the UK.
“The winner of Selby v Warrington would be a big fight in the UK but a fight with Valdez would be a huge fight Worldwide. Obviously he has an injury that he needs to recover from but there’s a lot of options for me now and it’s always good to have options in this game. Having an Interim belt on the line brings something a little more special to the whole event.”
With a month to go, Frampton believes he may have to produce a career-best performance to overcome 42-fight veteran Donaire and is confident that a sell-out SSE Arena crowd will drive him over the line.
“With so much riding on this fight I need to make sure that I’m going to put in the performance of my career, which it might take to win this fight,” added Frampton.
“I love fighting at home, there’s something about fighting in Belfast that brings out the best in me. I love the whole fight week in Belfast and I love the atmosphere in the SSE Arena. I’ll need to be better than I was in my last fight. With the way things are going in training so far it’s going to be a big performance.”
“I’m delighted that the WBO Interim Featherweight World Title will now be up for grabs on April 21," said Promoter Frank Warren. “This is a guaranteed barn burner between two elite Featherweights and having an Interim belt on the line gives the fight an extra bit of spice.”
A massive evening of boxing features WBO Bantamweight Champion of the World Zolani Tete (26-3-0, 21 KO’S) making the second defence of his title against Omar Andres Narvaez (48-2-2, 25 KO’s) after his Word recording-breaking KO win at the SSE Arena in November.
Three tasty all-Irish fights also feature on an action-packed undercard as Dubliner Jono Carroll (15-0, 2 KO’s) clashes with Belfast’s Marco McCullough (18-4, 11 KO’s) for the IBF European Super-Featherweight title, Tyrone McKenna (15-0-1, 6 KO’s) meets Light-Welterweight rival Anthony Upton (17-1, 6 KOs’), while WBO European Champion Conrad Cummings (12-1-1) and Irish champion Luke Keeler (13-2, 5 KO’s) will do battle at Middleweight.
Undefeated prospects Lewis Crocker, David Oliver Joyce, Steven Ward, Tyrone McCullagh, Sam Maxwell, Troy Williamson, Ryan Hatton and Alex Dickinson complete an unmissable card.