Carl Frampton returns to Belfast to take on four-weight World Champion Nonito Donaire on April 21st, with ‘The Jackal’ looking to add another big name to his sparkling resume and seal a World Title shot at Windsor Park.
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Frampton (24-1, 14 KOs) won his first World Title against old foe Kiko Martinez in September 2014, putting the Spaniard down in the fifth round and winning a dominant decision to become IBF World Super-Bantamweight Champion.
After two successful defences, 2016 saw a defining unification bout with England’s Scott Quigg. Frampton boxed well and broke his rival’s jaw in the fourth round, winning a split decision and unifying the belts in Manchester.
Moving up to Featherweight in the summer, ‘The Jackal’ took on Leo Santa Cruz, widely regarded as one of the best in the sport, pound-for-pound. Despite being the underdog, Frampton’s precision boxing was the difference against the Mexican as he handed Cruz his first loss and became a two-weight World Champion.
Both men stepped back into the ring in a hotly-contested rematch in January 2017, this time ‘El Terremoto’ came out on top in a close battle. Following a brief break, Frampton returned to the ring with Jamie Moore as his trainer and outpointed Horacio Garcia on his Belfast homecoming in November.
Donaire (38-4, 24 KOs) has won Championships at Flyweight, Bantamweight, Super-Bantamweight and Featherweight, and his pedigree is matched by his desire for another shot at the World Title.
His first World Title win came nearly 10 years ago against Vic Darchiniyan. It proved to be a memorable bout as the 'Filipino Flash’ scored a knockout of the year contender against the Armenian.
In more recent times, the 35-year-old won the WBO Super-Bantamweight Title after stopping Zsolt Bedak in just three rounds in 2016. However, Donaire then lost his belt to unbeaten Jessie Magdaleno before then returning to winning ways last September.
Donaire will be hopeful of adding to his legacy, while Frampton has some colossal fights on the horizon. A stadium fight against the winner of Lee Selby v Josh Warrington is a possibility, while a decider against Leo Santa Cruz is top of his wish-list.