Carl Frampton 24 (14 KO’s) – 1 – 0 makes his return to the ring since his last outing in his hometown back in November 2017, he has stated on record that he only wants fights in Belfast and he only wants tough or big fights for the last remaining contests of his career, but really he could fight anyone and he would still sell out the arena due to his down to earth nature and the fact the majority of people in Northern Ireland support him.
Who knows how many more fights the raucous Belfast crowd will get to see but one thing is for sure and that is any fighter coming to Belfast will most likely never experience an atmosphere like it again, 10,000 people sometimes make it feel like there is 100,000 packed into the Arena and all the fighters state before the contest that there are only two fighters in the ring but after it they normally complain that the noise played a factor for the referee and judges, only time will tell how Nonito Donaire 38 (24 KO’s) – 4 -0 reacts to it.
“I think the crowd adds something to my performance. There isn’t an atmosphere like the SSE Arena anywhere in the World!
Some people are saying Frampton is on the way down or cruising for his pension money but personally I don’t see it like that, I think he came under unfair criticism from his last fight against Garcia, as he controlled the fight and it appeared his new coaching team were trying new and different things, I didn’t think there was ever any danger of him losing the fight as he was well out in front but he did appear to tire near the end of the fight but I reckon most fighters would have tired as Garcia’s pressure was very intensive for the full 12 rounds.
“Some people want the easiest fights, but that’s not me and I don’t think that’s Nonito either. I’m experienced enough to know that I need to be in fights that excite me and get me nervous.
Frampton is known for having a good chin but I am not sure if he is ever faced a bigger puncher than Donaire, and with Frampton only being on the canvas a few times it appears this could be a battle of big punches as training footage emerged of Frampton working on power punches which in my opinion has the potential to make this fight a war which will have most Boxing fans licking their lips for the possibility of that.
Since Donaire has arrived on these shores everything between himself and Frampton has been very respectful even to the point you can see Frampton has admiration of what Donaire has achieved in his career to date as it certainly isn’t easy to be a four weight world champion, he is also testament that if you get a Loss early on in your career it shouldn’t deter you from your goals or ambitions.
“To have a guy like Nonito Donaire coming Belfast to fight me almost feels like an honour. In terms of accolades, he’s accomplished more than anyone I’ve fought, that includes Leo Santa Cruz. He’s a future Hall of Famer and hopefully I can put my name in that bracket one day.
Donaire like Frampton is currently getting some accusations threw at him that he isn’t the same fighter he used to be and he is performances are on the way down so are we really expecting to see a fight between two fighters on their way out? Or does this fight have the potential to be a fight of the year contender? I feel personally that the implications for the winner and loser are so huge that I am only expecting it to be a great fight and I have a feeling it could be a tear up, I will be shocked if it doesnt go the full twelve rounds but for whoever wins it they will collect the interim WBO world belt and move into a Mandatory challenger spot of WBO Champion Oscar Valdez.
“I think I have been gifted with great genes. I feel like I’m entering my peak because of my positive mentality. I’m smarter now and I’ve learned with the ups and downs of my career in the past couple of years. We are very confident going into this fight.
“In some ways this is a crossroads fight for the both of them. Both guys know what they want. Winning the Interim title will get them a shot at the WBO Champion Oscar Valdez. This is a tough fight for Carl. Nonito has been boxing since the age of eleven and we’ve heard that he’s had a brilliant camp.
“It’s a pleasure and a joy to be back in Belfast, especially promoting such a great show involving so great Champions. There is no comparison anywhere else. This is what boxing is all about, the best fighting the best. We’re in for a special treat this weekend.
“The Belfast public are knowledgeable boxing fans and they appreciate good fights, we’ve got plenty of 50/50 match-ups right down the card and I can’t wait for Saturday. There’s some great Irish derbies on the card and we’ve also got knockout king Zolani Tete defending his WBO Bantamweight crown against Omar Andres Narvaez.
“This is a proper show, a real show. You want real fights? Be in Belfast, this is where it’s happening!”
On the Undercard we see more great contests in the form of Zolani Tete defending his WBO World Bantamweight title against Omar Narvaez, Conrad Cummings facing Luke Keeler for the WBO European Middleweight title, FV360’s A Fighters Journey participants Tyrone McKenna facing another Belfast lad Anthony Upton and Davey Oliver Joyce facing Jordan Ellison.
Other ones to watch are Lewis Crocker, Marco McCullough, Steven Ward, Tyrone McCullagh who will not doubt put on a good show.