Former world champions Carl Frampton and Nonito Donaire took questions from the media at Wednesday’s final press conference at the Europa Hotel in Belfast, Ireland two days ahead of their clash for the interim WBO Featherweight Title this Saturday. The main event bout from SSE Arena in Belfast, will stream live to U.S. audiences via SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook Page. (See links and embed codes below).
The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® livestream will begin at 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT with coverage provided by BT Sport and BoxNation and featuring commentary by U.K. sportscasters John Rawling (blow-by-blow) and former featherweight world champion Barry Jones (analysis).
Frampton (24-1, 14 KOs), of Northern Ireland, and Donaire (38-4, 24 KOs) of General Santos, Philippines, are two past Fighter of the Year award winners who will meet in a 12-round bout. The winner of this fight will be in position to challenge WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez, who is recovering from injury following his fourth title defense, a unanimous decision win over Scott Quigg on March 10.
This is the first of three high-stakes featherweight fights on SHOWTIME® platforms featuring five of the consensus top-10 ranked featherweights in the world. On May 19, IBF World Champion Lee Selby will defend his 126-pound title against undefeated Josh Warrington live in the U.S. on SHOWTIME Sports social media platforms and on June 9, Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares will meet live on SHOWTIME in a highly anticipated rematch for the WBA Featherweight World Title.
The livestream of Frampton vs. Donaire will precede Saturday evening’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader that features former four-division champion Adrien Broner and former champion Jessie Vargas in a 12-round welterweight bout live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In the co-feature, Jermall Charlo will face Hugo Centeno Jr. for the interim WBC Middleweight World Championship and Gervonta Davis will meet Jesus Cuellar for the WBA Super Featherweight World Championship.
“It’s been amazing being here, just as it was the last time. Everybody has been fantastic. Belfast has been a great experience overall. The people have been really warm to my entire team and we’re all having a great time being here.
“I believe that I am gifted with great genes. I’m a late bloomer. I feel like I’m starting to get into my peak shape and that’s because of my mentality. Our physical shape can only be as strong as our minds inside that ring. The strength of our mental fortitude has allowed us to be confident here in Belfast where we will be fighting one of the best fighters in the world.
“I think I’m a smarter fighter than I was in 2012. With the ups and downs that I’ve experienced in my career, I’ve learned what I’m capable of and where my mind is. We’re very confident going into this fight.
“The key factor in this fight is that my wife and I feel that we’re married to Carl because we wake up, we see Carl; we sleep, we see Carl; everything we do we see Carl, so that’s pretty much what it’s all about. I have to say, Carl is an amazing fighter. I have to give it to the guy. For a long time, he was the boogeyman in boxing. He has chosen this fight because it inspires him and I came to Belfast because it inspires me.”