Carl “The Jackal” Frampton 24-1 (14) and Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire 38-4 (24) have revealed they have mutual respect for each other but that will go out the window this Saturday night when the two meet in a crossroads bout at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland for the interim WBO featherweight title.
“I had a lot of respect for Donaire back when he was a champion and I still do,” said former IBF and WBA super bantamweight champion Frampton at the final press conference before the fight. “He’s a quality fighter. In terms of accolades, he’s accomplished more than any other fighter that I’ve ever fought. He’s a future Hall of Famer.
“Hopefully, I can put myself in that bracket one day. He is the best fighter that I will have ever fought. That includes Leo Santa Cruz and [Scott] Quigg and everyone else. Donaire has accomplished more than anyone. It’s going to be big for me to get a result here on Saturday night.”
The 31-year-old Frampton split a pair of bouts with Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA “Super” title at featherweight in 2016-17 with both fights being decided by majority decision. The Jackal got the nod the first time around at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn but wasn’t as lucky in the return match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 35-year-old Donaire shot to fame as a flyweight when he knocked out a then-rampaging Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan to claim his first world title almost 11 years ago. Since then he has claimed world championships at super flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight.
“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,” revealed Donaire, who is managed by his wife.
“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.”