Rumoured for a while, the featherweight clash between former world champions Carl Frampton and Nonito Donaire has now been confirmed for April 21 at the SSE Arena, Belfast. BT Sport and BoxNation will televise in the UK.
Donaire, ‘The Filipino Flash’, has won world titles in four different weight divisions – flyweight, bantamweight, super-bantam and featherweight – and, on his day, is considered one of the most exciting and explosive punchers on the planet. He boasts star-making performances against the likes of Fernando Montiel, Jorge Arce and Vic Darchinyan, and for a time was considered Manny Pacquiao’s heir apparent.
Now 35 years of age, and slightly removed from his prime, Donaire picked up the WBC Silver featherweight title in September with a 10-round drubbing of Ruben Garcia Hernandez, in what was his first outing since losing his WBO super-bantamweight title to Jessie Magdaleno in 2016.
Thirty-year-old Frampton, meanwhile, is also on the comeback trail having lost his world title – the WBA featherweight crown – to Leo Santa Cruz in January 2017. The Belfast man, since that defeat, has rebounded with a thrilling points win over Horacio Garcia, but presumably needs a test against a big name like Donaire in order to well and truly get back to his best.