Carl Frampton (24-1, 14KOs) has his next fight all but set. He'll be taking on former champion and pound-for-pound rated Nonito Donaire (38-4, 24KOs) on April 7th in his hometown of Belfast, ESPN reports. Promoter Frank Warren made this announcement during a recent news conference, although it wasn't an 'official' announcement as a contract has yet to be signed.
"On April 7, we'll be in Belfast, where Carl Frampton will be fighting [Nonito] Donaire. It's a real cracking fight, a good fight for him, and we'll be giving further details in the new year."
Richard Schaefer, who promotes Donaire, went ahead and confirmed that he and Warren had agreed to terms for the bout, but reiterated they still have to finalize the paperwork. That said, the fight seems pretty much good to go. Schaefer also says that he's happy to be able to deliver Donaire with a big fight he's been looking for.
"He's the kind of fighter who never turns down anybody, so I am very happy that in only his second fight with Ringstar I am able to deliver him one of the big names in the 126-pound weight class. I think stylistically it's a great fight."
Frampton is most recently coming off a unanimous decision win over Horacio Garcia last month since losing his WBA featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz in their January rematch. He's since split with former promoter and trainer Barry and Shane McGuigan.
Donaire, who was once thought to be the heir apparent to Manny Pacquiao, had a rude awakening since being perched on most pound-for-pound lists several years ago. It began by him losing badly to Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2013, and he hasn't quite looked the same fighter ever since.
He bounced backed with a couple wins after that loss, but would then take a beating from Nicholas Walters in late 2014. After that he took a step back in competition and rattled off four straight wins before again dropping a decision to Jessie Magdaleno just about a year ago. He's since took a decision over Ruben Garcia Hernandez this past September, and now he'll be stepping back up again. If Donaire is ever to make it back to the top level, this is likely his last chance.
But tell me fans, how do you like this match-up?