Today at 5:15 pm ET, streaming right here on BLH thanks to Showtime and YouTube, Carl Frampton and Nonito Donaire meet in a big featherweight showdown from Belfast, with the interim WBO title at stake.
Frampton (24-1, 14 KO) has home field advantage and youth on his side, and is the favorite in the matchup. But the veteran Donaire (38-4, 24 KO) can’t be counted out here, either, and could make for an intriguing style matchup against Frampton.
Frampton last fought in November, beating Horacio Garcia, which followed a loss in his rematch with Leo Santa Cruz in January 2017. Donaire is also 1-1 in his last two, losing to Jessie Magdaleno before a win last September over Ruben Garcia Hernandez.
The winner will be in line for a shot at undefeated Oscar Valdez, who holds the full WBO featherweight title. That fight could take place by the end of 2018.
BLH will be here not just for the stream, but also with live, round-by-round coverage. Wil Esco will be on the round-by-round call this afternoon, so join us!
- CARL FRAMPTON def. NONITO DONAIRE by UD (117-111, 117-111, 117-111)
CARL FRAMPTON vs NONITO DONAIRE
Round 1: Donaire comes out pressing and tries a right hand, left hook. Frampton is playing the counterpunching role which has Donaire having to lead, which is usually not what he’s most comfortable doing. Donaire throws several hard punches which partially land on Frampton. Donaire tries to bait Frampton into leading but can’t get him to take the bait. Donaire lands a nice little left hand to the body. Frampton continues to fight off the back foot but Donaire lands a couple uppercuts on the inside. Donaire is actually doing pretty well when leading and pressing the attack. Donaire 10-9.
Round 2: Donaire tries to start the round with a jab to the body. Now Frampton lowers his head and presses Donaire into the corner and tries to let go of a few hard shots. Frampton gets warned for using his head on the inside. Donaire has a mouse under his left eye now. Donaire hasn’t really let any punches go for the last 30 seconds. Donaire tries to throw several uppercuts on the inside with only grazing success. Good round for Frampton. Frampton 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: Both fighters miss on jabs to open the round. Donaire leaps forward but Frampton lands a counter right hand that lands clean. Donaire misses on two more uppercuts from mid-range but then lands a right hand soon thereafter. Both land grazing shots while standing in the pocket. Frampton gets in a right hand following a jab. Donaire has to force the pace and action in this fight like he did in the first round. Frampton 10-9.
Round 4: Frampton’s trainer tells him he wants one more round like that in the corner, noticing that they’re starting to bust up Donaire a little. Round 4 begins and Frampton pops a few jabs while working off the back foot, looking for counter opportunities. Donaire is walking forward but isn’t letting his hands go enough. Frampton throws a few shots while Donaire continues to keep his hands at home for the most part. Frampton doubles up on the jav, looking for a home for his straight right. Now Frampton lands the right hand right on the button. Frampton tries to follow up with several more hard shots and Donaire is getting pressed along the ropes. Frampton 10-9, 39-37.
Round 5: Donaire needs to change the momentum quick, and he needs to do it by punching much more than he has been these past few rounds. Donaires tries a jab and straight right to the body which falls short. Now Donaire looks like he wants to draw out Frampton’s lead but he’s not getting the action he wants. Frampton lowers his head again and bulls in to get Donaire to the ropes and tries to let go a few more punches. Now Frampton gets warned again for the use of his head on the inside. Donaire lands an uppercut now but Frampton is undeterred. He uses his smaller frame to get slow and smother Frampton but Donaire is able to get in a couple of uppercuts this time. Hard right hand lead lands for Frampton which wins him the round for me. Frampton is controlling this fight. Frampton 10-9.
Round 6: Both fighters trade jabs that land. Now Donaire tries to press forward woth two jabs as Frampton pulls away. Frampton lands a hard shot but Donaire takes it well and wants to come back with something but can’t find the opening. Frampton circles Donaire and then rinds a home for the right hand once again. Donaire is getting outboxed and doesn’t seem sure about what approach he wants to take. Donaire misses on two hooks but finds a home for a left hand to the body. Frampton circles the rind some more and Donaire hits the canvas on a slip. Frampton 10-9, 59-55.
Round 7: Frampton leads with four punches, maybe one of them landing clean. Donaire paws at his damaged left eye. Both fighters stare at each other for about 20 seconds at center ring as neith want to lead. Now Frampton jumps on Donaire and gets in a few good shots. Donaire is starting to fade now and his face is showing the signs of damage. Donaire is back against the ropes and lands a hard uppercut that momentarily stuns Frampton! Now Frampton digs deep and fires a couple back and holds. Ugh. I think Frampton outboxed Donaire but Donaire visibly hurt him so I’ll give him the round. Donaire 10-9.
Round 8: Donaire unhappy about Frampton’s continuous use of his head at the end of the last round which has been troublesome. Frampton lands a sharp jab followed by a one-two. Frampton feints Donaire and then lands a check left hook. Donaire is showing signs of being discouraged. Now Donaire tries to come forward with a couple shots but Frampton is able to answer straightaway. Frampton continues to dictate the fight. Frampton 10-9, 78-74.
Round 9: Frampton sneaks in a jab while circling to his left. Donaire pushes Frampton back but touches gloves to show some sportsmanship. Frampton gets Donaire back on the ropes and strafes him with several shots. Frampton lands a body shot or two and then gets back out of range before Donaire can retaliate. Frampton on cruise control now and isn’t taking any unnecessary chances knowing he’s likely up big on the scorecards. Frampton 10-9.
Round 10: Frampton continues to fight off the back foot, making Donaire come forward — especially now that he’s ahead so wants Donaire to create the opportunities for him. Donaire will either need to sellout and go for a knockout or just play this out to the final bell getting mopped on the scorecards. Donaire tries a right hand to the body but it falls short. Frampton 10-9, 98-92.
Round 11: Donaire needs a homerun shot to win this fight but he’s not really positioning himself to land it. Frampton ducks down low and bulls in on Donaire and the referee tells Frampton about the questionable tactic. Donaire lands a hard left hand to the body but unless he finds that perfect liver shot that’s not gonna do it at this point. Frampton ducks down low again and just pushed Donaire to the canvas. Donaire lands two counter shots and then a third as he tries to pour it on! Donaire lands another hard left hook! Those shots win Donaire the round. Donaire 10-9.
Round 12: This is Donaire’s last chance, he needs a knockout. Donaire is coming forward knowing he has to do something and lands a right uppercut and left hook upstairs! Where was this aggression for 80% of the fight?! Frampton lands a shot but Donaire continues to come forward. Donaire doubles-up on the right hand. Donaire continues to walk Frampton down and throws a left hook that Frampton catches on the guard. Frampton skipping around the ring as Donaire tries to hunt him down and Frampton looks like he’s bleeding from the nose. Frampton tries to close the show with a flurry and thows a dozen shots to steal the round at the end. Frampton 10-9. Carl Frampton takes the fight on my scorecard, 117-111.