Carl Frampton did what he had to do this evening in Belfast, using his boxing IQ and legs to dictate the fight and wound up with a unanimous decision win over Nonito Donaire. Frampton won on three official scores of 117-111, and I also scored the fight 117-111 in favor of Frampton for BLH. With the win Frampton takes the interim WBO featherweight title.
Donaire started the fight well to my eye, going right after Frampton in the first round, walking him down and landing some good power shots. But by Round 2 it was a completely different fight, with Frampton turning the tables on Donaire befuddling him with his boxing ability. By the mid-rounds it was obvious that Donaire didn’t know exactly what approach he needed to take in order to turn the tide, which was sort of strange considering he did have some early success.
To me it was simply a matter of Donaire being long in the tooth and not able to fight consistently over 12 rounds.
Donaire did, however, at least try to pour it on in the end and hit Frampton with a number of power shots in Round 11, probably his best round of the fight, and early in the 12th round as well, until Frampton poured on a late flurry to end the fight.
With the win Frampton moves on to bigger and better things in the featherweight division, while this may be the end of the road for Donaire — at least in a real worthwhile match-up. He’s 35 now and clearly his best days are behind him.