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Carl Frampton vs. Nonito Donaire – Results

By Scott Gilfoid: Former two division world champion Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton (25-1, 14 KOs) fought a defensive fight in beating former 4 division world champion Nonito Donaire (38-5, 24 KOs) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision to win the interim World Boxing Organization World featherweight title at The SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The judges’ scores were 117-111, 117-111 and 117-111. Boxing News 24 scored it 7 rounds to 5 in favor of Frampton.

The 31-year-old Frampton fought well in the first half of the fight, but he got on his bike and was mostly retreated from rounds 5 through 12. Frampton was hurt in rounds 5, 7 and 11. He admitted that he was hurt in the 11th after getting nailed by a big left hook from Donaire. That shot had Frampton’s head rolling backwards in a way that showed clearly that he was badly hurt. Frampton’s recuperative skills were quite good though, as he was able to come back after getting hurt each time. In the 7th, Donaire staggered Frampton with a series of uppercuts to the head. Those shots changed how Frampton fought the remainder of the fight, because he came completely defensive.

Despite winning the fight, Frampton wasn’t all that impressive. He was shoving Donaire to the ropes constantly and leading with his head. Donaire was head-butted in the 7th round in his right eye that opened up a cut. When Donaire turned around and grabbed his eye after the head-butt, the referee failed to signal a time out. Frampton then charged after Donaire and tried to take advantage of the situation in what looked like a dirty move on his part. Donaire seemed to get irritated at this move by Frampton, and he spent the remainder of the round punishing him with uppercuts. The referee should have called a timeout after the head-butt, but I guess he was oblivious to what had happened.

The coverage of the fight by the commentators seemed to be biased in favor of Frampton. He was given rounds by the commentators that he appeared to lose. Donaire was given very little credit for anything he did in the fight by the commentators.

“Donaire is a dangerous mother [expletive],” Frampton said after the fight. “From start to finish, I stuck to my game plan. I boxed beautiful. There’s only one thing on my mind and that’s Windsor Park. He was a hard puncher all throughout. In the 11th round, I was definitely hurt. I want the fight at Windsor Park, that’s it. When I was on the outside, I used my jab. We’re going to be in Windsor Park in August. There’s not a fighter at featherweight that’s going to beat me at Windsor Park,” Frampton said.

I’m not sure what Frampton means by saying that no one can beat him at Windsor Park. We’ve already see Frampton lose to Leo Santa Cruz on two occasions. Yeah, I know Frampton won the first fight with Santa Cruz, but a lot of boxing fans thought that was a robbery in New York. Santa Cruz looked like the better fighter. I don’t think it makes a difference where Frampton fights. He’s going to have problems with the likes of Valdez and Santa Cruz. I would hope the judges do a professional job and score the fight in a fair manner.

Based on this performance, I don’t think Frampton would beat Oscar Valdez or Santa Cruz. Both guys would deal with him, especially Valdez. Frampton will get punished against a nonstop puncher like Valdez. He has too much youth for Frampton, and it would be a one-sided fight in my estimation.

Donaire’s left eye was giving him problems from round 2 due to some hard shots that Frampton had hit him with. The cut over Donaire’s right eye in the 7th was the bigger issue.

For Frampton, this was his 6th straight less than impressive performance since 2015. Frampton did NOT look good tonight after the 4th round, as he was mostly moving on the outside and fighting defensively. Since 2015, Frampton has struggled against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr., Scott Quigg, Leo Santa Cruz [x 2], Horacio Garcia and Donaire. Frampton arguably deserved a loss in his first fight with Santa Cruz in 2016, and he should have had draws in his fights with Horacioi Garcia and Quigg in my opinion. As such, Frampton’s record in his last six fights should arguably be this: 2-2-2. The two clear wins for Frampton were against Donaire and Gonzalez Jr.

Frampton’s promoter Frank Warren said that Carl should be back inside the ring in August at Windsor Park in Belfast against an opponent still to be determined. The way that Frampton seemed to be so amped up about fighting in Windsor Park, it seems he expects to fight someone good. It won’t be WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez, because he’s still healing up from a broken jaw from his last fight against Scott Quigg, and he probably won’t be healed by that time. IBF World featherweight champion Lee Selby faces Joshua Warrington on May 19.

The winner of that fight won’t have enough time to get back in the ring to fight Frampton at Windsor Park in August, so you have to rule those guys out. WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz has a fight against Abner Mares on June 9, so he sure as heck won’t be fighting Frampton in August at Windsor Parker. It should be interesting to see who faces Frampton in August. I can’t see anyone good facing him at that time. Hopefully, Frampton doesn’t take on another old timer, because he needs to face relevant fighters instead of looking for older guys for him to pad his record with.

Donaire couldn’t fight hard enough in the second half of the fight to win the fight, especially with Frampton retreating around the ring, sticking his left arm way out in front of him, and charging him with his head down. Donaire needed to speed up the pace of his pursuit of Frampton when he was running from him. Donaire isn’t entirely over-the-hill yet, but he needs to move back down to bantamweight if possible, because I don’t think he’s got enough left to be a major player at super bantamweight or featherweight. If Donaire could move back down to 118, I’d favor him to beat Ryan Burnett. Zolani Tete would be a good fight for Donaire, as would Naoya Inoue. Those would be excellent fights.

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