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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Why not Frampton for Donaire?

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
08 Aug 2017



Former WBA featherweight and IBF/WBA superbantamweight champion Carl Frampton loomed as a future opponent for Nonito Donaire after the cancellation of the Irishman's supposed WBC title eliminator against Mexico’s Andres Gutierrez in Belfast less than 24 hours before it would’ve taken place two weeks ago.

Frampton, 30, tipped the scales a pound over the featherweight limit of 126 at the weigh-in, prompting the WBC to withdraw sanction of the Gutierrez fight as an eliminator. Then, the bout was scratched after Gutierrez slipped in his hotel bathroom the night of the weigh-in, leaving him with two broken teeth, a cracked nose and a nasty chin cut that exposed his jawbone.

Frampton has been on Donaire’s wish list for years. They’re both on the comeback trail so a match-up would be a do-or-die scenario in their careers. Donaire lost his WBO superbantamweight crown to Jessie Magdaleno in Las Vegas last November while Frampton yielded his super WBA featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz on a majority decision, also in Las Vegas, last January. Both fighters haven’t seen action since the setbacks. The Irishman’s record is 23-1, with 14 KOs, while Donaire’s is 37-4, with 24 KOs.
****

Donaire, 34, is now training in Tokyo, leaving wife Rachel and their two sons in Manila while he focuses on getting back on track in the gym for his next fight, tentatively on Sept. 23 in Texas. Donaire recently signed a promotional contract with Richard Schaefer, CEO of Ringstar Sports. If Frampton is ready to battle, Donaire said so is he.

“It’s unfortunate for Frampton’s fight to be cancelled,” said Donaire in a text from Tokyo. “But it makes greater opportunities for better fights. Frampton and I can match up anytime. I wanted to fight (Scott) Quigg before but Frampton stepped in and beat him. He’s definitely on my radar and if he doesn’t want to waste his camp, why not fight me next? He has a good overall style. I wouldn’t mind facing him even if it’s in Belfast.” It was a virtual call-out by Donaire whose sparring team consists of three fighters, including Japanese bantamweight champion Ryo Akaho, in Tokyo.

There were at least four other promoters chasing Donaire before he decided to go with Schaefer, a former Swiss banker who was CEO of Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions from 2002 to 2014. Donaire’s wife Rachel said the switch was an easy decision to make.
****

“Nonito is excited to work with Ringstar,” she said. “We’ve known Richard for a while. We had a face-to-face meeting with him in Las Vegas then were in constant communication until we finalized an agreement. He’s very involved with his fighters. He comes across as a hands-on CEO who really cares for his fighters. He’s accessible. He won’t let 24 hours pass before he replies to a text or email or answers a call. We’re looking forward to this next chapter in Nonito’s career.” Donaire was previously promoted by Top Rank and their separation was amicable.

Donaire declined to reveal details of his Ringstar contract which contains a confidentiality clause. He wouldn’t reveal the duration of the contract, purse terms and for how many fights. Donaire plans to make a brief trip to Manila next week then return to Tokyo where he’ll stay until it’s time to go back to the US or wherever for his next fight.

Donaire named Frampton, Santa Cruz, WBA featherweight titlist Abner Mares and IBF featherweight ruler Lee Selby as future targets. “I want the biggest fights possible,” he said. “Richard’s track record to deliver them speaks for itself. The next chapter in my career is starting now and I’m excited to say it’s with Ringstar.”


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