Tuesday 21 August 2018

Frampton to leave lasting legacy with Donaire win

 

Nonito Donaire (left) and Carl Frampton after weighing in ahead of their bout. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Nonito Donaire (left) and Carl Frampton after weighing in ahead of their bout. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Carl Frampton insists his journey is far from over and he can leave behind a golden, lasting legacy.

The Belfast man has already enjoyed a fine career, making history as the first Northern Ireland boxer to unify two of the major titles when campaigning at super-bantamweight.

That was followed up with an historic night in New York when becoming the first to win world titles at two different weights.

All the stars seemed to be aligned until that night in Las Vegas in January 2017 when Leo Santa Cruz wrenched the WBA World featherweight title back from his grasp.

From that point on it has largely been a time of discomfort for the Jackal. A cancelled fight last summer was followed by the split from manager Barry McGuigan and then a return to the ring in November when, for the first time in his career, he received some criticism that still carries a little sting.

Essentially, the legacy he carves was in cold storage but tonight, at the SSE Arena, Frampton intends to have that flame burning as brightly as ever - with the fight expected to start at approximately 10.30.

Nonito Donaire is one of those names that every fighter would want to have on his record. World fighter of the year, champion in four weight classes and, pound for pound, one of the very best of his generation.

Barometer

At 35, many may feel he is past his best but Donaire, however, offers the barometer as to where Frampton is on the road back to world title status.

"Legacy is one of those things driving me on as well as security for my family and the doubters are one of the main driving forces as well," said Frampton.

"I want to be remembered as a great fighter. I want to be able to go into a pub in 30 years time and have people remember what I did and hopefully that I did my country proud and gave people some nights they will have never forgotten.

"I remember one time being with my dad when I was a young kid and I met Freddie Gilroy, the former British and European champion.

"My dad made sure that I sat on Freddie's knee and got a picture taken because Freddie was an Irish boxing legend, he had left a legacy behind and I want the same thing. That would be very special for me if I could have some moments like that and to beat Nonito Donaire would be a big part of that legacy because of what he has achieved - he's a future Hall of Famer."

Filipino star Donaire is even more aware that his days at the top could well be numbered if - as most expect - he is unable to find a vintage performance.

"This is a make or break fight for me. To have such a great opponent in front of me such as Carl is a great motivation and I feel it will bring out the best in me," said Donaire.

"Carl is easily one of the of the top three featherweights in the world and I know if beat him then I will fight for a world title. Throughout my career I've won everything, all the belts but I've never been undisputed champion and that's what I want - I want to be the undisputed world featherweight champion."

Irish Independent

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