CARL FRAMPTON explained the key to his victory over Nonito Donaire on Saturday at the SSE Arena in Belfast. “It was back to basics. It was a well executed gameplan. As you seen late on, Nonito was a dangerous puncher throughout. So I couldn’t get too reckless. The plan was to box from the outside and use my jab, which I think was brilliant tonight. And then when I got close, stay close. The only real time when I was caught in the middle distance was when I got nailed in the 11th round and that was it,” Frampton said.
“He hurt me with a shot but I’ve been hurt worse. He put the pressure on but I rode the storm. And that’s what champions do.”
“The plan was to push him back and keep him off balance. Not let him set his feet, force him backwards on the ropes,” he continued. “Donaire’s a really dangerous counter-puncher. But my distance and my jab controlled things. I’d seen what he was trying to do. He was trying to come in with a double jab, he was trying to nail the right hand and it didn’t land too often. I think my focus was spot on tonight there. So it’s up there as one of my better performances… It wasn’t rocket science. It was basic boxing. A good jab and when I got close, I stayed close. That was the gameplan and that’s what won me the fight. I didn’t have to be too flash. I didn’t have to overdo things.
“I knew that I had to be disciplined. I knew that he’s a terrific counter-puncher so I couldn’t fall into his traps. I seen what he was trying to do, I seen that right hand coming so many times. I don’t know, my focus was just razor sharp.”
They hurt one another but Frampton was always in command. “I stepped back and just nailed him with a jab and I seen him shaking his head a bit. I hurt him a number of times. I hurt him to the body as well. He nailed me with a good body in the first round, he sunk one in as well. Again there was no one beating me tonight,” he said.
His next move will be to fight in front of 20,000 fans in Windsor Park. “I’m very excited. It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “Whoever it is I don’t care.”
Frampton has beaten and then lost to WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz. He’d love to complete a trilogy with the Mexican but doubts Santa Cruz will come to Northern Ireland. “That’s a fight that interests me the Santa Cruz fight. It’s one each, it makes sense. He’s having a fight with [Abner] Mares that doesn’t make a lot of sense. He’s beaten him. It was a decent fight the first time but he won the fight clear, I think everyone would agree. I don’t see much point in the rematch. There was a trilogy that could have been made and he doesn’t want to play ball,” Frampton said.
He will attend Lee Selby’s and Josh Warrington’s IBF featherweight title clash on May 19 and fighting the victor will be an option. But he won an Interim title from the WBO and hopes that their champion, Oscar Valdez will be ready to fight him in August. “I’d love the Valdez fight. That would be very, very tasty,” Carl said. “He’s a great fighter. I remember watching him in the Olympics against John Joe Nevin and he got the head boxed off him but dropped Nevin. He’s a better pro than he is an amateur and he went to the Olympic Games. A terrific fighter, a good puncher, ferocious, good style, fan friendly, exciting but he’s very hittable and I think I’d box but I could outfight him.
“I think it was a very good performance [for Valdez against Scott Quigg]. If you watched the highlights on Sky you would think it was a competitive fight. It wasn’t a competitive fight. He beat Quigg convincingly. I don’t want to keep talking about Scott Quigg. But it was almost cheating what he done. He missed the weight … and then he didn’t do a check weigh in the next day. You could see with his tactics he was trying to bully and use his strength but Valdez stuck to game plan and I think won comfortably.”
But Frampton warned, “There’s a determination about me now. A new mindset, a new team, everything is just going the way it should be.”