Experts’ Eye: Donaire vs. Frampton - Part 1: Favorites
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 16, 2018 04:22 PM
Nonito Donaire Jr. or Carl Frampton? Who's the favorite heading into their interim featherweight title bout? (Frampton photo: AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)
With less than a week to go before a highly-anticipated showdown between four-division world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. and two-division world champion Carl Frampton for the WBO Interim Featherweight World Championship, it’s time to see what the experts have to say about this upcoming matchup.
We asked three boxing experts for their two cents on the upcoming featherweight clash between Donaire Jr. and Frampton:
Nigel Collins - Boxing Writer for ESPN, former Editor-in-Chief for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Hall of Famer
Brian Campbell - Combat Sports Writer for CBS Sports. Former host and writer for ESPN and Grantland.
Atty. Ed Tolentino - Veteran Philippine sportswriter and boxing analyst for ABS-CBN Sports.
For the first installment of this little series, we simply asked our three experts who they think the favorite is between Donaire and Frampton.
Carl Frampton is the favorite in his upcoming match with Nonito Donaire for several reasons.
Despite his decision loss to Leo Santa Cruz, Frampton is closer to his prime than Donaire. Nonito was at his best as a flyweight, super flyweight and bantamweight. It was when he moved up to super bantam and featherweight that his decline began. Most of that was due age and numerous demanding fights against tough opposition, but fighting naturally larger men didn’t help.
Then there’s the fact that the bout will take place in Frampton’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland, where it would be extremely difficult for Donaire to get the decision in a close fight.
It's fair to list Frampton as the clear favorite in this fight when you consider age, recent form and how their skill sets match up against one another. Frampton, until his 2017 loss to Leo Santa Cruz in their all-action rematch, had been on the verge of cracking most pound-for-pound top 10 lists, which is a place Donaire really hasn't been since the aftermath of his 2013 loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Atty. Ed Tolentino
The favorite is Frampton.
Not only is he the younger boxer, but many believe that his aggressive style will wear down Donaire Jr.. He has won 5 of his last 6 fights and has never been knocked out. Donaire is definitely the underdog in this contest
As we can see, the unanimous call is that Frampton is the favorite, and the most common reason being age.
At 31 years old and with only 25 bouts, Frampton is the younger fighter compared to the 35-year old Donaire Jr, who already has nearly double the number of bouts that Frampton has, 42.
Campbell and Tolentino also touched on fighting styles and skill sets, which both have favoring the Irishman.
Frampton is believed to be the more aggressive fighter compared to Donaire, who as of late, has exhibited a slower, more patient pace.
Looking at their past five fights, Frampton and Donaire have a similar 4-1 record, the difference however is in the level of competition.
In Frampton’s last five, two have been against reigning WBA (Super) Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz and one against Scott Quigg, a couple of top-ten names in the featherweight division. All but one of these Frampton’s last five bouts have been title defenses.
In Donaire’s last five bouts, the only names on the top-ten are reigning WBO Super Bantamweight Champion Jessie Magdaleno and Cesar Juarez.
On the WBO rankings, Frampton and Donaire are fourth and eighth, respectively.
At the end of the day however, rankings, records, and favorites matter little. What matters is how Donaire and Frampton perform inside the ring, and you can catch that on Sunday, April 22nd, 6:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!
You can also catch the fight LIVE on Sunday, April 22nd, 2:30 AM on SKY Sports Pay-Per-View for only P199!
Watch out for more Experts’ Eye soon!