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BREAKING NEWS: Frampton/Donaire To Fight For WBO Interim Featherweight Championship

With Full Champion Oscar Valdez Out After Suffering A Jaw Injury Against Scott Quigg, The Fight On April 21st Will Now Be For The Interim Title

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The stakes have been raised in next months highly anticipated featherweight clash between former world champions Carl Frampton and Nonito Donaire. The bout which is due to take place on April 21st at Belfast’s SSE Hydro Arena will now be for the WBO Interim World Featherweight title. The bout will, of course, be shown live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Full champion, Oscar Valdez suffered a horrific jaw injury at the hands of former Frampton foe, Scott Quigg in a war in Carson City just a few weeks ago. Leaving the governing body seemingly no choice but to schedule an interim title bout until he is well enough to return. Frampton is planning a much-anticipated summer clash at Belfast’s Windsor Park and knows the stakes are high in what promises to be a fantastic all-action fight.

Both men were previously recognised as Fighter of the Year by the Ring magazine, ESPN and the Boxing Writers’ Association of America, and both will be determined to secure a shot at becoming a World Champion once again by claiming the Interim WBO crown next month.

“A huge night of boxing in Belfast just got even bigger,” said Frampton. “This is great news and it adds a whole lot more razzmatazz to the event - not that it needed it. I was sure that the winner of this fight was going to go on to fight for a World Title in their next fight and having an interim World Title on the line on April 21st all but confirms that.

“Oscar Valdez must face the Interim Champion when he is ready and that’s a big incentive for myself and Donaire. The Valdez fight is very appealing to me and obviously, the winner of Selby v Warrington is also equally as appealing. I think the Valdez fight would get a lot more attention on both sides of the globe rather than just in the UK.

“The winner of Selby v Warrington would be a big fight in the UK but a fight with Valdez would be a huge fight Worldwide. Obviously, he has an injury that he needs to recover from but there’s a lot of options for me now and it’s always good to have options in this game. Having an Interim belt on the line brings something a little more special to the whole event.”

With a month to go, Frampton believes he may have to produce a career-best performance to overcome 42-fight veteran Donaire and is confident that a sell-out SSE Arena crowd will drive him over the line.

“With so much riding on this fight I need to make sure that I’m going to put in the performance of my career, which it might take to win this fight,” added Frampton.

“I love fighting at home, there’s something about fighting in Belfast that brings out the best in me. I love the whole fight week in Belfast and I love the atmosphere in the SSE Arena. I’ll need to be better than I was in my last fight. With the way things are going in training so far, it’s going to be a big performance.”

“I’m delighted that the WBO Interim Featherweight World Title will now be up for grabs on April 21," said Promoter Frank Warren. “This is a guaranteed barnburner between two elite Featherweights and having an Interim belt on the line gives the fight an extra bit of spice.”