As far as any of today’s fighters of note, these are of the more soft spoken, well mannered of champions, so they let their fists do their talking for them in the ring. Donaire, now 38-4, 25 KO was a long time Ring P4Per before suffering a few setbacks. Both have separated from high profile trainers and managers that brought them to the pinnacle of boxing’s greatest success. Frampton, 24-1, 14 KO and now age 31, can still be seen in the last years of his prime in spite of his only loss, a recent competitive setback against Leo Santa Cruz, but it’s hard to know how much heart he has invested in the sport after his somewhat traumatic separation from his longtime mentors, the great HOFer Barry McGuigan and his son Shane.
Donaire, who will turn 36 this year, has looked somewhat lethargic and clueless at times to take a couple of losses since his separation from HOF quality trainer Robert Garcia and switching his management to his new wife. This also coincided with his release of the infamous BALCO Victor Conte as his personal nutritionist, something that could be seen as suspicious in this era of performance enhancing drugs, but then he enrolled in voluntary year round testing by VADA, so maybe his uncle Vic is still providing him with special shakes designed to pass VADA screening. Who can say in the crooked world of drug testing yielding infinitely infinite nanograms of results for nanogram boxing expert IQs to froth and gnash teeth about.
Yeah, I know, boxing can never get their reputations out of the gutter because of the seedy, corrupt way the sport is run. It was always the individual great fighters who lifted the sport to keep it alive, and now the fighters are getting shafted with cancelled bouts and extra expenses of the criminally negligent drug testing cartels who can no more pass their own tests than the man in the street can. The net result being any of the really good fighters need high powered, ethically sound nutritionists supervising their diets year round in some cases going beyond that of a training camp.
So, in a fight between two somewhat damaged fighters in a grossly mismanaged, damaged sport, I’m going against the hometown odds that favor Frampton to pick Donaire. Frampton has recently gone on a splurge of tattoos that suggest something of a hurt, fragile inferiority complex after his separations from the McGuigans, If nothing else Donaire still has his formidable power not to mention his higher level experience if he can just get his mind set properly on this fight.
And oh my stars, it’s gonna be well lubricated Lions and Tigers and Bears in that Belfast crowd roaring away Saturday night. Good luck gentlemen and may the best man win.