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Dublin: 10°C Monday 8 March 2021

Carl Frampton's war of words with Nonito Donaire heats up as fighters exchange...songs?

Thankfully, just when things threatened to turn nasty, cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy was on hand to intervene.

BOTH CARL FRAMPTON and Nonito Donaire will attempt to end the other’s career at Belfast’s SSE Arena on 28 April, but perhaps there’s life after boxing after all.

The former World Fighters of the Year (Donaire in 2012; Frampton in 2016) do battle in a crossroads bout in The Jackal’s Den with a world title opportunity awaiting the victor this summer, but should the loser indeed decide to hang up his gloves, it surely won’t be the last we hear of him.

Both men, as is their wont, have remained respectful in the lead-up to their contest, with each recognising that his opponent is taking an unnecessarily precarious bout with a fellow modern great where so many others would have paved a more convenient return to the top.

And so rather than exchange barbs at Wednesday’s press conference, four-weight world champion Donaire instead attempted to kill Frampton softly with his song – or rather that of one Edward Sheeran.

Frampton admitted on Wednesday to feeling ‘a wee bit of fear factor’ ahead of the landmark occasion in his pugilistic career, with a lifelong dream of a bout at Windsor Park potentially on the line in April.

You wouldn’t have detected much fear, however, when ‘The Jackal’ channeled his inner X-Factor in response to Donaire.

Not to be outdone – though it must be said the jury is still out – the 31-year-old hit back, vowing to vocally best ‘The Filipino Flash’ before blasting out the first verse to Sam Cooke’s 1963 classic ‘Bring It On Home To Me’.

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The former two-weight world champion’s riposte was uploaded to Twitter by his fellow Belfast fighter Tyrone McKenna, who fights Crumlin’s Phil Sutcliffe on the Frampton-Donaire undercard in three months’ time.

But just when it seemed things were threatening to boil over, Lenadoon cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy – ahem, Louis Walsh – weighed in with his own two cents.

One performer received a hearty ‘yes’ from Belfast boxing’s reggae man – a self-appointed adjudicator in this instance – while heartbreak inevitably awaited the other.

We go to the judge’s scorecard:

Who would you like to see back next week?

Poll Results:

Carl Frampton (208)
Nonito Donaire (168)

Frampton admits to ‘a wee bit of fear factor’ as he gears up for make-or-break clash with Donaire

Three thrilling all-Irish fights confirmed for Frampton-Donaire card in Belfast

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