Boxing

Carl Frampton style suits us says Nonito Donaire cornerman Mike Bazzell

Carl Frampton and fans yesterday ahear of his big fight at the SSE Picture by Hugh Russell.

CARL Frampton is ready-made for Nonito Donaire, boasted the Filipino fighter's cornerman Mike Bazzell ahead of tomorrow night's interim featherweight world title rumble at the SSE Arena.

Bazzell has no doubt that 35-year-old Donaire, a world champion from flyweight to featherweight, will spoil the party in Belfast by handing ‘the Jackal' his first home loss.

Losing tomorrow night would be a massive blow to Frampton's future plans and Bazzell, who predicts a cagey opening to the 12-rounder, says the ‘Filipino Flash' will have his hand raised at the end.

“Frampton will come, his style is good for us - we won't have to chase him,” he told The Irish News.

“When Nonito has to chase it's not that much fun because he is a natural counterpuncher but Frampton will come, he'll come looking for us.”

You could put Bazzell's comments down to American brashness or misplaced over-confidence, but if you take them a face value it looks like the Donaire camp is in for a shock tomorrow night. Frampton always looks to take charge in his fights, but he has never been a front foot brawler and it would be a huge surprise to see him coming out swinging against the dangerous Donaire.

“I like his conditioning,” Bazzell added.

“I like his will to win, he has power and some boxing ability too. He can move a little bit, he can reset himself a little bit… We just have to let him reset and then he'll come back in.”

He added: “It could be a distance fight.

“I expect some respect in the beginning, I don't think either of them will go after the other guy. The crowd is going to be insane, I've been to places where the crowd is amazing and you still draw energy from it.

“I know that Carl said that the energy from the crowd helps him, but it'll help us too. Energy from a crowd is amazing even if it's against you. It pumps you man! You're pumped! WOO-HOO! That's what we do this for.”

The bookmakers have made Donaire the underdog tomorrow night. Now 35, he was stopped in a previous featherweight title fight back in 2014, but Bazzell says he's has matured at the weight since then.

“I think Nonito has a good physical maturity and he also has the experience,” he said.

“When most fighters get older they know what they're doing, but their body betrays them because it's getting old. But Nonito is a late bloomer, he is someone who has matured a little late.

“The last time I think he wasn't quite ready for featherweight, but this time I think he is ready, he's more physically mature for it.

“We're confident, we've been here many times.

“It's a great experience, we're very professional. We really respect Carl, that's why we're here in his country, his city but we're very confident.

“We've prepared, we have the gameplan. You can't prepare for what hasn't happened yet, but we've prepared for what is going to happen.”

California-based Donaire has hammered out 24 knockout wins in his 38-4 record. He is blessed with concussive power in his left hook, but Bazzell warned that there is much more to his game.

“For years we've been working on his right hand,” he said.

“People look for the left hook so you have to come with something more than just that. Both hands are very strong and Nonito can change, he can fight as a southpaw as well.”

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