Carl Frampton earned an interim title on Saturday night with a well-deserved unanimous decision over former multi-division champ Nonito Donaire in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Donaire (38-5, 24 KOs) had a good first round, throwing uppercuts in close quarters and going to the body. Frampton (25-1, 14 KOs) however, began landing straight right hands and by the start of the third, had produced some visible swelling under Donaire’s left eye.
During the middle rounds, Frampton imposed his will on Donaire, who was just a step slower and lacking any real snap in his punches. Frampton was clearly the sharper of the two, as his combinations landed with higher frequency and with more effectiveness.
The 11th round was one of Donaire’s best, as he landed a series of uppercuts and hooks that stunned Frampton, but the window of opportunity closed fast, and Frampton re-established control in the final round.
Scores were 117-111 from all three judges.