By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

FILIPINO world champion boxer Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire fell short in his attempt to claim the interim World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title early Sunday morning (Manila time) in Belfast, losing by unanimous decision to hometown bet Carl “The Jackal” Frampton.
Back in the ring after seven months, Mr. Donaire showed up to fight but just could not go over the hump that is Mr. Frampton, who played his game plan to a T and showed patience throughout the contest which proved to be a huge difference maker.
Mr. Donaire had his best round in the 11th where he had the Irishman hurt and reeling but it turned out to be not enough to sway things in his favor, en route to bowing, 117-111, 117-111 and 117-111.
“Nonito Donaire was dangerous from start to finish. I just stuck to our game plan. He was a sharp puncher throughout. In the 11th round I was definitely hurt but I survived it and that’s what champions do,” said Mr. Frampton in the post-fight interview.
He went on to say that he was confident throughout the bout and satisfied with his performance.
“… Donaire is a world-class fighter and a world-class gentleman. There is not a man on this planet at featherweight who is going to beat me at Windsor Park,” Mr. Frampton said, referring to his home turf.
The win improved Mr. Frampton to 25-1 and set up himself for a fight with WBO regular champion Oscar Valdez.
While the defeat sent him back after winning in his previous fight, Mr. Donaire was still gracious in defeat.
“First of all, always want to thank God for keeping me safe in that ring. Not taking anything away from Frampton. He is an amazing fighter, smart and a tough…” Mr. Donaire wrote on his official Twitter account (@filipinoflash) after the fight.
He went on to say that he could well go down in weight after the fight, seeing it as a better situation for him.
“Ringstar [Sports] will have a meeting but I think it has already been pre-decided that although I have done my best to gain weight and keep my weight on and strong, it’s best I move back down in weight,” said the four-division world champion, who won titles as a flyweight, bantamweight, super-bantamweight and featherweight.
The Frampton fight is the second for Mr. Donaire (37-5) under Ringstar Sports with whom the fighter signed up with last year after being part of Top Rank Boxing.
In his first fight under Ringstar, Mr. Donaire, the 2012 Fighter of the Year, defeated Mexican Ruben Garcia by unanimous decision.