McGuigan made sacrifices for Frampton, court hears

Carl Frampton is suing Barry McGuigan for allegedly withholding earnings during their eight-year partnership. A counter lawsuit has been filed against Mr Frampton for alleged breach of contact when he split from Cyclone Promotions in 2017. Credit: Pacemaker

Barry McGuigan sacrificed the chance to make a fortune out of Carl Frampton's big contests in America for the boxer's own good, the High Court has heard.

Counsel for Mr McGuigan claimed he allowed other promoters to stage his star fighter's stateside title bouts.

He also put it to the former two-weight world champion that he was no "little lost boy", but instead had a major say in his purses.

Mr Frampton, 33, is suing ex-manager Mr McGuigan for allegedly withholding earnings during their eight-year partnership.

Their courtroom showdown involves a claim for up to £6 million.

The Belfast boxer's action involves claims against Cyclone Promotions UK Ltd - of which Mr McGuigan was a director - over purse fees, broadcasting rights, ticket sales and merchandising.

A counter lawsuit has been filed against Mr Frampton for alleged breach of contact when he split from the company in 2017.

The two men, both legends in the sport, deny the respective allegations against them.

Continuing cross-examination of Mr Frampton on day four of the case, the barrister representing Mr McGuigan and Cyclone insisted they relinquished sole promotional rights to his championship contests in New York and Las Vegas.

Liam McCollum QC said: "They actually handed over promotion to other people, on all the big-money fights.

"They gave up the opportunity to make a fortune out of you, for your good. That's what happened."

The boxer replied that other promoters had to be used when you go to the United States.

"There's no way Cyclone Promotions would be able to go to America on their own and promote a fight with any sort of success," he said.

The case involves an alleged conflict of interest in Mr McGuigan's dual role as manager and promoter.

Mr Frampton also claims he signed up as a director of another Northern Irish-based Cyclone company on the promise of a 30% profit share which was never received.

Throughout his evidence he maintained that he acted on the basis of trust for the McGuigans.

But Mr McCollum contended that from early on in the relationship he had a big say in how much he was going to be paid, adding: "You fought your corner."

Disputing the lawyer's depiction, he answered: "I was told what purse I was getting and I was always happy to receive that."

According to counsel, however, he was always very interested and concerned at what he was going to make from his boxing career.

"I'm suggesting you had deep and many discussions about how much you were going to get, and you fully understood the way the fight game worked as well," he said.

"This idea you were a little lost boy is a nonsense, Mr Frampton."

The fighter replied: "I disagree."

Told that he knew how revenue from television rights and ticket sales, along with expenses, would impact on his earnings, he said he had a "vague recollection" about arrangements.

"But I never sat down and worked it out, and tried to figure out how much was actually coming in.

"The purses, looking back now in hindsight were a little small for how well the shows were doing."

The hearing continues.