Frampton facing claims for nearly £4m in McGuigan countersuit

Boxer Carl Frampton outside court in Belfast. Credit: Presseye

Belfast boxer Carl Frampton is facing total claims for nearly £4m over his split from ex-manager and mentor Barry McGuigan, the High Court has heard.

The scale of the counter-lawsuit against the former world champion emerged as he completed his evidence in the high-stakes legal battle.

A judge was also told the Belfast fighter once trusted the McGuigan family so much that he asked them to forge his signature.

The 33-year-old Belfast fighter is seeking up to £6m in alleged withheld earnings during an eight-year partnership.

His action involves claims against Cyclone Promotions UK Ltd - of which McGuigan was a director - over purse fees, broadcasting rights, ticket sales and merchandising.

Earlier in the hearing, Frampton rejected any suggestions that he is being greedy.

On day six of the case, attention turned to separate litigation filed against Frampton for alleged breach of contact when he left the company in 2017.

Barry McGuigan arrives at court in Belfast for the latest proceedings. Credit: Presseye

The court heard McGuigan is claiming £2.199m in total for terminating his arrangement as manager.

Asked by his barrister Gavin Millar QC to comment on the figure, Frampton said: “It seems a lot of money for a 25% cut... it’s extremely large.”

McGuigan’s son Blain, who played a role in promoting the boxer’s shows, is also suing the boxer.

According to Mr Millar that writ involved claims for £1.66m.

“Again, that seems very large,” Frampton told him.

Barry McGuigan's son Blain arrives at court. Credit: Presseye

During 22 hours spent in the witness box, the boxer faced extensive cross-examination by counsel for McGuigan.

Liam McCollum QC took him through correspondence dealing with a pre-fight contracts.

In one email, the boxer allegedly asked: “Could one of the lads forge my signature?” rather than posting off documents.

He told the court: “Again, showing how trustworthy I was of the McGuigans, and I was happy for them to do that.”

The barrister asked: “Trustworthy, to ask for someone to forge a signature?”

He replied: “Yes, on a contract deal.”

Frampton also claimed that, had he known McGuigan was disqualified as a company director for a period in the 1990s, he would never have signed for him.

Asked if he realised current promoter Frank Warren had been also disqualified at around the same time, he replied: “No.”

Carl Frampton pictured with Frank Warren and Josh Warington at Windsor Park in 2018. Credit: Presseye

Mr McCollum questioned why he had not tried to find out if it was such an important issue.

“The difference between Frank Warren and Mr McGuigan at the time was that Frank Warren was an established promoter,” the fighter answered.

“Barry McGuigan wasn't established as a boxing promoter or a manager.”

He told the court his problem was a combination of inexperience and the historic banning order.

Counsel pressed him on why he had no difficulty with Mr Warren.

“Frank Warren has continued to put on huge boxing events for decades. He has a proven track record,” Frampton said.

“If someone who (had been) disqualified as a director from a company, with no experience in managing fighters before, said ‘I want to manage your career’, I would have said no.”

The boxer’s action centres on an alleged conflict of interest between McGuigan’s dual role as manager and promoter.

Frampton further claims he never received a 30% profit share he says was promised to him when he signed up as a director of another Northern Irish-based Cyclone company.

Both men deny the allegations made against them.

The hearing continues.