Andy Watters: How it all went sour between Carl Frampton and Barry McGuigan
A POT crammed with rumour and intrigue came to the boil dramatically yesterday after Carl Frampton confirmed his split with Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions.
In a statement, Belfast’s two-weight world champion said he intended to take his career forward “in his own hands” and he will now look to make up for lost time after six months of inactivity ended in controversy with the cancellation of his comeback fight earlier this month.
It now seems likely that Frampton will manage his own affairs, possibly with the help of an advisor, and take control of his career while dealing directly with TV companies including Sky Sports, BT Sports ITV or Channel 5 in the same way that world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (AJ Boxing) does.
Yesterday’s events brought to an end one of Ireland’s most successful sporting collaborations. The link-up between Frampton and McGuigan had seen ‘the Jackal’ storm to world titles at super-bantamweight and featherweight on glory nights in Belfast and New York when, with Shane McGuigan in his corner and Barry an animated presence at ringside, Frampton dethroned Kiko Martinez and then Leo Santa Cruz.
Between those wins there was an unforgettable night in Manchester when Frampton blew away English rival Scott Quigg in front of thousands of travelling fans but Frampton’s relationship with Cyclone soured after ‘the Jackal’ lost his WBC super-featherweight world title to Santa Cruz in Las Vegas in January.
In the aftermath of that narrow points defeat he vowed to bounce back against a marquee opponent and, after Santa Cruz reneged on travelling to Belfast for a third fight, Frampton fans crossed their fingers for a ‘Battle of Britain’ showdown against Lee Selby at Windsor Park.
Instead, and obviously against his wishes, Frampton's career went into reverse. Cyclone announced an underwhelming non-title match-up with little-known Mexican opponent Andres Gutierrez (not Selby or another world champion) at the Odyssey Arena (not Windsor) which was to be screened on Channel 5 (not Sky or BT Sports).