Northern Ireland news

Barry McGuigan feared he damaged Carl Frampton's career, court told

 Barry McGuigan on the way into the Hight Court in Belfast yesterday Picture by Hugh Russell.

BARRY McGuigan allegedly “panicked” he may have damaged Carl Frampton’s career by severing ties with a rival promoter, the High Court has heard.

Mr McGuigan’s former personal assistant claimed his own demands and a desire to be involved in staging the Belfast fighter’s contests led to them parting company with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom organisation.

Disputed assertions were also made that Mr McGuigan once accepted £1,000 to put two other boxers on the bill at one of Mr Frampton’s big hometown shows.

The allegations emerged on day eight of their multi-million pound courtroom battle.

Mr Frampton, a 33-year-old former two-weight world champion, is suing his ex-manager for alleged withheld earnings.

His case 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 the boxer, accusing him of breach of contact.

Both men deny the respective allegations.

Some of Mr Frampton’s early wins had been promoted by Matchroom.

But according to Cherri Norman, one-time personal assistant to Mr McGuigan, that arrangement ended in 2013 because “Barry was pushing for too much” for himself.

Mrs Norman claimed Mr McGuigan wanted to “co-produce” bouts, and that negotiations with Matchroom became “quite stressful”.

The split from Matchroom came as Mr McGuigan attempted to find out more about income streams, the court heard.

“I remember Barry – it was probably the only time I saw him a little bit panicked,” Mrs Norman said.

“He was worried that he may have done something quite bad for Carl’s career.

“I think Matchroom could see there was a conflict between Barry’s role as manager and what he was trying to obviously get for himself.”

Under cross-examination by Liam McCollum QC, for Mr McGuigan, she confirmed that she had not attended any meetings involving anyone from Matchroom.

Mr McCollum further asked: “Were you ever present at any discussions about Eddie Hearn?” She replied: “No.”

Mrs Norman said she worked for the McGuigan family at their Kent offices between 2007 and 2015, leaving after what was described as an “acrimonious fall out”.

She also claimed a £2,000 loss was put down after one fight in 2013 which had made a profit.

However, Mr McCollum was emphatic that her version of events was wrong.

“The figures sent in to the BBBC (British Boxing Board of Control), I’m telling you they were not put in as a loss,” he told her.

The hearing continues.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news