Carl Frampton parts company with Barry McGuigan and Cyclone Promotions as Paddy Barnes prepares for Scotland rumble
DESPITE its lowkey nature, the Gutierrez fight might have got Frampton’s career moving again but it never took place after he failed to make the nine-stone weight limit and events descended into an unseemly farce when Gutierrez was injured following an unfortunate slip in his hotel bathroom on the eve of the contest.
Rumours that all was not well in the Frampton camp circulated before the fight and on July 30, The Irish News learned that a parting of the ways was imminent.
Yesterday Frampton confirmed it by releasing a statement which read: “I can confirm that I have parted company with Barry McGuigan and Cyclone Promotions.
“I would like to thank Barry McGuigan, the McGuigan family and Cyclone Promotions for our time together.
“Having taken time to consider my future and discuss it with those closest to me, I am confident that now is the right time to move forward and take my career into my own hands.
“I still believe I am the best featherweight in the world and I promise my fans that I am continuing with my efforts to get my homecoming fight rescheduled in the near future.”
His statement implies that he will no longer have Shane McGuigan in his corner and that has led to further speculation over who will take charge of his training as he begins the next chapter of his career.
McGuigan had admitted that he had been “mugged off” by Santa Cruz in Las Vegas after he dismissed the Mexican as a front foot fighter only to see him box his way to victory at the MGM Grand and said that he and Frampton had to share responsibility for the loss.
London-based Adam Booth (coach of Belfast’s Ryan Burnett) has been mentioned as a possible new trainer, but Frampton will have no shortage of suitors.
He has vowed to fight his way back up the ladder and says he remains convinced that he is “the best featherweight in the world”. The split with Cyclone has been a distraction but, aged 30, Frampton remains in his prime as one of the world’s most capable and marketable fighters.
It is understood that boxing mogul Al Haymon retains charge of his prospects in the USA while Eddie Hearn (Matchroom) and Frank Warren (Queensbury Promotions) could be contenders in the UK.
Also in the frame is Matt Macklin’s Mack The Knife (MTK) stable. Frampton’s close friend Paddy Barnes is an MTK fighter and Macklin has a say in the affairs of Belfast’s Michael Conlan who is based in Los Angeles after signing with Bob Arum’s Top Rank. An MTK spokesman was unable to comment on the issue yesterday.
WBO European flyweight champion Paddy Barnes will have his fourth professional fight at Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh on October 6.
Barnes, who out-pointed Silvio Olteanu on June 17 at the Waterfront Hall to win the belt, is set for a ‘tune-up’ on a four-title card which is topped by Paddy Gallagher’s Celtic title clash with unbeaten Gerry Murray (12-0).
An opponent for the two-time Olympic bronze medallist has yet to be confirmed but MTK spokesman Sam Kynoch said yesterday: “It’s looking like it’s going to be an eight-rounder for him with a view to something big before the end of the year.
“It’s good to have him on the bill. So far he has boxed in Belfast so he’ll be airing himself to a wider public. He won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Scotland so it’s a good tie-in and Scottish boxing fans will be excited to see him.
“We’re still working on an opponent for him but he won’t be a pushover, it’s another televised bill and we’re looking at a meaningful fight for him before the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, ‘Padman’ Gallagher will defend his Celtic title after missing out on the chance to fight on the scuppered Carl Frampton-Andres Gutierrez undercard late last month.
“It’s the maiden defence of his title and it’s an interesting fight because Gary Murray doesn’t have anything like Paddy’s amateur background,” said Kynoch.
“Paddy was a Commonwealth Games gold medallist but Gary didn’t have an amateur career, he boxed at white collar/semi-pro level before going into the pros and he has learned his trade as he goes along.
“He hasn’t put a foot wrong so far and he’s hungry, he’s been in full-time training for this fight.”
The Celtic title has been an undervalued belt. In the past the referee decided the winner but it now has to be scored by three ringside judges and MTK intend to raise the profile of the championship.
“The winner will push on for a British title shot or at least a final eliminator,” said Kynoch.
“If Paddy beats someone who is 12-0 it’s only going to cement his position in the British top 10 and he’ll look to push on. For Gary Murray it’s a window of opportunity to fight someone of a higher standing and if he wins he’ll push up the rankings.”
ANTONY Joshua would be willing to box a mixed martial artist or accept a cage fight in the future.
The IBF and WBA heavyweight champion is presently awaiting confirmation of his next title defence against Kubrat Pulev at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena on November 11 or, more likely, Cardiff's Principality Stadium on October 28.
He will not attend Saturday's fight, also at the T-Mobile Arena, when Conor McGregor makes his professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather because he is beginning preparations for his Bulgarian mandatory challenger.
However, while the Mayweather-McGregor bout is dividing opinion, Joshua can see the appeal.
"I'd probably get beaten. The only thing that they can't do is submissions, but they can kick, elbow, bite - whatever they want. Just no submissions.
"I can't beat a guy (via submission). That takes a lot of time to learn the skills and submissions, which I don't have the time for, but when it comes to pure aggression and fighting rules, I can definitely fight, so I don't mind that.
"It wouldn't be a problem. If you look at most boxers who've crossed over to MMA, they get beaten on the ground. James Toney, Roy Jones, they were phenomenal boxers but they just couldn't compete in the cage because of the 'ground and pound' game.
"I've been away with the family and need to get back to reality. Sitting on the beach getting my toes rubbed, that's not the life of an athlete.
"I've got to get back to the gutter, keep organised, keep disciplined. I've done my holidays and need to get back to the military mindset I live."
The likelihood remains that McGregor will convincingly lose to the finest boxer of the modern era, potentially minimising the appeal of future crossover fights.
Joshua is among the many who give the Irishman little chance of victory, and the 27-year-old said: "It's probably (going to be) a landslide. Look at the great fighters Mayweather's fought, and he's made them look average. Some of the fighters Mayweather's fought would probably beat Conor McGregor as well; Conor can't really compete.
"He's coming out of his field and going into Mayweather's domain. Even though he's an excellent fighter in UFC, he's not an excellent boxer. Him crossing over is going to be a real, big challenge.
"He could give a good account of himself; I think Mayweather will win but as long as he gives a good account of himself, it'll work really well for him.
"I don't think Mayweather's done it for the money, I don't think he needs the money: he's done well from boxing. Conor was calling him out and people were saying they wanted to see the fight. The fans dictate the fight: if they want to see it, they get it.
"You can't fight with a pay cheque, you can only fight with heart: that's the only thing that gets you through tough times."