Northern Ireland

Carl Frampton facing £4m counter-lawsuit claims

Carl Frampton arriving at court on 16 September Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Carl Frampton rejected claims he was greedy during Wednesday's court hearing

Boxer Carl Frampton is facing total claims for nearly £4m over his split from ex-manager Barry McGuigan, the High Court heard on Wednesday.

The scale of the counter-lawsuit against the former world champion emerged as he completed his evidence.

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

A judge heard Frampton once trusted the McGuigan family so much that he asked them to forge his signature.

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

Earlier in the hearing, he rejected any suggestions that he was greedy.

'Seems a lot'

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

The court heard Mr McGuigan is claiming almost £2.2m in total for terminating his arrangement as manager.

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

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption A counter-lawsuit is being taken by Carl Frampton's former manager Barry McGuigan

Mr 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," Mr Frampton told him.

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

Liam McCollum QC took him through correspondence dealing with 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."

Warren has 'proven track record'

The court also heard Mr Frampton claim that he would never have signed for Barry McGuigan had he known he was disqualified as a company director in the 1990s.

He replied "no" when asked if he knew his current promoter, Frank Warren, was also disqualified around the same time.

"Barry McGuigan wasn't established as a boxing promoter or a manager," Mr Frampton told the hearing.

When pressed on why he had no difficulty with Mr Warren, he replied: "Frank Warren has continued to put on huge boxing events for decades. He has a proven track record."

"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."

Mr Frampton has further claimed that he was promised a 30% profit share as a director of another Cyclone company based in Northern Ireland, which he did not receive.

'Flabbergasted'

Once Carl Frampton had completed his evidence on Wednesday, his Belfast-based accountant Sean McCrory entered the witness box.

He said he was employed by the boxer in 2016, the year before the split with the McGuigans occurred.

He said one of his priorities when he started working with Mr Frampton was to pursue unpaid fight and appearance fees.

Mr McCrory said he was "flabbergasted" when Mr Frampton received a bill for £397,000 of unpaid VAT in 2017.

Both Mr Frampton and Mr McGuigan deny the allegations made against them.

The hearing continues.

Related Topics