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Barry McGuigan denies ‘manipulating’ figures to make it appear Belfast fight nights lost money

Barry McGuigan denied allegations figures were ‘manipulated’ to make it appear Carl Frampton headlined Belfast bills generated a loss.

Barry McGuigan denied allegations he and Cyclone Promotions ‘manipulated’ figures when it came to Carl Frampton’s Belfast fights on Day 12 of court proceedings brought against the former world champion by ‘The Jackal’.

While cross examining the Irish boxing legend, Counsel for Frampton brought ticket sales, sponsorship deals and purses for some of the Cyclone Promotions promoted Belfast shows under scrutiny.

Frampton’s legal team questioned McGuigan with regard to Frampton’s second fight against Kiko Martinez. In 2014 the Belfast favourite challenged the Spaniard for the IBF super bantamweight world title in a purpose built arena.

A crowd of 16,000 turned up at the Titanic Quarter. The Belfast High Court heard tickets worth just over £1m in total were available for the fight, excluding 855 complimentary seats provided to Cyclone Promotions.

Sales at the venue were said to have been £485,000, with the company having £557,000 worth of the tickets.

Referring to figures given for the contest, Counsel for Frampton Mr Millar said a loss of £120,000 was reported on declared income of £1.3m.

The loss was attributed to figures given for sales and expenses, as well as a refusal to allocate £333,000 as sponsorship, suggested Mr Millar.

“You manipulated the figures to make it look like this fight was loss-making, when in fact it wasn’t,” the barrister put it to McGuigan.

Former World champion McGuigan replied: “No, we didn’t manipulate the figures, no.”

When told there are no contemporaneous accounting documents for the fight, he said: “I can’t help you with that, you may ask the accountants.”

Up to 12 private sector businesses were involved in sponsoring the show, but only one paid money the court was told.

“We tried very hard, we did everything we could to get sponsorship, but it’s very difficult to come by these days, it’s just nigh-on impossible unless you’re Anthony Joshua,” Mr McGuigan said.

Mr Millar then said: “Your evidence on this is not true, and you did receive sponsorship income, and you’re just trying to keep it out of the accounting for this fight for the purposes of these proceedings.”

“That is not true,” was Frampton’s former managers response.

Frampton brought a case against his firmer manager for loss of earnings of up to £6 million.

In a counter-suit, Mr McGuigan is claiming against the Belfast-born boxer for breach of contract.

Both men deny the respective allegations against them.

The case continues.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com