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Carl Frampton slams Team Warrington for sparring skullduggery

Carl Frampton has blasted Team Warrington for trying to break one of boxing’s golden rules and ‘The Jackal’ suggests that his opponent is “frightened” ahead of their clash this weekend.

The Belfast featherweight challenges the IBF champion at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night, live on BT Sport Box Office and ESPN+, and has accused Warrington’s father and trainer of dirty tactics.

Frampton [26(15)-1(0)] claims that Sean O’Hagan attempted to get inside information from the Irishman’s sparring partners at the VIP Gym in Astley.

The two-weight world champion revealed to the Daily Star that “I did sparring the other week, 10 rounds but with two different guys and the kid I did the last five rounds with, there was a guy working his corner and Josh’s dad knows him.

“They phoned him looking for info, saying, ‘What’s Frampton looking like?’.”

“That’s just something you don’t do. It sounds like they are a bit frightened.”

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The young guns pushing me hard #WarringtonFrampton

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Note: It is not clear whether the incident Frampton is referring to is the pictured sparring session with upcoming debutants Aqib Fiaz and Lewis Sylvester

Warrington’s team attempting to gain information of Frampton’s preparations does not sound good.

Showing how interconnected the British and Irish boxing scene is, the VIP Gym where Frampton trains is actually owned by Steve Wood, manager of Warrington [27(6)-0].

Coach Jamie Moore had said earlier in the camp that he had come to a gentleman’s agreement with Wood, whose offices are in the same facilty, for the fight boss not to watch any of Frampton’s training or sparring – a message which seemingly did not extend to O’Hagan.

READ: Spying ban put in place for Warrington-Frampton

Of course, in the build-up to Frampton’s WBA featherweight title challenge of Leo Santa Cruz in New York back in 2016 there was some sparring scandal.

The Tiger’s Bay boxer’s old manager, Barry McGuigan, would go public about their “secret weapon” – a fighter that had been involved in five fight camps with Santa Cruz, Jerobe Santana.

The Clones Cyclone described how “we have been working very hard and have been using a guy who was in a camp with Santa Cruz for five different camps.”

“This kid is really, really brilliant and he is a 130lb boxer, top five in Europe, fantastic talent and our preparation has been unbelievable.

It should be noted, though, that Santana wasn’t in the Santa Cruz camp at the time.

READ Chris McKenna’s interview with Carl Frampton in full


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie