‘I don’t know how I could have handled his career better’ – McGuigan denies ‘slave contract’ allegations

Barry McGuigan today rejected claims he had Carl Frampton tied to a ‘slave contract,’ as the case involving the former world champions continued in the High Court on Tuesday.

QC for Frampton in the case raised questions around the fighter manager contract and alleged McGuigan had ‘The Jackal’ ‘handcuffed’ in a bid to prevent him for exploring other promotional options.

McGuigan rejected allegation insisting: “We never tried to pull the wool over Carl Frampton’s eyes, ever.”

As his cross-examination continued on day twelve of the case, McGuigan was pressed on an International Promotional Agreement (IPA) signed in 2015 – two years before the split.

The court heard the deal involved the rights to Frampton’s fights for three years, and could potentially be extended by two years.

Gavin Millar QC, counsel for Frampton suggested a clause stopped his client exploring promotional options.

“You might as well have put the handcuffs on him,” he said

McGuigan insisted the contract allowed for the boxer to work with other promoters.

“He got the very best fights available to him and he got the best money,” he said.

Counsel for Frampton then suggested the fighter was caught in a ‘slave contract’.

Prompting McGuigan to reply: “That’s a nonsense comment if you look at what happened with his career.

“Look at the opportunities he had, look at the success he had and the amount of money he made, that is a ridiculous comment.”

Asked if promotional options should have been explored once Frampton became world champion

McGuigan again replied “ridiculous” and pointed to how he guided the boxer to that point.

“He got the very best fights out there in the super-bantamweight division, avoided the danger men and got wonderful opportunities and made lots of money.

“I don’t know how I could have handled his career better, I really don’t.”

Again it was questioned as to whether other options should have been explored and alleged that McGuigan feared Frampton might be tempted by a bigger name promoter.

“It worked both ways,” Mr McGuigan answered.

“Obviously we gave him the best opportunity, but I’m not sitting here and saying we didn’t want to be protected ourselves given the efforts we put in too.”

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.

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