Shane McGuigan brushes off corner criticsm

Shane McGuigan is not bothered by the flak he is receiving from some quarters in the aftermath of Carl Frampton’s first career loss.

The Jackal’s trainer came in for some criticism following the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, with some commentators disagreeing with his tactics and corner direction.

Frampton would lose his WBA featherweight title via majority decision to Léo Santa Cruz, struggling with the Mexican-American’s change in tactics.

Perhaps the most notable detraction came from the Sky Sports studio – indeed this may have lit the touch paper among observers – with Johnny Nelson leading the criticism.

Nelson was unimpressed with Shane McGuigan’s cornerwork during the fight, and the former cruiserweight world champion said in studio that “I’m a bit disappointed with Carl’s corner and I say this as a big fan of Shane McGuigan. I didn’t think the corner was very helpful. We heard every round what Carl was doing wrong but we weren’t actually told what he needed to actually do. I found that very frustrating.”

28 year old McGuigan is paying no heed to this criticism, and told the Belfast Telegraph that “I know that Johnny Nelson gave me some stick but I know what I was saying in the corner, I know the advice I was giving and what I wanted Carl to do.”

“I told him to stop loading up in the inside, I wanted to see him use his speed more. He became a bit too predictable, walking into hard shots and got caught far too square.”

“I was telling him it in the corner, that he was looking for far too much power and he needed to let the hands go but he seemed to just feel a bit off and he was trying to force it too much.”

On the fight itself, the Battersea-based coach noted how it was an imperfect performance from Frampton, and described how “it’s very disappointing. I thought the problem was that Carl’s feet were not very fast, he was a little bit off. He lost the first round badly and after that I felt he was knocked completely off his game plan.”

“I didn’t think he boxed anywhere near his best and I believe that if we get him in the trilogy that he can win the fight, no doubt about it.”

“It wasn’t Carl’s best performance, if he had used more head movement then it would have been different. He’s much better than what he showed and we didn’t see what he had been doing in camp.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: