“They’ve distanced themselves from our sport” – Barry McGuigan blasts BBC

Irish – and indeed World – boxing legend Barry McGuigan claims the BBC have become ‘anti professional boxing’ in the past decade

The Clones Cyclone hasn’t held back after finding out the leading light of his Cyclone Promotions stable, Carl Frampton, wasn’t included on a 16 person shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The sixteen sportspeople nominated are:
Nicola Adams – Boxing
Gareth Bale – Football
Alistair Brownlee – Triathlon
Sophie Christiansen – Equestrian
Kadeena Cox – Athletics/Cycling
Mo Farah – Athletics
Jason Kenny – Cycling
Laura Kenny – Cycling
Andy Murray – Tennis
Adam Peaty – Swimming
Kate Richardson-Walsh – Hockey
Nick Skelton – Equestrian
Sarah Storey – Cycling
Jamie Vardy – Football
Max Whitlock – Gymnastics
Danny Willett – Golf

Like the fighter himself, McGuigan, who has since said he will boycott the ceremony, was shocked by ‘The Jackal’s’ omission in a year that saw him become Ireland’s first ever unified World champion by beating Scott Quigg in Manchester before becoming only Ireland’s second two weight World champion by defeating Leo Santa Cruz in a Fight of the Year candidate under the international spotlight in New York.

The former World featherweight titlist, who himself won the award in 1985, admits his fellow Irish fight legend was never going to be favoured to win the prestigious yearly gong, but claims the fact he never made the shortlist is ‘appalling.’

“There’s an attitude at the BBC that if you’re not already in their sights, you’re not even looked at,” McGuigan told The Irish Post. “They’re anti-professional boxing, simple as.”

“Then they say ‘oh, but we picked Joe Calzaghe over Ricky Hatton in 2007’, but the bottom line is: that was nine years ago and they’ve distanced themselves from our sport since then – to their shame as far as I am concerned.”

“It’s the BBC’s typical apathetic view of other sports, particularly ones they’re not involved in and that’s exactly what they’ve done.”

“So it is just typical of them that they would not shortlist Carl after the phenomenal achievements he has achieved this year, and as far as I am concerned, it’s a downright insult to us.”

The Monaghan man is picking Andy Murray to emerge victorious for the second year running, but felt the honour of a nomination should have been given to Frampton. McGuigan outlined how “we knew he wasn’t going to win the thing because it is Andy Murray’s to lose, but the fact that Carl Frampton wasn’t even shortlisted is nothing short of appalling.”

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