Carl Frampton’s ex-manager Barry McGuigan allegedly promised him a large share of profits from a new promotions company which was never paid, the High Court has been told.
Former world champion boxer Frampton claimed that, as director of the Northern Ireland-based company, he was to receive 30% of everything it made but was subsequently told by a member of the McGuigan family that “there’s not as much money in this game as you think there is".
The Belfast man is suing Mr McGuigan, a former world champion himself, over alleged unpaid earnings prior to the pair parting company in the summer of 2017.
On day two of the hearing in Belfast, the court heard that Mr Frampton had been a designated director of Cyclone Promotions – named after Mr McGuigan’s nickname during his boxing days – in 2013.
Giving evidence the boxer, who was dressed in a dark blue pinstripe suit, white shirt and navy tie with white polka dots, stated that he was convinced to leave a rival promoter and "go his own way" with Mr McGuigan.
"Barry made it clear we would set up our own company (and) you will get 30% of the profits," the 33-year-old Tigers Bay native told the court.
He added that there was no written evidence to back up his claim because everything was done on trust.
“I never got anything in writing,” said the father-of-two.
“Everything I done with Mr McGuigan was on trust.”
Asked by his barrister Gavin Millar QC how the new venture was presented to the boxing world, he replied: "Mr McGuigan made it clear I was now part of Cyclone Promotions, not only a boxer but part of the promotions.
"The Tigers Bay native explained that the new company planned to put on a lot of shows in Northern Ireland with him topping the bill.
“They were pretty passionate about that and how successful it was going to be,” he added.
“It sounds absurd, but we were going to be big time in this boxing game.
“You have Top Rank, Eddie Hearn, there were suggestions we were going to be matching them and be big in the States as well.”
Mr Millar then asked: “In this capacity as director were any payments ever made to you as a director?"
The boxer replied: "No."
He also claimed that he received no payments as an employee of the company.
Mr Frampton, who confirmed that he didn’t ask questions about the financial management of Cyclone, recalled that he spoke to Jake McGuigan, Barry’s son, about the percentage share he was supposed to be receiving.
He also said he was told “there’s not as much money in this game as you think there is”.
Mr Frampton added: “It was always difficult to speak to Barry about money issues. Jake McGuigan was the one I was most comfortable speaking to.”
Mr Frampton’s claims against Cyclone Promotions UK Ltd, which had Mr McGuigan as a director involve broadcasting rights, ticket sales, merchandising and purses from some of the pair’s highest-profile title fights.
The Belfast boxer is facing a counter-claim in London for alleged breach of contract over his departure from Cyclone.
His lawsuit centres on an alleged conflict of interests in his former mentor’s dual role as manager and promoter.
The hearing continues.