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Frampton waited 10 months for £1m payout, court is told

Boxer 'switched to a Belfast-based accountant to look after his money'

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Court action: Carl Frampton and his wife Christine yesterday

Court action: Carl Frampton and his wife Christine yesterday

Photopress Belfast

Court action: Carl Frampton and his wife Christine yesterday

Carl Frampton had to wait nearly 10 months for his promoters to hand him a million pound payout from one of his world title fights, the High Court has heard.

On day 18 of the legal battle between former world champions Barry McGuigan and Mr Frampton, questions were raised as to why it took the Belfast boxer so long to receive his cut from the £2m generated by the lucrative bout with Scott Quigg in 2016.

Promoter Blain McGuigan, Barry's eldest son, however, defended the delay in payment, putting it down to accounting problems on Mr Frampton's part.

He also could not account for items of expenditure in upmarket New York fashion stores after another fight later that year, when questioned by Gavin Miller QC during the hearing.

Mr Frampton (33), a dual-weight world boxing champion, is suing Barry McGuigan and the family-owned Cyclone Promotions for £6m in alleged withheld earnings.

In a counter-suit, Barry McGuigan (59) is counter claiming against his one-time protege for breach of contract when he ended their partnership in 2017.

Both men deny the respective allegations against them.

As Blain McGuigan's cross-examination continued yesterday, Mr Millar, acting for Mr Frampton, demanded to know why it took so long for money from the Quigg fight - which the Tigers Bay boxer won to add the WBA super-bantamweight title to the IBF crown he already owned - to be paid when the Manchester bout was in February.

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Cross-examination: Blain McGuigan was questioned about company expenses

Cross-examination: Blain McGuigan was questioned about company expenses

Photopress Belfast

Cross-examination: Blain McGuigan was questioned about company expenses

Cylone, in conjunction with co-promoters Matchroom, received just over £1.5m in July of that year, with a further £580,000 coming through ticket sales and overseas television deals, the court heard.

Blain McGuigan said arrangements with Matchroom had to be sorted out first, a situation Mr Frampton was "completely relaxed about". According to the barrister, however a disagreement had been developing throughout 2016, with Mr Frampton eventually switching to a Belfast-based accountant to look after his financial interests.

"This is all a complete cover for the fact that you wanted to hold on to that money for as long as you could to have the benefit of that money," Mr Millar suggested.

But Mr McGuigan insisted Cyclone had no need to withhold any earnings when it had other successful shows and TV deals at the time.

During the hearing it emerged that £75,000 had been allocated as expenses for the Quigg fight in Manchester's Arena.

Mr Millar said that this was part of an attempt to reduce the level of profits, without supporting invoices. "You have inflated the expenses beyond what can be justified," he alleged, to which Mr McGuigan replied: "I disagree. There were a huge amount of expenses around this fight, it was a massive event, a 19,000-seater indoor arena with a huge amount of build-up, promotional work around that, multiple press conferences in different countries."

Amid claims that Cyclone tried to maximise deductions before paying Mr Frampton, he replied that the company "fought tooth and nail" to cut costs submitted by Matchroom.

"Carl would have lost a large amount of money, £175,000 of the overall income, if we hadn't done that," he said.

Mr Justice Huddleston was told the boxer's training camp expenses and fees of up to £42,000 for sanctioning the Quigg contest were "knocked off".

Referring to another Mr Frampton fight in 2016, the featherweight title bout with Mexican Leo Santa Cruz in New York, the barrister questioned expenses incurred on that trip.

Mr Millar said: "They include for example, on July 25, 2016, expenditure at La Perla (an up-market lingerie store). How could that be a fight expense?" to which Mr McGuigan replied: "I don't know".

Mr Millar continued: "And then on August 2, Bloomingdales New York £170.66. This is after the fight. How could that be a fight expense?"

Mr McGuigan replied: "I don't know. This wasn't charged to Mr Frampton, just to be clear about that".

In response Mr Millar said: "We don't know because he was never given an itemised breakdown in December 2016 of what made up the sums on that document. We didn't get a breakdown of these figures".

Mr McGuigan replied: "We do know. There would have been legitimate expenses in there - travel, cost of his strength and conditioning trainer, his coaches, a lot of obvious expenses."

Mr Millar added: "August 11, 10 days after the fight, Stuart Weitzman... a high end women's shoe retailer in New York."

To which Mr McGuigan replied: "I'm not familiar with that".

Mr Millar then queried another expense item from the document in evidence, saying: "August 12, Sunspan tanning £23. Any idea what that is?"

Mr McGuigan again replied that he didn't.

The case continues.

Belfast Telegraph


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