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McGuigan feared he had 'damaged Frampton's career' after splitting from Hearn's promotion company, court told

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Carl Frampton and Barry McGuigan

Carl Frampton and Barry McGuigan

Carl Frampton and Barry McGuigan

Barry McGuigan allegedly "panicked" that he may have damaged star boxer Carl Frampton's career by severing ties with a rival promoter, the High Court was told on Tuesday.

Mr McGuigan's former personal assistant claimed his own demands and a desire to be involved in staging the Belfast fighter's contests led to them parting company with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom organisation.

Disputed assertions were also made that Mr McGuigan once accepted £1,000 in cash to put two other boxers on the bill at one of Mr Frampton's big hometown shows.

The allegations emerged on day eight of their multi-million pound courtroom battle.

Mr Frampton, a 33-year-old former two-weight world champion, is suing his ex-manager for alleged withheld earnings during their eight-year partnership.

His case involves claims against Cyclone Promotions UK Ltd - of which Mr McGuigan was a director - over purse fees, broadcasting rights, ticket sales and merchandising.

A counter lawsuit has been filed against the boxer, accusing him of breach of contact when he split from the company in 2017.

Both men deny the respective allegations against them.

Nicknamed 'The Jackal' for his exploits in the ring, some of Mr Frampton's early wins had been promoted by Matchroom.

But according to Cherri Norman, one-time personal assistant to Mr McGuigan, that arrangement ended in 2013 because "Barry was pushing for too much" for himself.

"That was the year everything went a bit strange," she said.

Mrs Norman claimed Mr McGuigan wanted to "co-produce" bouts, and that negotiations with Matchroom became "quite stressful".

"They could agree on Carl's purse and what Carl needed, (but) they couldn't agree on what Barry wanted," she alleged.

"Barry seemed to be asking for too much."

The split from Matchroom came as Mr McGuigan attempted to find out more about income streams, the court was told.

"I remember Barry, it was probably the only time I saw him a little bit panicked," Mrs Norman said.

"He was worried that he may have done something quite bad for Carl's career.

"I think Matchroom could see there was a conflict between Barry's role as manager and what he was trying to obviously get for himself."

Under cross-examination by Liam McCollum QC, for Mr McGuigan, she confirmed that she had not attended any meetings involving anyone from Matchroom.

Mr McCollum further asked: "Were you ever present at any discussions about Eddie Hearn?"

She replied: "No."

Mrs Norman said she worked for the McGuigan family at their Kent offices between 2007 and 2015, leaving after what was described as an "acrimonious fall out".

She also claimed a £2,000 loss was put down after one fight in 2013 which had made a profit.

However, Mr McCollum was emphatic that her version of events was wrong.

"The figures sent in to the BBBC (British Boxing Board of Control), I'm telling you they were not put in as a loss," he told her.

The action centres on an alleged conflict of interest between Mr McGuigan's dual role as manager and promoter.

Mr Frampton further claims he never received a 30% profit share promised to him when he signed up as a director of another Northern Irish-based Cyclone company.

During evidence the former PA said Mr McGuigan's wife, Sandra, became agitated when the boxer expressed an interest in getting a new accountant in Northern Ireland.

"She made it clear that wasn't going to happen," Mrs Norman said.

Later, Belfast promoter Mark Dunlop told the court about an alleged meeting with Mr McGuigan at a boxing club before Mr Frampton's bout with French fighter Jeremy Parodi at the city's Odyssey Arena in October 2013.

He claimed there was a £1,000 arrangement to get two boxers on the undercard.

"He asked me to give it to him outside," Mr Dunlop said.

But Mr McCollum put it to him: "In terms of the suggestion of the £1,000, Mr McGuigan has no memory whatsoever of any such arrangement.

"From what you're saying you approached him and asked him 'Would you let the fighters on for £1,000?'".

Mr Dunlop replied: "Yes, it was my suggestion, to get the fighters a slot on the show."

The hearing continues.

Belfast Telegraph