Carl Frampton's freak injury is a 'disaster' for his comeback attempt: McAuley
Boxing legend Dave 'Boy' McAuley has said he has every sympathy for Carl Frampton following the freak injury that has forced The Jackal out of Saturday's comeback fight against Emmanuel Dominguez in Philadelphia.
As the Tigers Bay man was enjoying a post-training coffee in his hotel on Monday, a heavy, concrete ornament was accidentally knocked over and struck him, fracturing the fifth metacarpal on his left hand and left him in no position to fight at the weekend.
It is almost a reverse scenario from when Frampton saw a fight with Andres Gutierrez shelved the night before they were due to meet at the SSE Arena in Belfast two years ago when the Mexican slipped in the shower and was concussed.
The former two-weight world champion has now experienced misfortune from both perspectives.
That will be no consolation given he had reported last week that his training camp had gone to perfection and he was ready to silence the doubters in what could be the final phase of his career.
McAuley shares the disappointment and frustration with Frampton, who reported yesterday that this situation has resulted in a huge financial hit in terms of the training camp and a lost purse, as well as potentially derailing his plans of getting back to the top in the immediate future.
"That is just a freak accident," said former flyweight world champion McAuley, from Larne.
"Things happen in boxing and you can get hurt in the ring, but for that to happen to you less than a week before a fight is unreal.
"I feel really sorry for him because I'm sure it has cost a lot of money for him in the camp between flights, hotels, sparring partners and everything else."
Frampton had been hoping to get back to winning ways after almost nine months out of the ring following his loss to Josh Warrington in a world title fight in December, with the view to setting up another crack at world honours later in the year.
However, Monday's incident has put a huge dent in those ambitions, with Frampton reporting that the injury will take up to six weeks to heal, but McAuley has predicted that it will be a lot longer before he is able to start punching again.
"He won't be able to punch with it in six weeks; he will be out until after Christmas," he predicted.
"That will set him back because if he has broken his hand then it could set him back nearly six months, especially at this stage of his career.
"It could well be three months before he can start punching the bag or sparring again.
"I doubt that he will be able to fight before the end of the year.
"You couldn't ask for any worse - it's a disaster for him. It's really sad, but all you can do is come home and then let it heal."
In a statement released in the early hours of yesterday, Frampton expressed his huge disappointment as he prepared to return to Belfast to spend time with his family.
"I'm gutted, gutted for the people that paid their hard-earned money to make the trip to support me," he said.
"I've spent the summer away from my family training for the fight, all a waste now because of this freak accident."
McAuley can empathise with those sentiments and especially so close to a fight when all of the hard work in camp had been done.
He hopes to see Frampton back in the ring to get another chance to rule the world, but knows it will take some time to get over the disappointment of this week's events.
"He was trying to get his career back on track and then this happened," lamented Larne native McAuley.
"You would nearly start to think there is an omen there with this happening in the week of a fight because it's a real setback.
"It's just terrible luck and I feel just awful for him because he was up for this fight that he probably would have won to get him back onto the world title trail again."