Boxer Carl Frampton settles legal battle with ex-manager Barry McGuigan

Both men denied any wrongdoing throughout the case at Belfast High Court

Barry McGuigan and Carl Frampton in 2011. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Presseye/Inpho

Barry McGuigan and Carl Frampton in 2011. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Presseye/Inpho

 

Former world champion boxer Carl Frampton has settled his multimillion pound legal battle with former manager Barry McGuigan.

All litigation and counterclaims were stayed on confidential terms at the High Court in Belfast.

The action ended after 19 days of evidence on the breakdown of a once-close relationship between the two men.

Mr Frampton (33) sued Mr McGuigan for alleged withheld earnings from big bouts staged in Northern Ireland, England and the United States.

He was claiming up to £6 million (€6.69 million) against Cyclone Promotions UK Ltd – of which Mr McGuigan was a director – over purse fees, broadcasting rights, ticket sales and merchandising.

Lawyers for the Belfast fighter alleged that he had been signed up to a “slave contract”.

In a counter suit, Mr McGuigan claimed a one-time protege he had treated like a son was in breach of contract by quitting his Cyclone organisation in August 2017.

Both men denied any wrongdoing throughout the case.

A resolution in their acrimonious legal dispute was reached following the discovery of more than 10,000 emails potentially relevant to the case.

The court was previously told the electronic messages had either been lost or deleted from the Cyclone account.

But in an unexpected development, it emerged that masses of archived emails were found on the company’s systems last week.

Proceedings were adjourned to allow a “mammoth” trawl through the material.

Mr Justice Huddleston was then notified last night that a settlement had been reached by consent.

An order drawn up on Thursday confirmed: “All further proceedings in these actions and counterclaims be stayed upon the terms set out in the signed and dated document entitled ‘Settlement of McGuigan v Frampton Litigation’.”

No direction was made on the costs of the case.

Huge success

Mr Frampton and Mr McGuigan enjoyed huge success before their eight-year partnership turned sour.

The fighter, nicknamed The Jackal for his exploits in the ring, won world titles in two different weight divisions.

He claimed, however, that Mr McGuigan promised him a 30 per cent share of profits as an incentive to end a previous promotional arrangement with boxing giant Matchroom and sign up with Northern Irish-based Cyclone, set up in 2013.

In evidence, Mr Frampton alleged he was never paid as a director of that company.

He then vowed never to fight for Mr McGuigan again after the tax authorities called at his home with a bill for nearly £400,000 (€446,000), the court was told.

The boxer’s case centred on an alleged conflict of interest over Mr McGuigan’s dual role as manager and promoter of some fights.

But any suggestion that money had been stolen from him was categorically denied.

During cross-examination it was put to the fighter that he was no “little boy lost”, instead having a major say in what his purses would be. Mr McGuigan had sacrificed the chance to make a fortune out of Mr Frampton’s title contests in the US for the boxer’s own good, it was claimed.

The court also heard how the atmosphere between the two men in their final days working together was described as “toxic”.

In his evidence Mr McGuigan denied ever promising a 30 per cent profit cut or concealing money from the fighter.

He repeatedly stressed how the fighter was among the best-paid ever in his division, and explained that he treated him “like he was one of my boys”. Ultimately, however, a resolution was reached on all areas of dispute without the need for any judicial determination.