Shane McGuigan believes Carl Frampton has to admit he had his best wins under the coach’s guidance.
During his time working with the young trainer, Frampton won Celtic, Commonwealth and European titles before winning the IBF title with victory over Kiko Martinez, twice defending it, and proceeding to unify the WBA title in a grudge match with England’s Scott Quigg. A move up in weight to win WBA featherweight title against Leo Santa Cruz followed and the exploits made Frampton the consensus 2016 Fighter of the Year.
He suffered a rematch defeat to Santa Cruz in 2017 and split from McGuigan and Cyclone Promotions in the aftermath of his Andreas Guttierez comeback disaster. Under the guidance of Jamie Moore, ‘The Jackal’ claimed to have the most enjoyable years of his career and did beat future Hall of Fame fighter Nonito Donaire – but suffered defeats to Josh Warrington and Jermel Herring as he sought further world honours.
Speaking to Tris Dixon’s Boxing Life Stories Podcast recently, McGuigan, who also spent time coaching Anthony Cacace and Conrad Cummings, said Frampton had more success under his watch.
“I would never have done anything different with Carl Frampton’s career,” he said. “His best wins were underneath me. Josh Taylor, I believe his best wins are going to be underneath me. All the fighters that have left and moved on, they all have to look back at their careers and say you know what I was in the best condition, I was having my best wins when I was with those people.”
McGuigan and Frampton were groomsmen at each other’s wedding but now currently have no relationship. While the two-weight world champ admitted on the James English podcast that “Shane is a very good trainer,” he also said of the McGuigans that “I have a deep hatred for them now; all of them. And I wouldn’t fucking piss on them if they were on fire.”
The pair have rarely been in contact since the split in 2017 although they did come face to face last Summer when Frampton was in the corner for his fellow Belfast man, Tommy McCarthy, when he fought the McGuigan-trained Chris Billam Smith.
Frampton, who took Cyclone to court, left the McGuigan camp for reasons other than training methods but has since said he felt he sparred too much while at the McGuigan Gym, something the young coach refutes.
“Carl might label it that he was doing 220 rounds but he wasn’t, he would have done 220 rounds in the camp because he was walking in so heavy and I would put him in with guys that were amateurs, big gloves on them and he could have done eight round with that level of opposition blindfolded. They weren’t live rounds, he might have had 100 or 120 live rounds, which is still a lot for a camp. The 220, we labelled it that to tell everyone this guy is so fit and so sharp.”
Reflecting on the fallout with his former friend and fighter he adds: “it was unavoidable. I think we did a fantastic job.”