Carl Frampton's partnership with Barry McGuigan 'may be close to ending'

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Carl Frampton's partnership with Barry McGuigan 'close to ending'

Carl Frampton's partnership with manager Barry McGuigan may be close to ending, BBC Sport NI understands.

Frampton's scheduled bout with Andres Gutierrez on 29 July was called off.

Frampton, 30, was one pound overweight for the bout but the contest was still scheduled to go ahead until the Mexican was injured after slipping in a shower.

When asked on Wednesday whether there was a rift in the camp and if a split was imminent, McGuigan's Cyclone Promotions declined to comment.

Frampton, meanwhile, was unavailable for comment.

After the late postponement of the 29 July bout, Frampton and McGuigan both apologised to the public but BBC Sport NI has been told by reliable sources that, behind the scenes, the relationship is beginning to unravel.

Less than 10 days before Frampton's scheduled contest with Gutierrez, the Belfast boxer resigned as a director of Cyclone Promotions.

Frampton guided by McGuigan since 2009

Frampton has been guided by McGuigan since signing a professional deal with the former world featherweight champion in 2009 and the duo's relationship had appeared exceptionally close until very recently.

The fighter is also trained by McGuigan's son Shane while the manager's wife Sandra and their other sons Blain and Jake are also heavily involved in Cyclone Promotions.

Earlier this year, there was a three-part documentary series on BBC TV, Fight Game: The McGuigans, which looked at the inner workings of Cyclone Promotions and followed closely Frampton's preparations for both his world title bouts in the US with Leo Santa Cruz.

After landing the European belt by beating Kiko Martinez in February 2013, Frampton defeated the Spaniard again 19 months later to win his first world title as he clinched the IBF super-bantamweight title.

Barry McGuigan (left) celebrates as Frampton is hoisted into the air by trainer Shane McGuigan after his victory over Leo Santa Cruz in New York a year ago
Carl Frampton is trained by Barry McGuigan's son Shane

Frampton added the WBA belt to the IBF crown in February 2016 as he overcame England's Scott Quigg in one of three successful world super-bantamweight title defences before defeating Leo Santa Cruz in New York to win the WBA featherweight title just over a year ago.

That sensational win made him Northern Ireland's first ever two-weight world champion and he was later named boxer of 2016 by both Ring Magazine and ESPN.

However, Santa Cruz avenged his New York defeat as he beat Frampton in Las Vegas to regain the WBA featherweight title last January.

After six months out of the ring, Frampton was supposed to fight Gutierrez in his home town just over two weeks ago but the Mexican's slip in his shower ultimately saw that fight being called out at the 11th hour after the Belfast man had been one pound overweight on the scales earlier in the day.

Frampton looked uncomfortable as he and McGuigan were jointly interviewed following the bizarre series of events which led to the cancellation of the Gutierrez contest.

BBC Sport NI understands that the postponement of the contest put added pressure on an already strained relationship and the expectation now is that Frampton will attempt to leave Cyclone Promotions.

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