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Boxer's new management has links with Kinahan, court is told

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Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Boxer Carl Frampton's current management company has links with a suspected crime boss, the Belfast High Court has heard.

As the boxer's multi-­million pound legal battle with ex-manager Barry McGuigan continued, he was challenged about any connections between his new representatives and Dubliner Daniel Kinahan.

Counsel for Mr McGuigan, Liam McCollum QC, put it to Mr Frampton that MTK Global could be seen as a "front" for a criminal organisation.

"I'm not aware of that," the boxer replied.

When it was claimed that one of those allegedly involved with MTK was Kinahan, a suspected crime boss, he said: "I've heard the stories … I don't suspect anything."

Later, he added: "I don't make judgments.

"Do you believe everything you read in the papers?"

The Belfast fighter is seeking up to £6m (€6.5m) in alleged withheld earnings during his eight-year partnership with Mr McGuigan.

His action 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 Mr Frampton for alleged breach of contract when he split from the company in 2017.

Both men deny the respective allegations against them.

Earlier, the court heard Mr Frampton allegedly saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by under-declaring payments he received for US fights.

The former world champion was told it amounted to false accounting, which would be classed as a criminal offence in the UK.

As cross-examination continued, he was probed about earnings from his first fight against Leo Santa Cruz in New York in July 2016, when he defeated the Mexican to claim the world featherweight title.

The court heard that his purse for the bout was $1.5m (€1.27m), but that only $500,000 (€423,000) was declared.

According to Mr McCollum, it was Mr Frampton who wanted to put in the lower ­figure.

In reply, the boxer insisted it had been a joint decision, based on advice from his ­former manager.

But Mr McCollum maintained: "You were the one who wanted it brought down as much as possible because you were the beneficiary of it.

"That actually saved you $300,000.

"When you signed the document for that purse, you knew that signing a document saying your purse was $500,000 was a lie."

Mr Frampton replied: "I knew that, but my team also knew that."

The case continues.

Irish Independent