McGuigan plots Cyclone, Tornado course

Mark Butcher
28/02/2016 2:41pm

On a night when Cyclone Promotions’ star fighter Carl Frampton stormed to victory over long-time rival Scott Quigg, his manager Barry McGuigan was already plotting the course for his next force to be reckoned with. 

It’s perhaps fitting that the ‘Tartan Tornado’ Josh Taylor is promoted by Cyclone Promotions given their weather related monikers. A couple of hours before IBF 122lbs champion Frampton outfoxed Quigg to add the WBA crown to his collection, Taylor hinted at his significant promise with a two-round blowout of Frenchman Lyes Chaibi. 

Former Commonwealth Gold medallist Taylor (4-0, 4 KOs) has the 5ft 11ins frame, power and amateur schooling to cause a stir at 140lbs and McGuigan wants the Edinburgh hotshot to follow the tried and tested Frampton blueprint. 

“Josh Taylor is a world class kid. We’re going to be doing in Edinburgh with him what we did with this fella [points to Carl Frampton] in Belfast,” McGuigan told Boxing Monthly after ‘The Jackal’s’ split decision win before turning his thoughts to the future of Cyclone Promotions.

“We have two or three television companies who are very keen on working with us. And then we want to work with other people – it’s all about partnerships. Eddie [Hearn] has the luxury that he doesn’t have to work with anybody unless he had to like with us [for this PPV promotion]. He has got a great deal with Sky but there are others who are very keen on working with us. And it couldn’t work without [trainer son] Shane [McGuigan], [promoter sons] Blain and Jake [McGuigan] – it couldn’t work without talent like this – it has to be a confluit [flow together].

“I don’t want to make bold statements. I want it to grow naturally; that we sign quality fighters, develop kids who have real potential, crowd-pleasers, make them really successful kids. Not just inside the ring but make them good outside of the ring, too, and develop their personalities. Grow that side of them as well.”

This McGuigan family affair has gelled seamlessly, principally through Frampton and his cult following in Belfast, and now the likes of Taylor and emerging middleweight Conrad Cummings.

“If you think about it, the Duvas did it in the 1980s and 1990s back in America,” McGuigan told BM. “And we have a unique [family] service that we have a manager, trainer, promoters and so we can do the entire [boxing] thing, so that’s great. We are madly passionate about what we do, we are very good at it - it is just about getting it right.”

Trainer/son Shane ably negotiated his sternest and most pressurised test as a trainer, steering Frampton to victory, and father Barry could hardly be prouder.

“Very, very proud of him,” said the senior McGuigan. “Shane is just really good at what he does and it sounds very bumptious – but he just is. Shane grew up listening about boxing, he was a fighter himself – he won two national titles in Ireland. He decided he wasn’t going to be a pro – he could have been a great pro - but he’s a fantastic coach and he’ll only get better.

“These guys recognize the versatility he has. He can work with fighters who are aggressive, he can work with heavyweights, super-middleweights and little guys. But this guy Frampton is always going to be the jewel in the crown – he’s very special.” 

Photo: Matchroom Boxing.