CARL FRAMPTON and his team are boycotting the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards this weekend because of the Ulsterman’s inexplicable snub from the shortlist.
The BBC confirmed the 16-person shortlist a few weeks ago, with the winner to be announced tomorrow [December 18], but Frampton was not included.
Despite a standout 2016 during which he unified super-bantamweight titles before becoming a two-weight world champion against Leo Santa Cruz, Frampton’s achievements have not been recognised by the BBC and his mentor, Barry McGuigan, is understandably upset.
“Frampton and Shane [McGuigan, Barry’s son and Frampton’s trainer] are in the running for fighter of the year and trainer of the year, despite the fact the BBC thought – in all their wisdom – not to put Carl in the shortlist for Personality of the Year,” he told Boxing News.
“After unifying the super-bantamweight world titles and then moving up and winning the featherweight title, beating an unbeaten three-weight world champion in his home country, and they still didn’t nominate them.”
McGuigan won the coveted prize in 1985 after his historic win over Eusebio Pedraza – claiming the same belt Frampton beat Santa Cruz for – and last year he presented the award to eventual winner Andy Murray.
However he and the rest of Team Frampton will not attend the awards in Birmingham tomorrow in protest.
Frampton made history when he beat Santa Cruz as he became the first boxer from Northern Ireland to hold world titles in two weight classes. It was also one of the fights of the year and Carl was a slight underdog heading into the New York clash, making his win one of the best British performances on foreign soil in history.
Prior to that he outpointed domestic rival Scott Quigg in a high-profile February encounter to unify the WBA and IBF super-bantamweight titles.
Frampton’s in-ring achievements have all but secured him Fighter of the Year honours among the boxing community, and he was given that award by the British Boxing Board of Control earlier in the year while Shane McGuigan was named the Boxing News Trainer of the Year.
“It’s a shame, I’m disgusted with them and we’re boycotting the awards for that reason. I’m so disappointed in them,” Barry continued.
“Especially as a former winner. What Carl’s done is phenomenal and for him to not be recognised for that is shameful.
“The other great highlight is the two of them winning trainer of the year and fighter of the year at the British Boxing Board of Control awards. Obviously you want to be an example to your peers, so that was very, very important to us.”
Double Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams is the only boxer on this year’s shortlist, though she is an outsider to win, with tennis star Murray hot favourite to claim the trophy for a second year running. The winner is decided by a public vote.
Last year Tyson Fury made the shortlist for his huge win over Wladimir Klitschko though there were calls for him to be removed after controversial comments he had made about homosexuals and women came to light.