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Police investigating firebombing of popular Dublin boxing gym

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The gym housed MTK fighters and top boxing coach Pete Taylor, father of Katie Taylor.

Daily Life In Dublin
FILE PHOTO - A Garda car passes in front of Leinster House in Dublin. On January 10, 2020, in Dublin, Ireland.
Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

According to the Irish Mirror a popular boxing gym in the Ballyfermot area of Dublin was hit with firebombs on Monday night. That outlet reports that Colosseum Gym was home to top boxing trainer Peter Taylor, who — over the past few months — had been training fighters who are represented by MTK Global.

The Garda, Ireland’s national police force, are investigating the attack, which saw gas-filled bottles launched at the building. Fortunately, no one was inside during the bombing.

Taylor, father of 15-0 undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor, reportedly moved to Colosseum Gym after a shooting at his old gym in the town of Bray. That shooting happened on June 5, 2018 and resulted in the death of Bobby Messet, 50. Taylor and another man were wounded in the assault.

Gerard Cervi was arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection to that shooting.

Reports in Ireland alleged that Taylor was the target of the attack. The Irish Times claimed that detectives believed Taylor had been, “drawn into a dispute by drug dealers from west Dublin who decided to shoot him over a personal grudge.”

New reports in Ireland are associating the firebombing with MTK Global’s alleged connections to organized crime, through its co-founder Daniel Kinahan.

Kinahan has been named in Ireland as the leader of the Kinahan Cartel, a $1 billion drug and weapons trafficking organization. He founded MTK (then called Macklin’s Gym Marbella) with former professional boxer Matthew Macklin.

What was once just a boxing gym in southern Spain is now a boxing management and promotion company that represents Tyson Fury, Carl Frampton, Jamie Conlan, Michael Conlan, Billy Joe Saunders and many other boxers. The company also represents UFC welterweight Darren Till.

In 2014 there was a shooting at the original MTK gym in Marbella (per The Ring). That incident saw multiple gunmen open fire in the gym, shooting British boxer Jamie Moore twice in the leg. Moore had been at the gym helping Macklin prepare for an upcoming bout.

In 2016 gunmen attacked an MTK boxing show weigh-in at Dublin’s Regency Hotel. That shooting resulted in the death of David Byrne, who reports named as a top Kinahan Cartel lieutenant. It is believed that the attack was carried out by the Hutch Gang and that Daniel Kinahan was their intended target.

That attack is thought to be an act of retaliation by the Hutch Gang for a failed assassination attempt against their alleged leader Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, and the killings of multiple Hutch family members.

After the Regency Hotel shooting Kinahan moved to Dubai. There he has worked to transform his image into that of a legitimate boxing power broker. Last month it was announced that he had joined Bahrain’s KHK Sports as a special advisor. It was then announced that KHK had formed a partnership with MTK. Prior to this MTK had tried to distance itself from Kinahan, claiming that the reported mob boss was no longer involved with the company (despite various figures saying he was still working with MTK fighters).