Irish Primer Minister Leo Varadkar has called on broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sports to boycott the recently announced super-fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua (per The Telegraph). Varadkar’s opposition to the fight is due to the involvement of Daniel Kinahan, who the Premier’s government described as a “well-known crime boss.”
When Tyson Fury announced he had signed a contract to fight Anthony Joshua twice next year (after he satisfies his contractual obligation to fight Deontay Wilder), he said that Daniel Kinahan was instrumental in getting this deal done.
In recent months Kinahan has attempted to rebrand himself as a boxing power broker, especially in the middle east. Last month it was announced that Kinahan had joined KHK Sports as a special advisor. KHK is owned by the royal family of Bahrain.
After he joined KHK it was announced that KHK was partnering with Irish boxing promoter MTK Globa, which represents Tyson Fury and other top boxers. MTK also manages some MMA fighters including Darren Till (a longtime friend of Kinahan). Kinahan co-founded MTK, but in recent years MTK has claimed Kinahan was no longer involved with the company (despite evidence suggesting otherwise).
Irish courts, media and now politicians name Kinahan as the leader of the Kinahan Criminal Organization, a $1 billion drug and gun smuggling empire that was reportedly founded by Kinahan’s father Christy Kinahan.
Since 2015 the Kinahans have been involved in a bloody gang war with the Hutch Gang. That started when alleged Kinahan members killed Gary Hutch in Spain. Hutch was the nephew of Hutch Gang leader Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch. Since then there have been at least 20 killings in Ireland and Spain connected to the feud.
In 2016 suspected Hutch Gang gunmen attacked a boxing weigh-in at Dublin’s Regency Hotel. In that shooting David Byrne, an alleged top Kinahan lieutenant, was killed. It is believed that Daniel Kinahan was the target of the attack. Kinahan moved to Dubai shortly after that attack.
According to The Telegraph Varadkar and his government have reached out to authorities in the United Arab Emirates to discuss Kinahan. The Irish government has also contacted its UK counterpart to express its “outrage” over Kinahan’s involvement in what has been billed as the biggest match in British boxing history.
“I think it would be entirely appropriate for sporting organizations and media organizations to have nothing to do with this,” said Varadkar, “Maybe they don’t know the facts or they don’t know the truth. But they need to know them, and I wouldn’t like to see them giving it any attention at all given the circumstances.”