Daniel Kinahan’s notoriety is soaring. Just last week heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury publicly thanked Kinahan for his role in setting up a deal for two fights with Anthony Joshua. Kinahan is a special advisor to Bahrain’s KHK Sports, which is partnered with Irish boxing promoter MTK Global. MTK, which was co-founded by Kinahan, manages Fury as well as Billy Joe Saunders, Jamie Conlan and the UFC’s Darren Till.
Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn told The Times of London that Fury and his two promoters (Bob Arum at Top Rank and Frank Warren at Queensbury Promotions), told him he needed to negotiate with Kinahan to make these fights happen.
Kinahan’s involvement in what will be billed as the biggest British boxing match in history has drawn the ire of Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who asked boxing broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport to boycott the proposed fights.
Varadkar asked that media boycott the fight because his government considers Kinahan a “well-known crime boss”. Former Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring echoed Varadkar’s concerns over Kinahan’s involvement.
“I have seen what a criminal gang named in open court as the Kinahan organization has done to the north inner city of Dublin — and what they have done should never be forgotten,” said Ring (per The Irish Sun).
“People in professional boxing should take a look at themselves and who they are dealing with. I would not only invite [Tyson] Fury and the people involved in this over to Dublin to see the devastation that has been caused here, I would also invite them to give some of their massive profits to anti-drug schemes around the world.”
Though KHK, MTK and many boxing luminaries contend that Kinahan is a legit boxing power broker, Irish media, courts and politicians continue to label him leader of the Kinahan organized crime group — a $1 billion drug and arms trafficking operation that is responsible for numerous murders in Ireland and Spain.
Today The Irish Sun reports that Kinahan, who relocated to Dubai after a failed assassination attempt in 2016, remains a ‘person of interest’ in at least three murder plots directed against members of the Hutch Gang.
The Kinahans and the Hutch Gang have been embroiled in a bloody gang war since Gary Hutch was executed by suspected Kinahan members in the south of Spain in 2015. Since then a number of Hutch family members and associates have been gunned down.
In this latest report the Irish Sun claimed that investigators from the Garda National Drugs and Organized Crime Bureau suspect that Kinahan used an encrypted phone to procure the services of Estonian hitman Imre Arakas.
Arakas, whose nickname is ‘The Butcher’, was arrested at a Kinahan safe house in Dublin in 2017. During his arrest an officer was able to take a picture of messages on Arakas’ phone before they were remotely deleted. A list of Hutch associates’ names was found Arakas’ possession.
It is believed one of Arakas’ targets was James ‘Mago’ Gately. Gately, who Irish media name as a top Hutch associate, survived an assassination attempt in north Dublin in 2017, despite being shot five times.
Reportedly, Kinahan is also suspected of communicating with Liam Brannigan over a plot to kill Gary Hanley in 2017. In February Brannigan was sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiracy to murder Hanley.
The third case Gardai are reportedly wanting to speak to Kinahan over is the attempted murder of Gerry Hutch’s older brother Patsy Hutch in 2018. Last month Mark Capper plead guilty to helping the Kinahans plot an unsuccessful ‘execution-type’ murder of Hutch (per Irish Times).
Despite the abundance of reports naming Kinahan and his involvement in organized crime, some of the most powerful people in boxing continue to defend their working relationships with him. On Ireland’s Newstalk breakfast show Arum defended Kinahan’s involvement in setting up Fury vs. Joshua by saying: “In boxing, you might remind your prime minister, we’ve had situations where we’ve had athletes who were accused and convicted of major crimes, served their times and came into the sport of boxing and excelled.”