A couple of weeks ago Daniel Kinahan—who Irish courts, politicians and media name as a ‘well-known’ mob boss—looked on course to transform his image from a suspected underworld kingpin to one of international boxing’s major players. However, after the government of Ireland got involved those plans seemed to have been severely damaged.
BoxingScene reported yesterday that Tyson Fury and Bob Arum, two key figures who have recently worked to elevate Kinahan’s status in boxing, would not be working with the alleged leader of the $1 billion drug and gun trafficking operation sometimes refered to as the Kinahan Cartel.
Arum told the Daily Telegraph of his decision to no longer work with Kinahan; someone he’d previously championed as a special advisor and facilitator in Top Rank’s deal with MTK Global.
“Over the weekend I’ve had a lot of conversations with Tyson Fury and what we both decided is that myself, Top Rank and Fury will do all negotiations for fights in the future,” said Arum. Previously it was revealed that Fury’s deal to fight Anthony Joshua was negotiated by Kinahan.
“Whether it’s for Joshua or Wilder or anybody else. We’ve informed Eddie Hearn about that. He knows where to go for the negotiations. Tyson and I have had long negotiations about it. That’s the way it’s going to be.
“This will eliminate a lot of confusion. We’ve talked with [Daniel Kinahan], who Tyson and I both love and admire and respect, and he understands that it’s best the negotiations on Tyson’s side be handled that way. Both Tyson and I have each discussed this with Dan and he is amenable and satisfied and wished us luck. He only wants the best for Tyson Fury.”
When Fury announced he had signed a deal to fight Anthony Joshua twice in 2021, he publicly acknowledged and thanked Kinahan for his role in the negotiations. Kinahan, at that time, was a special advisor to Bahrain’s KHK Sports. KHK were working in partnership with MTK Global, which represents Fury.
MTK was co-founded by Kinahan. However, since violence escalated between the Kinahan Cartel and the Hutch Gang, leading to a shooting at an MTK boxing show’s weigh-in at Dublin’s Regency Hotel, MTK have claimed Kinahan no longer worked with the company (despite evidence to the contrary).
Since Fury’s announcement Ireland’s top politicians have expressed their outrage at Kinahan’s involvement in what will be billed as the biggest boxing match in British history. Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar went public with his concerns regarding Kinahan, asking boxing broadcasters to boycott Fury vs. Joshua.
Varadkar also revealed that the Irish government were speaking with the United Arab Emirates government regarding Kinahan. Kinahan has reportedly been living in Dubai ever since the Regency Hotel shooting (which was believed to be a failed assassination attempt against him).
Shortly after Varadkar’s statements, KHK Sports announced that it had dropped Kinahan. Their removal of Kinahan came weeks after the company sent out a press release praising Kinahan with quotes UFC welterweight Darren Till (a long time friend of Kinahan) and boxing elites Frank Warren, Shelly Finkel, Badou Jack and Roy Jones Jr.