The sport of boxing remains shaken after the US government announced sanctions against Irish national Daniel Kinahan. Kinahan, along with his father, brother, and a handful of other individuals and companies, were sanctioned for their suspected involvement in a billion dollar organized crime outfit known as the Kinahan Organised Crime Group.
Since then, MTK Global—previously one of the most powerful companies in world boxing—has folded due to intense pressure and scrutiny regarding their connections to Kinahan. Kinahan established the company that would become MTK and, despite the company claiming he had stopped working with them in 2017, he remained a close advisor to MTK’s biggest clients; including Tyson Fury, Billy Joe Saunders and the UFC’s Darren Till.
With MTK shuttered, attention has now shifted to boxing and MMA promoter Probellum. That company released a statement saying it would abide by the sanctions and not do any business involving Kinahan.
It is alleged that Probellum was set up by MTK and that a number of people involved with MTK have shifted over to Probellum.
According to MailOnline, Sky Sports, the UK’s leading satellite sports channel, is wary of doing business with anyone associated with Probellum.
That outlet claims to have seen a letter that has been circulated by promoter Boxxer. The letter states that Sky Sports will not allow any fighter to appear on their network unless they can provide assurances that they are not involved with Probellum.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum has also stated that he won’t work with Probellum because of their alleged ties to Kinahan.
Previously, Arum worked directly with Kinahan when booking fights for Tyson Fury. Fury himself revealed that Kinahan had been personally involved in negotiating his fight contracts. This was later confirmed by Arum and Eddie Hearn.
Before the US sanctions against Kinahan, Arum was one of many boxing luminaries who praised Kinahan in a press release regarding an ultimately cancelled boxing expo in the middle east.
In that release Arum was quoted as saying: “We are very enthusiastic about putting events in Bahrain and making the country a worldwide tourist destination. We appreciate the work and effort of advisor Daniel Kinahan, who has dedicated himself to exploring the possibility of opening up this new market.”
Frank Warren, Roy Jones Jr., Shelly Finkel and Darren Till also praised Kinahan in that release.
In addition to levying sanctions against Kinahan, the US government also authorized a $5 million reward for information leading to Kinahan’s arrest and conviction.
It is believed that Kinahan lives in Dubai. He fled to that part of the world after narrowly escaping an assassination attempt in Dublin in 2016.
That attempt occurred during a weigh-in show for MGM (which would later become MTK). The attack involved a team of gunmen and resulted in the death of David Byrne, a suspected top lieutenant in the Kinahan organization.
Gerry Hutch, alleged leader of the Hutch Gang, is accused of orchestrating that attack. He is currently on trial in Ireland. It is believed Hutch ordered the hit against Kinahan after he survived an assassination attempt in Spain.
The Hutch-Kinahan feud began when Hutch’s nephew was killed by suspected Kinahan members in Spain.