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Boxing warned about links with alleged cartel leader as promoter Bob Arum says he will now cut ties

Boxing warned about links with alleged cartel leader as promoter Bob Arum says he will now cut ties

Boxing adviser Daniel Kinahan has been sanctioned by the US Treasury, who have named him as a major figure in the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (KOCG).

American officials held a press conference alongside their Irish colleagues in Dublin on Tuesday at which Irishman Kinahan was one of seven individuals from the KOCG to be hit by sanctions for involvement in criminal enterprise.

Kinahan advises many big names in the world of boxing

Daniel Kinahan was described as the man who, “is believed to run the day-to-day operations of the organisation.”

Sanctioned alongside him were his father Christy Kinahan Sr and brother Christy Kinahan Jr, as well as associates Sean McGovern, Ian Dixon, Bernard Clancy and John Morrissey.

Officials also announced that they are now offering a $5million (£3.84million) reward for, “information leading to the financial disruption of the Kinahan Criminal Organisation, or the arrest and/or conviction of,” the three Kinahans.

At the press conference, US Under-Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson stated that the gang, “smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, to Europe, and is a threat to the entire licit economy through its role in international money laundering.”

US ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin described tackling the Kinahans as, “an urgent priority for President Biden and the US government,” hence the sanctions.

US officials are offering a million reward for information that could lead to Kinahan’s arrest

US officials are offering a $5million reward for information that could lead to Kinahan’s arrest

The sanctions on the seven men have resulted in all of their US credit and debit cards being blocked and any funds they hold in US banks being frozen. As well as this, they will also see access to their property restricted.

US banks and companies are now barred from doing business with Kinahan and his associates.

But what does this mean for his business in boxing?

Kinahan co-founded management company MTK Global back in 2012, but later publicly stepped back from the outfit following a spate of bad publicity in Ireland. The company was then sold by co-founder Matthew Macklin to Sandra Vaughan in 2017

Despite this, Kinahan continued to advise many fighters and, at the beginning of 2020, several big names within the sport started to speak out in flattering terms about their relationships with him.

The highest profile fighter with links to Kinahan is WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

There is no suspicion or indication that Fury is involved in any criminal activity.

Fury first posted a picture with Kinahan in 2017, when he was massively overweight and out of boxing.

The Gypsy King subsequently lost the weight, returned to the sport and battled to become champion of the world once again.

In June 2020, Fury announced that he had agreed financial terms to face Anthony Joshua twice in 2021.

Although the fight ultimately never happened due to Deontay Wilder’s arbitration victory, an agreement was indeed made, with Fury thanking Kinahan on social media for organising the fight.

Fury has been pictured with Kinahan

Niall Ryan – Instagram

Fury has been pictured with Kinahan

Garda [Irish police] commissioner Drew Harris said at Tuesday’s press conference: “On the business of sport, today we have made it very clear through this announcement who and what exactly the Kinahan organised crime group is. 

“Individuals, specific individuals, have been sanctioned…

“If you deal with these individuals who have been sanctioned, or these entities who are being sanctioned, you are involved in a criminal network.”

National Crime Agency deputy director of investigations Matthew Horne added: “It is absolutely a matter for sport and leaders of sport and the participants in that to take a look at who they are doing business with and whether they are comfortable with that and take the right steps.

“That is an appropriate matter for the sporting community to address.”

Fury’s US co-promoter Bob Arum with Kinahan

Fury’s US co-promoter Bob Arum with Kinahan

Veteran promoter Bob Arum had previously spoken out and defended Kinahan over the past couple of years.

Following Tuesday’s sanctions though, Arum told the Mail: “I’m a US citizen and the Treasury department does not take these steps lightly. We will respect them.

“We are not going to deal with Kinahan and his people. We will deal directly [with Fury] or his lawyer Robert Davis.”

Arum also said of Kinahan: “I was not pleased with a number of things he was doing in boxing. I was looking to sever ties anyway.”

Exactly what this means for Fury’s own relationship with Kinahan remains unclear, as it does for the many other boxers who have been advised by the Irishman.

Sulaiman posed for a picture with Kinahan in March

WBC

Sulaiman posed for a picture with Kinahan in March

Last month, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman provoked surprise by speaking out in support of Kinahan.

Sulaiman wrote in a column: “I also met Daniel Kinahan, who is advisor and manager of boxers. A man who has been labelled as a person linked to criminal groups.

“I had a fascinating and insightful talk with him, confirmed by the testimonies of many boxers, who express their admiration and gratitude for the unconditional support he has given them, which has allowed them to significantly improve their lives.

“I am nobody to judge any person, and that has been the policy plus ethos of our organisation, to combat all types of discrimination and abuse of power, for any person or group.

“That is why Daniel will have our full support in his quest to bring benefits to boxing.”

Sulaiman, like most others who’d previously supported Kinahan, is yet to comment in the wake of Tuesday’s news.

Time will tell whether they all soon decide to change their tunes.

Source: Culled From Talksport.

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