A BBC documentary has alleged that Daniel Kinahan remains as an adviser to many boxers, despite apparently stepping back from his role in the sport last year.
An episode of the BBC investigative series Panorama, broadcast on Monday, dug into the world of Kinahan. The episode, entitled ‘Boxing And The Mob’ referred to Kinahan as a “suspected mob boss” and focused on his connections to Tyson Fury and MTK Global.
“Boxing’s reputation is in pieces because the regulators and the sport haven’t stopped him,” reporter Darragh MacIntyre claimed
It was alleged that Kinahan and his brother Christopher Jr, were responsible for the day-to-day running of a crime group set up by their father Christy Sr, which it was alleged deals in drug-trafficking, supplying guns and money laundering. The crime group was also linked to numerous killings.
Kinahan, 43, is always understood to have set up MTK Global (then known as MGM Marbella) with Matthew Macklin, although any official role in the company has always been denied. What has never been questioned is his role as an adviser to many world class boxers, including Fury, who have MTK as their management company.
Having largely been behind the scenes, he began to come to prominence last year, when he was given an official advisory role with a sports group connected to the Bahrain royal family, while Bob Arum openly spoke of dealing with him. But it was after Fury credited Kinahan with negotiating his fight against Anthony Joshua that a wave of negative publicity led to him taking a less prominent role again.
The programme showed CCTV footage moments before the murders of Gerard Kavanagh and Gary Hutch in Spain and linked them to Kinahan, although the lead police investigator in charge of the Hutch murder, for which a man, James Quinn, has been jailed, said there was not enough evidence to prove the link in court.
The Hutch murder came just weeks before the Regency Hotel shooting at a weigh-in in Dublin in 2016, where an associate of Kinahan, David Byrne, was killed, and sparked a war between Dublin gangs, which it is said had been responsible for 18 murders.
The show alleged that it had spoken to numerous senior figures in boxing, claiming many want Kinahan thrown out of British boxing, but it said that only one, Barry McGuigan, was willing to speak on camera.
“There is no doubt there is an intimidation effect,” McGuigan said. “If we are to believe what we believe, this is a very dangerous man. Because I am Irish, I know about Daniel Kinahan. Everybody knows about Daniel Kinahan, even the dogs in the street know about Daniel Kinahan, because there is an element of fear and terror around that name.”
McGuigan alleged that five of his fighters had been poached by MTK, but said in at least one case Kinahan had approached a boxer to leave McGuigan and sign for MTK.
“I’m not worried about these guys threatening me, I’ve been involved in terrifying situations my whole life, it doesn’t bother me,” McGuigan said. “But I think someone has got to look out for the sport. They really need to look at this situation very carefully because it is bloody dangerous.”
MacIntyre also spoke to Bob Yalen, the MTK CEO, off camera and reported that Yalen had denied that it was money from Kinahan that funded MTK’s huge global expansion.
“I asked him where the money was coming from to fuel the expansion of MTK in the US and he said a big pot has been developed over the years,” MacIntyre said.
“I asked him ‘was the pot from Daniel Kinahan’s drug cartel dealings’ and he said ‘no’.
“He told me Daniel Kinahan is still advising MTK boxers so I asked him is Daniel Kinahan an adviser to Tyson Fury and he said he didn’t know and to ask Tyson Fury. I said ‘of course you know — you’re CEO of MTK. You do know.’
“The bottom line — Daniel Kinahan is still involved in boxing.”
A statement was issued by Kinahan denying any links to criminality and calling him a legitimate businessman.
“Daniel is incapable of receiving a fair trial, not just in Ireland but elsewhere in the world due to the barrage of media accusations and coverage,” the statement said.