The alleged crime lord who helped strike a deal for Anthony Joshua to fight Tyson Fury is stepping away from boxing, according to the latter’s management company.
Less than a week after Telegraph Sport exclusively revealed Fury would no longer be represented by Daniel Kinahan in negotiations over what would be one of the biggest fights in British boxing history, MTK Global said the Irishman would be “taking time away from the sport to focus on other interests”.
Fury agreed to distance himself from Kinahan after provoking outrage by announcing his adviser had struck a two-fight deal for him to face Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.
There were also calls for a sporting and media boycott of the contests, including from Irish premier Leo Varadkar.
Now, MTK Global president Bob Yalen has told The Athletic: “Daniel’s going to be taking time away from the sport to focus on other interests and hopefully this will put a stop to the negative press from Ireland that’s based entirely on hearsay.
“No court has ever found this man guilty of anything. The man has never been charged or convicted of a crime.
“And it’s unfortunate for his fighters that he’s taking this step back. But I respect his personal decision. He wants to do what’s right for the sport, he loves the fighters. But MTK will continue to secure the best, most lucrative deal for its fighters and ensure the biggest fights in the sports are made.”
Telegraph Sport revealed earlier this month that as well as being involved in making Joshua-Fury happen, Kinahan has also negotiated the latter’s triumphant World Boxing Council title fight with Deontay Wilder and was in the process of doing the same for the rematch.
Indeed, Kinahan negotiated all three of Fury’s fights after helping him secure a deal with promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank and a reported $100 million (£80million) five-bout deal with ESPN and BT.
Kinahan, who co-founded the management company to which Fury signed ahead of his comeback from depression, binge-eating and drug and alcohol abuse that almost saw him take his own life, has no criminal record.
But Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau told its High Court in 2018 that he had “managed and controlled” the drug-trafficking operations of the Kinahan organised crime group. The following year, Europol identified the cartel as one of the main cocaine importers in Europe and as far away as Australia. And, just last month, Dublin’s Special Criminal Court accepted evidence the group was involved in serious offending, including “execution-type murders”, as well as trafficking of drugs and firearms.
It has also been reported that Kinahan has been banned from entering the United States.
On Monday, three members of the Kinahan cartel were jailed over their roles to kill the brother of the leader of a rival gang in Dublin two years ago.
Lawyers for Kinahan have branded allegations against their client “grossly defamatory”.