Daniel Kinahan: “I can’t be any clearer on the fundamental slur – I am not a part of a criminal gang or any conspiracy. I have no convictions. None.”
43-year-old Irishman Daniel Kinahan, who was the subject of a BBC Panorama investigation, has given an exclusive statement to talkSPORT.
Kinahan – an adviser to some of boxing’s biggest stars – has persistently been named in Irish courts as the head of an organised crime group, known as the Kinahan Cartel.
The courts in Ireland have accepted the group is involved in drug trafficking, arms-dealing and execution-style murders - many of which have been caught on camera.
43-year-old Kinahan, who hails from Dublin, but is now based in Dubai, was the co-founder of MTK Global (originally known as MGM) with boxer and friend Matthew Macklin, which manages around 250 fighters.
He was credited by Tyson Fury last year with brokering a deal to face Anthony Joshua in a world heavyweight unification showdown.
The confirmation of Kinahan’s involvement in Fury vs Joshua – set to be the biggest fight in British history – sparked an outcry and the issue was raised in British and Irish parliaments.
The furore fizzled out when MTK insisted he was no longer working with them and it was announced Kinahan had stepped away from the sport.
But the BBC’s recent Panorama documentary, 'Boxing and the Mob', revealed he still had close links to the company and remained influential in the boxing world.
In response, Daniel, the son of convicted drug dealer Christy Kinahan, has provided an exclusive statement to talkSPORT:
“I have tried my best to ignore the allegations that are constantly made about me. I have dedicated myself to my work in boxing for over 15 years.
“I have started from the bottom and worked my way up. I am proud to say today that I have helped organise over a dozen major world title fights. I continue to be involved in planning multiple record-breaking and exciting world title fights: I’m doing all I can to give fight fans around the world the fights they want.
“My professional commitment is always to the boxers, those who take the ultimate risk.
“I’m Irish. I was born and raised in Dublin. In a deprived area with serious levels of poverty, of crime, of under investment. People like me, from there, aren’t expected to do anything with their lives other than serve the middle and upper classes. Boxing is a working class sport for which I’ve had a lifelong love and passion.
“I love the sport of boxing but didn’t love how business was done. Many boxers have similar backgrounds to me. I got into boxing to make sure that boxers get fairly rewarded and not taken advantage of.
“The boxers put their lives on the line. It’s my mission to ensure that the boxers are financially secure when they finish boxing, and healthy too. Let’s not forget – the money in boxing is put there one way or another by the fans, sponsors and TV companies – not by me or anyone else – and they put it there to watch the fighters. The fighters deserve their fair share.
“I firmly believe that my success has led to an increase in the campaign against me. Pretty much anything can be said about me, or inferred about me, and it goes unchallenged and is sadly believed.
“Last week it was inferred that I had threatened a reporter. Let me be clear on this point before I address the other allegations against me. I have full respect for journalism. I have worked with journalists and I value their role. Journalists should always be free to do their job, free from any threat or harassment. I have never threatened a reporter or journalist or asked anyone to do that for me. I never have and I never would.
“My concern is that I have not been on the receiving end of fair and credible journalism, especially in the UK and Ireland. The recent BBC Panorama programme is a good example. This was a rehash of unsubstantiated allegations that have been made previously on many occasions. It was unashamedly sensationalist and devoid of evidence or critical analysis. They refused to publish the statement I made in advance of the programme or even question the fundamental claim that “an Irish court accepted…” That Irish Court is the SCC, a court with no jury, and which accepts the word of police officers without question. It is criticised by both the UN and Amnesty International.
“This latest report follows a long pattern of throwing innuendo and baseless accusations at me hoping that some may stick.
“I can’t be any clearer on the fundamental slur – I am not a part of a criminal gang or any conspiracy. I have no convictions. None. Not just in Ireland but anywhere in the world.
“Media outlets link my name with criminality unconnected to me. I am not involved in any proceedings therefore I am unable to challenge this in court. The media know this yet they refuse to acknowledge it.
“There is no evidence or proof against me. I have said repeatedly: I have no criminal record anywhere in the world. Sections of the media ask that I disprove a negative. This is impossible but it shows what I’m up against.
“People need to ask themselves – If he has done the things he has been accused of why has he not been arrested and charged? Why does a police organisation anywhere in the world not have this information and evidence some sections of the media would have you believe actually exists. Why is there only a trial by media and not a criminal trial? There is a simple answer to this. That answer is because there is no evidence. It’s because it is not true.
“I’m blessed with an amazing family. I’m blessed to work in boxing at the highest level having organised some of the biggest fights in boxing previously and in the future. I will continue working every day to bring out the best in, and look after, the boxers I am lucky enough to work with.
“I have chosen to dedicate my life to my family and my work. I do so every day in good and honest faith. I will continue to always choose love and choose God in my future as I do in my present.”
He was once charged with assault when two members of the Irish police - known as La Garda - were attacked outside Shelbourne Park greyhound stadium in 2001, but charges were dropped in January 2002.
Former unified world champion Amir Khan described Daniel Kinahan as 'one of the nicest guys' he knows. Many other fighters took to social media following the one-sided documentary to defend Kinahan, including Billy Joe Saunders and Joe Joyce's manager Sam Jones Read more...