Daniel Kinahan, the man previously named as a key advisor by Tyson Fury in negotiations for a “megafight” with Anthony Joshua, has replied to explosive criminal allegations made against him in a primetime British TV investigation.
In a lengthy statement following the Panorama program that linked him to a range of activities including a huge European drugs cartel and heroin-dealing in Ireland, Kinahan shunned the claims, dismissed the Irish court that was said to have implicated him and revealed that he remained involved in “planning multiple record-breaking and exciting world title fights.”
The Irishman, who has been described as a “drugs kingpin” with a “death list” by the Sunday World, said he had dedicated his life to boxing following a humble upbringing and spoke of his respect for journalism, insisting that he had no connection to any threats made to the BBC team following the high-profile broadcast.
“I can’t be any clearer on the fundamental slur,” said the man who was publicly thanked by heavyweight boxing champion Fury for helping in negotiations with British rival Joshua, issuing his response to Talksport.
“I have dedicated myself to my work in boxing for the last 15 years.”“My success has led to a campaign against me. I’m not part of a criminal gang.”Controversial boxing adviser Daniel Kinahan has given a full statement to talkSPORT. pic.twitter.com/DPydJ1gDo1
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) February 8, 2021
“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.
“I have started from the bottom and worked my way up. I am proud to say today that I have helped organize 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.”
Kinahan was later announced to have stepped back from negotiations and the wider sport after widespread publicity around his involvement in the fight, which is expected to take place this year and be one of the most lucrative sporting events in history.
The Dubai-based 43-year-old founded MTK Global, a stable of hundreds of boxers counting Fury as its star client.
Panorama said that Kinahan was still involved in boxing management, while his lawyer emphasized to the program that he has no criminal record or convictions and that there is no evidence about the allegations claiming he is a crime boss.
After news emerged that threats had been made as a result of the investigation, Jo Carr, the BBC’s head of current affairs, said the BBC would “continue to throw light into even the murkiest of corners.”
“It is despicable and intolerable if thugs think they can muzzle a free press through intimidation,” she added.
Kinahan said: “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.
Bullish statement from Daniel Kinahan, making it clear that he’s organised huge fights and is involved in organising major upcoming ones. The gauntlet has been thrown down to authorities. It’s up to those who supposedly govern boxing – and those who finance it – what happens now.
— Kieran Cunningham (@KCsixtyseven) February 8, 2021
“My concern is that I have not been on the receiving end of fair and credible journalism, especially in the UK and Ireland.
“This [program] 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. That Irish Court [named as citing him] is the SCC, a court with no jury, and which accepts the word of police officers without question.
“It is criticized 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.
“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 organization 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.”
The BBC reported that Fury had not responded to questions about whether Kinahan was still acting as his personal adviser.