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Denial Boxing firm MTK tells US court it is not being overseen by Daniel Kinahan

The business, co-founded by Kinahan and former professional boxer Matthew Macklin in 2012, has also denied racketeering and drugs money laundering claims

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Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Controversial boxing management and promotion company MTK has told a court in the US it is not being overseen by Daniel Kinahan.

The business, co-founded by Kinahan and former professional boxer Matthew Macklin in 2012, has also denied racketeering and drugs money laundering claims.

The denials were made in defence papers filed in a lawsuit in which MTK Global Sports Management and Kinahan are being sued over the alleged poaching of a boxer from Californian manager Moses Heradia.

Heradia filed the civil action against MTK, Dubai-based Kinahan and other defendants last December, alleging one of his boxers, Joseph Diaz, was induced to sign with MTK while under contract with him.

The lawsuit alleged Diaz was offered a $100,000 (€86,000) advance.

In recent years, MTK has risen to become one of the most powerful businesses in the world of professional boxing, signing a slew of top names, including two-time world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

But its ascent has been a source of considerable unease due to MTK’s association with Kinahan, who is a son of convicted drug baron Christy Kinahan and has been identified by the High Court in Dublin as a senior figure in organised crime on a global scale.

He is thought to have been the intended target of the Regency Hotel attack in 2016 during which criminal David Byrne was shot dead. The attack was part of a murderous Hutch-Kinahan feud which has claimed 18 lives.

In the lawsuit, Heradia and his sports management company, Heredia Boxing Management, made several allegations, including that Kinahan co-founded MTK “to launder illicit proceeds from drug trafficking through a seemingly lawful business”.

He also claimed that while MTK “made attempts on paper to sever the ties” with Kinahan in 2017, reports indicated Kinahan was still running the business from Dubai.

In defence papers filed with the United States District Court for the Central District of California yesterday, MTK’s US company MTK Global USA LLC issued a string of denials.

It denied Kinahan was a noted member of the notorious Kinahan Cartel or that he oversees its operations.

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The filing went on to say MTK Global USA “lacked sufficient knowledge or information” to admit or deny claims made by Heradia that the Kinahan Cartel was allegedly responsible for several murders, drug trafficking and money laundering, that Daniel Kinahan had fled Ireland after the Regency attack and was now living in Dubai.

MTK Global US said that, on the basis of this lack of knowledge, it was denying each allegation.

The company denied claims it had engaged in racketeering and denied it ever transacted in or held funds directly or indirectly derived from racketeering activity.

It admitted entering into a “business advisory agreement” with Diaz and that it did not provide the agreement to Heredia or his lawyers.

But the company claimed an arbitrator for the California State Athletic Commission cancelled Diaz’s boxer-manager agreement with Heradia in July 10, due to the irreparable damage to their relationship, and ruled Diaz’s signing of the business advisory agreement did not constitute a breach of contract.

MTK Global USA also denied that it induced Diaz to breach any agreement.

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