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How some fighters have no problem backing mob boss Daniel Kinahan

Tyson Fury is far from the only boxer to praise Kinahan.
Darren Till and Daniel Kinahan (right)

Darren Till and Daniel Kinahan (right)

Alan Sherry

The recent picture of Daniel Kinahan posing with an MMA fighter in Dubai shows once again how many sporting figures have no problem backing the mob boss despite his involvement in organised crime.

In pictures posted onsocial media this week the exiled crime boss can be seen with his arm around Liverpool-born middleweight MMA fighter Darren Till.

"Good stroll on the beach tonight in Dubai with one of me good pals, Daniel Kinahan is advising Eddie Hearn & Al Haymon is advising Leonard ellerbe for Eddie Hearn & Leonard Ellerbe to fight. Wow!!

"Good luck Eddie I’m rooting for u son."

The praise for Kinahan from the world of sport in nothing new.

Kinahan helped set up the boxing agency now known as MTK Global with former boxer Matthew Macklin in 2012 and while MTK claims to have cut ties with Kinahan in 2017 it has said that he still provides advice to boxers.

Tyson Fury

While Kinahan’s involvement in organised crime has been well documented in Ireland for years it was praise from world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury last year that brought widespread international attention to Kinahan’s organised crime links.

Daniel Kinahan has been credited with brokering the fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

Daniel Kinahan has been credited with brokering the fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

Fury sparked controversy when he credited Kinahan for helping set up a fight between him and Anthony Joshua which has still yet to take place.

“I’m just after getting off the phone with Daniel Kinahan. He’s just informed me that the biggest fight in British boxing history has just been agreed,” said Fury.

“Big shout out to Dan. He got this done, literally over the line. Two fight deal. Tyson Fury versus Anthony Joshua next year. One problem I just got to smash Deontay Wilder’s face right in in next fight and then we’ll go into the Joshua fight next year.

“So there we are the Gypsy King versus AJ is on for next year.

"But there’s a hurdle in the road called The Bronze Bomber AKA the knockout king.

"But I will get on to him and knock him spark out and then we’ll go on for the big fight. So a big thank you to Dan for getting this deal over the line. All the best. God bless you all. See you soon.”

Daniel Kinahan was name checked by Tyson Fury

Daniel Kinahan was name checked by Tyson Fury

Fury’s praise for Kinahan brought unwanted attention on his role in professional boxing and led to Kinahan publicly stepping back from his involvement in the sport despite clear indications he is still heavily involved.

In recent years, MTK has repeatedly claimed Kinahan has stepped away from the company although the company has also recently conceded that he advises some of the boxers it represents.

Fury is far from the only boxer to praise Kinahan.

Billy Joe Saunders

British boxer Billy Joe Saunders has praised Kinahan on numerous occasions.

In a video earlier this year the former world champion thanked Daniel Kinahan and MTK Global and credited the mob boss with his successful career ahead of a fight with Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez.

British boxer Billy Joe Saunders has praised Kinahan on numerous occasions

British boxer Billy Joe Saunders has praised Kinahan on numerous occasions

“Big thank you obviously to MTK Global and also thank you to my advisor, Daniel, as well because without him, this fight wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

“He was the one who secured it over the line and gave me that bit of advice to say ‘yay or ‘nay’ and what I should do, so thank you very much.”

Saunders took to social media last week to deny he was involved in a mass brawl in Warickshire in England.

A father of a man injured in the incident posted a YouTube video claiming Saunders was involved in the fight at the former War Memorial Club in Bulkington.

However, Saunders took to Twitter last week to dismiss the claims as “complete rubbish”.

Warwickshire police told the Sunday World this week that officers have examined CCTV footage and identified several men they wish to speak to in connection with the incident.

“The men will be interviewed and enquiries remain ongoing,” police said.

Sunny Edwards

In November, world champion boxer Sunny Edwards described Kinahan as a “legitimate businessman”.

The British boxer took to Twitter to defend Kinahan after someone asked about Kinahan's “coke and heroin money”.

“Daniel is a legitimate businessman and a man who has also never paid me a penny. True story,” Edwards replied.

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Many boxers came out in defence of Kinahan after a BBC Panorama looking into the crime lord’s involvement in boxing was broadcast earlier this year.

Josh Taylor and Lee McGregor

Scottish boxer Josh Taylor was among those to praise Kinahan in the aftermath of the documentary.

“He’s a great advisor and doing great things for the sport,” the undisputed light welterweight world champion said.

“I would never have had the deal with Top Rank if it wasn’t for Daniel and he is also working on the best deal possible for the biggest fight of my life. I’ve had nothing but great experiences with him.”

Josh Taylor

Josh Taylor

Taylor was responding to a comment from European Bantamweight Champion and fellow Scotsman Lee McGregor who also praised Kinahan following the documentary.

“Daniel has done nothing but good things for me in my life and no lies or false promises anything he’s said he’s delivered above and beyond every single time,” wrote MrGregor.

“So hard not to go into depth about it all but I can honestly say hand on heart Daniel has and will continue to do nothing but good for the sport of boxing!”

“This man is more than just a boxing advisor to me and many other fighters,” added McGregor.

Carl Frampton

Former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton, who retired this year, was another boxer to dismiss the Panorama documentary.

“It’s ‘investigative journalism’ but I don’t know how much investigation was done,” he said.

Former World champion and Olympic medallist Amir Khan also supported Kinahan after the documentary.

The British boxer said: "I've known Daniel for some time, I have huge respect for what he's doing for boxing.

Carl Frampton. Photo by: Getty Images

Carl Frampton. Photo by: Getty Images

"We need people like Dan to keep the sport alive. One of the nicest guys I've met."

Paddy Barnes

Two-time Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes defended Kinahan in 2016 when he said there was no proof he was criminal.

"I've read people saying that. But where's the facts and the proof of it…people need to be careful what they are saying if they are slandering people's names.”

He said he’d have no problem with having Daniel Kinahan in his corner. Barnes signed with MTK (then known as MGM) later that year.

Barnes was one of the most vocal of MTK boxers to take part in a boycott of Irish media in 2018.

Boxer Paddy Barnes with his gold medal for Northern Ireland at 2010 Commonwealth Games in India

Boxer Paddy Barnes with his gold medal for Northern Ireland at 2010 Commonwealth Games in India

“Irish media were happy to support me when I was winning Olympic medals for the country then when MTK signed me, (I wouldn’t be boxing if it weren’t for them) they threw me under a bus every time something happened regarding crime in Dublin!”

Boxers were not the only ones to support the boycott.

Irish footballer James McClean faced criticism when he tweeted his support.

"I support @mtkglobal #FairNews campaign & boycott of Irish Media. Please help support," he wrote.

After being criticised by followers for his Tweet, McClean responded: “Was asked to Show support for mates, people i have good relationships with and who i also train with .. nothing more nothing less.. end off the matter.” [sic].

Barnes retried from the ring in 2019. He is now a development officer with the Irish Athletic Boxing Association and does interviews with Irish media.

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