'complete rubbish' | 

UK cops to quiz brawl suspects as Daniel Kinahan pal Billy Joe Saunders issues denial

'I am aware of a video circulating on social media. It makes certain allegations against me, which are complete rubbish'
Billy Joe Saunders

Billy Joe Saunders

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

UK cops have said they have identified several men they wish to speak to following a brawl that ex-World Champ Billy Joe Saunders has denied he was involved in.

The 32-year-old fighter, who is a close personal friend of Daniel Kinahan, issued a statement on social media last week categorically denying claims he was involved in a mass fight in Bulkington.

Three men were hospitalised following the fight.

One man was apparently stabbed in the hand and another glassed in the face in the melee at the event room of the Bulkington War Memorial Club in Stafford Close in the early hours of Sunday, November 28.

In an email statement to sundayworld.com, Warwickshire police said 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.

Warwickshire Police had earlier issued an appeal for witnesses to come forward following a "violent incident (that) involved a number of people and took place in the event room of the Bulkington War Memorial Club (Poppies) in Stafford Close at around midnight.

"Three people were injured and required hospital treatment,” police said. “Two have subsequently been discharged.”

Saunders spoke out after a number of online fight publications subsequently carried allegations he was involved in the violence.

On YouTube, a father of one victim accused the famed boxer of being part of the trouble which broke out.

However, Saunders, a former Olympian and two weight world champ, dismissed the claims as "complete rubbish."

Saunders is one of MTK Global's most high-profile fighters and has regularly publically defended the promotion company's founder, Daniel Kinahan.

Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

But he told followers he anticipates a call from police - and will co-operate fully with them.

He said: “I am aware of a video circulating on social media.

“It makes certain allegations against me, which are complete rubbish.

“However, given the police may be involved at some stage, my lawyer advises me to make no comment at this stage.

“I am, of course, more than happy to speak to the police, should they wish to contact me.”

Saunders has close personal links with Kinahan and has previously credited the mob boss for helping with his successful career.

In February of this year, Saunders paid tribute to his 'advisor' - Kinahan - following the confirmation of a major boxing fight.

As Saunders was confirmed to fight Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez on May 8 for the undisputed super-middleweight world championship, he thanked Kinahan and MTK Global.

“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 in a video.

“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.”

MTK Global was founded under a different name in 2012 by Kinahan, who has been named in the Irish High Court as the leader of an international organised crime gang.

MTK has repeatedly claimed Kinahan has stepped away from the company in recent years.

Kinahan says he is no longer involved in the company.

His links to boxing and criminality were also the subject of a BBC Panorama documentary which focused on his involvement in major title fights.

In the wake of the devastating BBC Panorama documentary, 'Boxing and the Mob' that revealed how the mobster remains influential in the boxing world, Saunders messaged Sunday World’s Nicola Tallant directly, offering to set up an interview with his pal Kinahan, which Nicola declined.

Canelo Alvarez punches Billy Joe Saunders during their fight (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Canelo Alvarez punches Billy Joe Saunders during their fight (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

In March, it was revealed that Saunders’ unification fight with Canelo Alvarez would not be shown on Sky, although it had nothing to do with Daniel Kinahan’s continued involvement in the sport, promoter Eddie Hearn insisted at the time.

Saunders was later left facing a fight for his boxing career after he suffered multiple facial fractures in his subsequent defeat to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Texas in May.

As Alvarez celebrated winning his third title in the 168lb division – adding Saunders’ WBO crown to his WBC and WBA belts – his beaten opponent, his head hidden by a white towel, departed in an ambulance to hospital.


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