boxer's denial | 

Paddy Barnes insists he is not involved with management company linked to Daniel Kinahan

In 2016, the fighter signed to the promotions company MTK Global which was co-founded by Daniel Kinahan

Paddy Barnes (Liam McBurney/PA)

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

The double Olympic medallist boxer Paddy Barnes has insisted that he is not involved with a management company linked to global drug gang leader Daniel Kinahan.

In the wake of the US government’s imposition of sanctions against the Kinahan cartel and a $5 million dollar reward for information that leads to the arrests and convictions of its leaders, Barnes said he was unaware of the allegations.

In 2016, the fighter signed to the promotions company MTK Global which was co-founded by Daniel Kinahan, although they denied that he oversees its operations.

But Barnes, who retired in 2019 after winning bronze medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, said he has “no involvement whatsoever” with MTK, although he added that he had no regrets over any previous engagement.

Barnes' comments as reported in The Irish News follows a statement issued by representative of fellow Belfast boxer Michael Conlon who said he also had no connections with MTK Global.

Although Mr Conlon is listed on the MTK Global on its website as one of its boxers, a spokesperson said he was managed by his brother, Jamie.

Michael Conlon has said he is working to have his image and name removed from the MTK Global website

In September 2016, Barnes said he would have no problem with Daniel Kinahan in cornering him for a professional bout.

The two-time Olympic medallist had revealed the previous week that he had signed a contract with the MGM Gym, which had been searched as part of an international operation against the Kinahan cartel.

The Marbella-based gym was founded by the former boxing champion Matthew Macklin, who is not involved in criminality.

We reported at the time how mobster Kinahan, a son of the international drug trafficker Christy Kinahan, played a senior role in running the MGM Gym.

However, in an interview with the 'Sunday Business Post', Barnes had said that he didn't know anything about the Kinahans - despite Daniel Kinahan being pictured in the gym.

"I've read people saying that. But where's the facts and the proof of it?" said Barnes. "I don't know anything about the Kinahans, I only know Matthew Macklin. But what has Daniel Kinahan been convicted of?"

Barnes claimed that it would not bother him if Daniel Kinahan was in his corner come fight night.

"If he wants to sit in my corner, he can sit in my corner," he said.

The champion boxer also questioned why Daniel Kinahan had been portrayed as somebody involved in crime.

He said: "So people need to be careful what they are saying if they are slandering people's names.

"People are saying he's a criminal, but he's been convicted of nothing. Strange, isn't it? He's roaming the world free with no convictions and warrants for his arrest."

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