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Daniel Kinahan's former 'best friend' will 'fully comply' with US sanctions

Boxer Matthew Macklin (39) co-founded the boxing firm MTK Global - originally named Macklin's Gym Marbella (MGM) - with Kinahan in 2012.

Matthew Macklin and Daniel Kinahan

Neasa Cumiskey

A Sky Sports pundit and former friend of Daniel Kinahan’s has insisted that he will "fully comply” with US sanctions imposed on the crime boss.

Boxer Matthew Macklin (39) co-founded the boxing firm MTK Global - originally named Macklin's Gym Marbella (MGM) - with Kinahan in 2012.

The pair had a close relationship for years before Macklin “disposed” of his stake in the company in 2017.

Macklin, who has no involvement in crime, now works as a regular commentator and pundit for Sky Sports and has only recently distanced himself from Kinahan.

In a statement this week, Sky Sports insisted that Macklin and Kinahan have had “no commercial dealings” together since 2017.

“Matt Macklin disposed of his stake in MTK in 2017. Since then, he has had no commercial dealings with Daniel Kinahan,” a spokesperson said.

“Like everyone at Sky Sports, he will fully comply with the US Sanctions.”

Back in 2017, Macklin announced that Kinahan had taken a backseat in his role at MTK due to “bad publicity.”

“Me and Daniel started off MGM. We were best friends and like I said I was over there all the time when I was training... so we set that up and it just grew from there," he said.

“Obviously then there's been a lot of bad publicity... Daniel has taken a backwards step. He still advises lots of fighters."

And last week, the firm announced that it had ceased operations entirely due to “unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism” following the sanctioning of Kinahan, his father Christopher Kinahan Snr, and his brother Christopher Kinahan Jr by US authorities earlier this month.

The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a $5million bounty for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the three most senior members of the cartel group for smuggling narcotics to Europe, laundering money, and committing murders as part of its criminal enterprise.

A statement from MTK read: “As a business we have faced unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism since the sanctioning by the US government of Daniel Joseph Kinahan."

“it is a matter of public record that Mr Kinahan’s involvement in MTK ceased in 2017, and despite repeated reassurances in this regard, unfounded allegations about his ongoing association with us and our fighters persist.

“Since leading promoters have now informed us that they will be severing all ties to MTK and will no longer work with our fighters, we've taken the difficult decision to cease operations at the end of this month.

“MTK prospered because we always put the long term interests of our fighters at the heart of what we do.”

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