in his corner | 

World Boxing Council chief promises Daniel Kinahan 'full support' after Dubai meeting

He said the gangster "has been labelled as a person linked to criminal groups, thus creating prejudice against part of the boxing community"

Daniel Kinahan

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

World Boxing Council (WBC) Mauricio Sulaiman Saldivar president has written an op-ed giving Daniel Kinahan's involvement in the sport his "full backing".

Writing in an opinion piece for The Herald of Mexico, Mr Saldivar described Dubai, where Kinahan hides out, as “an unimaginable paradise."

He also said the future of boxing is in the Middle East, where he met Kinahan, “a representative and proxy for boxers”.

He said the Irish gangster was a “character who has been crossed out and labelled as a person linked to criminal groups, thus creating prejudice against a large part of the world boxing community".

Saldivar said he had a “revealing talk with him, confirmed by the testimonies of many boxers, who express their admiration and gratitude for the unconditional support he has given them, which has allowed them to improve their lives in a special way.

"I am nobody to judge any person, and that has been the policy of our organization, to combat all types of discrimination and abuse of power, before any person and group,” he adds.

“That is why Daniel will have our full support in his quest to bring benefits to boxing. "

The President also described Kinahan as “a representative and proxy for boxers”

Mr Saldivar was elected President of the World Boxing Council eight years ago, following the death of his dad, Don José Sulaimán, who led the WBC for 38 years.

Mr Sulaiman, was considered one of the most powerful people in professional boxing when he died in Los Angeles after a lengthy illness at age 82.

His son took over and on his recent desert trip said he had the opportunity to witness the work carried out by MTK, the Kinahan-associated promotion company, which he said, "in its nine years of existence has grown exponentially".

“They represent champions such as Tyson Fury, Josh Taylor, and Terence Crawford, among many others from around the world; they also have gyms established in more than 20 countries,” he wrote.

“I traveled to be present at two functions promoted by a company called Probellum,” he adds. “The owner is Ali Shams Pour, a tycoon, based in Dubai, who has a great passion for our sport, and took on the task of putting together a wonderful team of collaborators, led by Richard Schaeffer, who was responsible for the creation of Golden Boy Promotions.

“The work that Probellum is doing, in coordination with MTK, and Kinahan 's plans could make Dubai one of the great meccas of boxing in the near future.

“After one of the functions we went to dinner and it was there that I understood the greatness of what was happening, at a table there were 13 countries represented: Mexico, USA, Panama, Uruguay, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Ireland, Italy, Turkey, Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates; all gathered by boxing and for boxing.”

Kinahan has run a relentless social media campaign, posing with various boxers and promoters, in a bid to forge an image as a boxing consultant and promoter.

As part of his ongoing efforts to ‘sportwash’ his reputation Kinahan was recently pictured posing with Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, the Provincial Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Government of Punjab, Pakistan.

Bhatti, who tweeted he arrived in Dubai on 19 March, wrote about his meeting with Kinahan the next day after the Falcon Waseem versus Sunny Edwards fight.

“Met @probellum on aligning vision on boxing for Punjab & how to make this sport bigger for our youth.”

“Looking forward to hosting Daniel in Lahore to discuss Pakistan’s first International fight with foreign world class boxers Inshallah. Will share more info in the upcoming weeks”.

Probellum are a media and boxing promotion firm which has signed up several fighters around the world.

The firm has been contacted for comment on the tweet by Mr Bhatti.

Mr Bhatti further tweeted to thank the boxing company for hosting him in Dubai.

“On way home after great trip to Dubai supporting @iamfalconwaseem. Thank you to @probellum for hosting me at an amazing event.

“Also, separately had some very positive discussions surrounding community-based boxing initiatives. Exciting times ahead for boxing and Punjab.”

Sandra Vaughan, a former CEO of MTK Global, co-founded by Kinahan in 2012, also appears in a photo with the Punjabi politician.

Vaughan, who has no involvement in crime, took over running MTK for a period when Kinahan stepped down from his position with the firm.

Daniel Kinahan and Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti. Photo: Twitter

She ordered the firm to boycott Irish media outlets over stories that linked drugs boss Kinahan with the company.

Meanwhile, a recently promoted three-hour interview with Kinahan by James English that was due to be posted online last week was later postponed due to “legal reasons.”

Kinahan has been named in the Irish High Court by officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau as the head of a drugs cartel.

He was also named in leaked Drug Enforcement Agency as being part of criminal consortium that has imported huge quantities of cocaine into Europe.

His latest bid at sport-washing his reputation comes after it emerged he has been the target of a concerted CAB investigation over the last three years.

Earlier this month a lawyer for CAB told a High Court hearing that officers were seeking an address for Kinahan in Dubai and would be liaising with authorities in the UAE to serve him with a summons.

That case is in relation to a house in County Dublin gardaí believe to have been taken over by Kinahan Cartel members.

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