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show down Two boxers represented by Daniel Kinahan could go toe-to-toe - despite legal row

Scottish boxer Josh Taylor previously described Kinahan as a “great advisor” who is “doing great things for the sport”

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Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Two boxers represented by reputed Irish drug cartel leader Daniel Kinahan could go toe-to-toe in a future clash, despite controversy swirling around both fighters. 

In a new interview Josh Taylor, who has previously described Kinahan as a “great advisor” who is “doing great things for the sport”, has said he hopes a show down with Terence Crawford can be secured.

Crawford, who is also represented by MTK Global, the managerial outfit founded by Kinahan, is currently suing his former, and Taylor’s current, promoter, Bob Arum.

The famed boxing promoter buddy, who once told Newstalk radio that Kinahan is “an honourable man” is facing allegations of racism made by Crawford.

Crawford (34) signed a deal with New York-born Arum and his company Top Rank in 2011.

But he later split with Arum at a November 2021 and has filed a lawsuit that claims Arum's "sordid history with athletes of colour, especially Black fighters, and his bias favouring white and Latino fighters is well-documented and known throughout the boxing world”.

The 90-year-old Arum, who has also come under fire for comments he made about Katie Taylor and women’s boxing, denies the allegations.

The 140-pound Scotsman Taylor will make the inaugural defense of his WBC/WBO/WBA/IBF titles against undefeated British mandatory Jack Catterall on February 26 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.

However, when asked about a potential showdown with Crawford, Taylor said he still thinks it has a good chance of happening, while acknowledging that Crawford’s lawsuit could pose something of a hurdle.

“Well, yeah, it’s a bit of an obstacle in the way of things,” Taylor told FightHype.com. “But I still believe it’s a very doable fight. We’re both sort of in the same house.

“it looks like it can be made. I think it can be made. And I think it’s a mouth-watering fight, but I’m not thinking about anything else except for Jack Catterall at the moment.

“It’s the only thing that’s on my mind. If I don’t get past Jack Catterall, none of these things happen. I’m not here to talk about any other fight other than Jack Catterall.”

The Scottish boxer was just one fighter among others who stuck up for Kinahan in the aftermath of last year’s BBC Panorama documentary that investigated Kinahan’s links to boxing.

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Josh Taylor

Josh Taylor

Josh Taylor

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“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.”

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 McGregor.

“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.”

Neither fighter has any links to criminality.

Arum, who has managed the likes of Muhammed Ali, previously praised Kinahan, who now passes himself off as an "adviser" to young boxers, for securing a fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

Named by the High Court as a senior figure in the Kinahan organised crime gang, he nonetheless continues to operate from his Dubai bolthole where he has been snapped alongside a number of other fighters in pictures posted on social media.

In an interview on Newstalk Breakfast last year, when Kinahan’s background story was put to Arum, he dismissed the allegations, saying he only judges Kinahan for his interactions in boxing.

"Those are allegations and I don't know anything about that, and his dealings with us have been solely about Tyson Fury and the sport of boxing,” Arum said.

"And if anybody asks me, I would say without any question, that I find him to be an honourable man.

"Whatever the other allegations are and so forth - whether they're true or not true - I can't get into, and I'm not going to get into, because it's none of my business.

"He has developed a great deal of trust with my company, myself and our people.

"He certainly is a trusted confident of Tyson Fury - so obviously his participation and his views were most significant and most important in getting this off the ground."

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WBO junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford

WBO junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford

WBO junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford

Mr Arum also said that not only is he (Kinahan) intelligent... but he is "dead honest and forthright and he's a no-nonsense guy".

"You don't waste a lot of time beating around the bush with him," he added.

"Everything that he has told us and every promise that he's made to us, he's more than fulfilled - and I think he would say the same thing about us."

Asked about any concerns about Mr Kinahan's past and being named in the courts, Arum said: "I'm not naive - what did or didn't happen prior to his involvement in boxing is not of a major concern to me.

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Bob Arum and Daniel Kinahan

Bob Arum and Daniel Kinahan

Bob Arum and Daniel Kinahan

"First of all they're allegations, and secondly they don't really speak to how he has acted when he has been involved in boxing - which is forthright, honest, reliable, etc."

"In boxing, you might remind your prime minister, we've had situations where we've had athletes who were accused and convicted of major crimes serve their time and came into the sport of boxing and not only performed well but excelled, like Bernard Hopkins.

"Boxing has been used by many people who've had questionable backgrounds - if they come in to box, if they conduct themselves well - yes they then achieve a new type of attitude that people have to them because they're nothing but forthright and honest."

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