Boxing's shame as Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury's clash is now tied to suspected crime boss – Daily Mail, Daily Mail

Boxing's shame as Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury's clash is now tied to suspected crime boss – Daily Mail, Daily Mail

It seems ever more likely that Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua will finally agree to stand in a room together. The harder part will be making space for them when there is already a giant elephant in the corner.

What was once boxing’s dirty secret is now its inconvenient truth – the most anticipated fight in British history could be down to the brokering skills of a man considered by Irish authorities to be a vicious crime lord.

But Here we are, courtesy of Fury’s social media message on Wednesday afternoon that laid bare his appreciation for Daniel Kinahan, the 42 – year-old from Dublin who made it all happen.

Tyson Fury revealed this week that he’s agreed a two-fight deal to fight Anthony Joshua

Fury looks set to meet Joshua in 8346640 Once he’s faced Deontay Wilder in trilogy later this year

Fury’s been criticized for using services of suspected crime lord Daniel Kinahan to broker deal

He said: ‘Big shout out to Dan, he got this done. ‘ Fury was shirtless as he said it, and with two other name-checks in his video, boxing may have just dropped its pants again. Because, as the wider UK population is becoming aware aware, Dan the man is really quite interesting.

He is the man who can demonstrably cross the trenches of boxing politics, and a few are so deep as those separating Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn, the promoters of Fury and Joshua. The man who can negotiate with royalty in the Middle East.

‘An honest, intelligent guy who gives wise counsel,’ as told to Sportsmail this week by Bob Arum, a legend in the business of boxing promotion. Where it gets rather sticky is the allegations around the other line of work.

Dan is the man the Irish police believe runs a gang linked to multiple murders around Europe and a drugs empire worth one billion euros. The man who is said to be prohibited from entering the US after being on a list of narco-terrorists by the Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI.

The man identified in the High Court in Dublin two years ago as a key figure in global organized crime and the man whose involvement in this fight compelled the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to say it would be ‘entirely appropriate’ for broadcasters to boycott it. The man from whom, Fury’s British broadcaster, BT Sport, appeared to be distancing themselves on Friday, and pointedly added they would review all potential deals with ‘scrutiny’.

‘He is someone who has brought misery to the streets of Dublin and Ireland for years, ‘believes Neale Richmond, a respected member of the Irish parliament.

Kinahan has brought misery to streets of Dublin for years, believes Irish MP Neale Richmond

Let us start with a conversation Sportsmail had late on Wednesday with Arum, who was once part of the US Attorney’s office.

Today, aged 88, he is one of the pillars holding up Fury, serving as his co-promoter with Warren, while MTK Global look after Fury’s management, and Kinahan is labeled as an adviser to the fighter. Arum uses Kinahan as an adviser, as well, and his view on him is in equal parts revealing and startling.

‘I have heard all these stories about his background,’ he says.

‘I choose not to disbelieve them but to ignore them because as far as his interactions with me go, it has only been first class.

‘I disregard all the buzz you hear about his background.

‘ I am a business person and I have nothing but the highest respect for him. ‘ Buzz? It’s an extraordinary summary, really.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has criticized Kinahan’s involvement in the Fury-Joshua deal

On the wide-ranging cynicism, Arum adds: ‘I understand, but look at my background. When I met Ali and all the people in the organization, the Nation of Islam, virtually all of them had criminal records but I found many to be trustworthy people. ‘ But the allegations here are a touch darker than what regularly passes through the sport. The Irish police believe Kinahan is the leader of the Kinahan crime group, having replaced his father, the convicted drug dealer Christy ‘the Dapper Don’ Kinahan, around five years ago.

The son has largely been exiled in Dubai following the start of a feud in with the Hutch gang, which has claimed lives.

While he has not been convicted of anything, he was previously described in a Criminal Asset Bureau (CAB) affidavit to the High Court as managing and controlling the gang’s day-to-day drug trafficking operations.

It is against that backdrop Kinahan has been accused of using boxing to clean up his reputation. His link to the sport goes back to 2012, when he co-founded the Macklin’s Gym Marbella management group with former middleweight contender Matthew Macklin.

Promoter Bob Arum uses Kinahan as an adviser and hailed their work together as ‘first class’

In 2020, the company was staging a weigh-in at Dublin’s Regency Hotel for an event it was promoting when gunmen entered. Kinahan is believed to have been the intended target of an attack that left one man dead.

He sold MGM in 2017 and it has since been rebranded as MTK Global, which now has the likes of Fury, Carl Frampton and Billy Joe Saunders on their books.

As recently as last month, their CEO Sandra Vaughan denied Kinahan holds any formal role with MTK, but the damaging links are numerous. Indeed, a significant number of MTK clients, including Fury and Saunders, count him as an adviser. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by any fighter.

MTK did not respond to a question of how many of their boxers are advised by Kinahan who, in the estimation of one figure in boxing, Is tipped to be the sport’s most influential character in the next five years.

Indisputably, the boxers rave about him. It chimes with the strong suspicion in Ireland that a clean-up of Kinahan’s image is taking place in tandem with his emergence into public life.

Kinahan founded management company MGM which has a host of top fighters on its books

A broader view, a sober view, belongs to Richmond, of the Fine Gael political party.

‘He is notorious,’ he tells Sportsmail. ‘To hear Tyson Fury lionising him, he has whitewashed his track record.

‘ His background is something fighting venues and broadcasters need to be aware of. It is tough to see him presented this way. ‘

It is. Not a surprise, sadly. But tough all the same.

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