Tyson Fury warned to sever link with alleged mob boss
Prominent figures in the world of boxing such as heavyweight champion Tyson Fury should sever ties with alleged crime lord Daniel Kinahan, who was named on Tuesday along with several others by the United States as controlling a vast criminal empire responsible for a prolonged campaign of drug-smuggling and murder.
A bounty of $5 million has been placed by the United States on Kinahan along with his father Christopher Sr and brother Christopher Jr for information which would lead to the gang's “financial destruction” or the arrest and conviction of its leadership.
That is a development which has prompted the likes of Tyson Fury, who has previously been advised by Kinahan, to be warned to separate themselves from the crime group.
Strict sanctions have also been placed on the group and various businesses associated with it.
Kinahan, who was central to ultimately failed attempts to arrange an All-British world title fight between Fury and Anthony Joshua, was a founder of the boxing group now known as MTK Global and has been linked to various boxers over the years including Billy Joe Saunders, Michael Conlan and Josh Taylor.
He has also been described as one of the most powerful brokers in the sport.
However, Drew Harris of the Irish police force said in Tuesday's press conference that anyone who associates with the Kinahan group is voluntarily associating themselves with a major organized crime group.
“What was implicit before, and what some individuals could choose to ignore, is absolutely explicit — if you deal with the individuals who are sanctioned as part of the Kinahan organized crime gang, you are dealing with criminals engaged in drug trafficking,” he said.
“And, indeed, as we have seen here very tragically in Ireland and also in Spain, murderous feuds [and people] who will resort to vicious actions up to and including murder.
“If you deal with these individuals who have been sanctioned, or these entities who are being sanctioned, you are involved in a criminal network.”
Harris also warned broadcasters to be mindful of who they are promoting - particularly with Tyson Fury set to defend his heavyweight title against Dillian Whyte this month on British television.
“I’d ask them to look at their own business, at the probity of their own business and the relationship with their fans and, really, is this something they want to be involved with in terms of their legitimate business,” he said of the various broadcasters. “I think the answer to that is a resounding no.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who was previously an outspoken backer of Kinahan's influence on boxing, on Tuesday distanced himself from the Irishman.
He said that he was surprised to learn that the United States was “involved in that activity” in sanctioning Kinahan, but that he was aware of “accusations against Daniel Kinahan from the Irish side.”
He added that he has not spoken with Kinahan in months, whom he had told Irish radio was an “honorable man” in 2020.
“It’s at least two months and it might be three - we haven’t communicated,” he said. “Unless something obviously dramatically changes, which I can’t foresee, I will not do business with Kinahan based on these assertions by my government.”
He also claimed that Kinahan had attempted to become an influence in Fury's upcoming fight with Whyte.
“We didn’t want Kinahan to be involved. He tried through Frank [Warren] to be involved. We wouldn’t allow that, but it was nothing to do with this,” he said.
“I don’t believe that someone involved in the trafficking of drugs should be involved in promoting boxing or with my company.”
Fury had previously maintained that his relationship with Kinahan was over - but the two were photographed together in Dubai weeks ago.
Kinahan has lived in Dubai for several years after fleeing Ireland following an assassination attempt on his life, and his consistently denied the allegations against him.