Boxing urged to cut ties with promoter sanctioned by US

DUBLIN (AP) — Some of the biggest figures in boxing have been urged to cut ties with a promoter who fronts an Irish organized crime gang targeted with sanctions by the American government on Tuesday.

The U.S. ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin, said at a news conference in Dublin that the department of the treasury is offering a reward of $5 million for information that will lead to the “financial destruction” of the Kinahan crime gang or the arrest and conviction of its leaders.

One of the heads of the gang who was named was Daniel Kinahan, a founder of boxing management company MTK Global. Kinahan has been pictured with world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and has attempted to organize fights for him, including a proposed all-British superfight against Anthony Joshua that nver materialized.

Last month, Kinahan was pictured at a boxing event in Dubai — where he is now based — with WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman.

Speaking at the news conference in Dublin, Irish police commissioner Drew Harris said: “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. And, indeed, as we have seen here very tragically in Ireland and also in Spain, murderous feuds who will resort to vicious actions up to and including murder.”

Asked specifically about Kinahan’s links to sports, the commissioner said: “If you deal with these individuals who have been sanctioned, or these entities who are being sanctioned, you are involved in a criminal network.

“I’d ask them to look to 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. I think the answer to that is a resounding no.”

Fury, the WBC champion, is defending his title against Dillian Whyte in an all-British fight in London on April 23.

The Associated Press has asked the WBC for comment.

In a statement, the U.S. treasury office said the Kinahan crime gang, which operates in Ireland, is also established in Britain, Spain and the United Arab Emirates and describes its operations as a “significant transnational criminal organization.”

Harris said the Kinahan gang is worth more than one billion euros through its criminal enterprise.

The High Court in Dublin has previously named Kinahan as a senior figure in organized crime, involved in international drug-trafficking operations and firearm offenses.

Lawmakers have said Kinahan has rebranded himself in the Middle East as a boxing promoter.


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