Who is Daniel Kinahan? Why accused organized crime figure has come up during Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte fight week

Boxing’s biggest names are being affected by a person accused of being the leader of a dangerous organized crime group in Ireland.

Last week, United States officials attended a news conference in Dublin, Ireland, and announced a $15 million reward regarding any information on Daniel Kinahan and his family. The Treasury Department stated the group consists of key members of the “Kinahan Organized Crime Group.”

The Irish Police commissioner said if there is anyone that has or continues to work with Kinahan or those sanctioned, that, “you are dealing with criminals engaged in drug trafficking,” per ESPN. “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.” 

He implored those who may have a business relationship with him to think it through, especially if they have a legitimate business.

MTK Global, one of the top boxing organizations overseas that was founded by Kinahan and has been involved with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, among others, announced Wednesday it is ceasing operations.

Fury has been asked by the media about his past relationship with Kinahan. The questioning comes right before his title fight and potential retirement bout against Dillian Whyte on April 23. Fury thanked Kinahan not long ago when a fight between him and Anthony Joshua was agreed in principle.

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Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who was a prosecutor before getting into boxing, stated in the past he wouldn’t deal with Kinahan if he became affected by him in any way.  

Arum has since cut ties with anything related to Kinahan. He told ESPN, “I’m a law-abiding American citizen and I will adhere to those sanctions and not have any business relationship or any other relationship with him — period. End of story. There’s not even an argument there.

“The U.S. government doesn’t make an allegation like this unless there is evidence to back it up. So, case closed. You cannot take the U.S. position and treat it lightly. It’s very, very serious for the U.S. to say what they’ve said.”

Arum told Boxing Scene he is looking into not working with Probellum or MTK Global. The latter is an organization Kinahan founded. 

Probellum denied working directly with Kinahan. 

“Probellum takes the sanctions made by the US Treasury extremely seriously and the business and its employees will be fully compliant with them,” Probellum released in a statement. “We have retained counsel in the US to ensure that we fully comply with all rules, regulations, and requirements related to this matter, including not working with any individual or company that has been placed under US sanctions. This includes Daniel Kinahan and we can confirm that we will not have any business relationship or communication with him whatsoever.”

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Who is Daniel Kinahan? 

Kinahan founded MTK Global in 2012. He has reportedly advised the likes of Carl Frampton, Liam Smith, Michael Conlan (who has since distanced himself from MTK), and both Tyson and Hughie Fury.

Reports show Kinahan has done deals with boxing promotors and fighters worth millions of dollars. Kinahan was one of the key figures in getting MTK Global to Dubai. Kinahan recently booked events for Kazakhstan and signed a deal with Bahrain’s KHK. That was short-lived following news of Kinahan’s potential involvement in organized crime. In 2020, Kinahan reportedly stepped down from his role with MTK Global. Recently, Bob Yalen, the CEO of MTK Global, resigned from his position, and Wednesday, MTK Global said it will cease operations at the end of this month.

Dublin’s High Court has named Kinahan a senior figure in organized crime. That includes involvement in international drug-trafficking operations and firearm offenses. In 2016, there was a shooting at the Regency Hotel in Dublin before a fight night with MTK Global. It appeared to have been an attempted hit on Kinahan, according to Boxing Scene, as a result of the longstanding rivalry between the Kinahan and Hutch crime families.

The 44-year-old Kinahan is from Dublin but currently lives in Dubai. 

What is Daniel Kinahan’s relationship with Tyson Fury?

Kinahan has advised the Fury’s in the past. When Fury and Anthony Joshua agreed in principle to face one another in 2020, Fury thanked Kinahan on social media. That fight never materialized. Fury has not been accused of being a part of Kinahan’s other alleged activities. 

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Fury will be facing Dillian Whyte on April 23 inside Wembley Stadium for the WBC heavyweight title. Fury was asked about Kinahan during an open workout before his big fight. 

“That’s none of your business and none of anybody else’s business, I don’t think. Is it?” Fury stated, via Yahoo Sports. “My business is my business, your business is yours. Like I say, it’s got nothing to do with me in boxing. I’m just a stupid boxer who gets punched in the face for a living. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be here, would I?

“I’ve said this to quite a few people this week: I don’t get involved in other people’s businesses, and I keep mine to myself, and that’s it. What other people do in their own lives… I’ve got my own troubles and my own problems to work on myself with a wife and six kids, so I keep my business to myself.”

Fury also asked if a picture makes him a criminal after he was seen in a photo with Kinahan in February. 

Arum doesn’t believe Kinahan’s relationship with Fury will be an issue. He stated he and Frank Warren completed recent fight deals for Fury and Kinahan wasn’t involved.