Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11.52 3 Feb 2021


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The British Boxing Board of Control says it cannot prevent the role Daniel Kinahan continues to play in the sport.

General secretary of the board, Robert Smith told The Guardian that they don't have the authority to make sure Kinahan has no more involvement in boxing.

The BBC aired a one hour programme on Monday night into the rise of the 43-year-old as an advisor to some of the most well-known boxers, including world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

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It was revealed in June of last year that Fury would no longer be represented by Kinahan in negotiations over his planned fight with Anthony Joshua.

However, in Monday’s Panorama programme it was confirmed by lawyers acting for the management company MTK Global that Kinahan is still advising fighters.

"It was disappointing for the sport, obviously," Smith told the Guardian.

"But the gentleman is not licensed by the British Boxing Board in any capacity.

"We don’t license MTK as a promoter. We license individuals so the named promoter is Lee Eaton [who works for MTK] and he is the only person we deal with."

Kinahan does not require a professional boxing licence if he is acting as an advisor, unlike promoters, managers, trainers and fighters.

MTK Global, formerly known as MGM, represents around 250 fighters in Ireland, Britain, Europe and America.

It had been previously reported that Kinahan severed ties with MTK in 2017 but the BBC investigation confirmed what many people already knew.

In his interview with Donald McRae, Smith said the British Boxing board was powerless to stop Kinahan from having a working relationship with boxers.

"Wrongly or rightly, as far as I am aware, he has not been convicted of any offence.

"That makes things very difficult and we have to let the authorities take the upper hand.

"Obviously there are things we are not happy about. Things were raised which give us some concerns we may have to look into.

"But ultimately my feeling after watching it is that this is a matter for the Irish authorities.

"He is not licensed with us. He’s not licensed in Ireland. We can’t stop people taking advice from private individuals. That would be impossible.

"The programme hasn’t done the sport any good but we’ll move on and take any steps that are necessary.

"But I think it’s down to the authorities in Ireland to deal with the matter."

Kinahan’s lawyers told the BBC he has no criminal convictions and dismissed the "wild" and "false" allegations against him.

Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond was on Off The Ball on Tuesday to discuss the ramifications of the documentary.

Richmond believes that there can be no excuses for British-based promoters and broadcasters any more.

"Ignorance can no longer be an excuse," Richmond said.

"Next time there is an MTK fight scheduled and they are not clear about whether Daniel Kinahan has a role, the likes of your big TV companies cannot say they didn't know about it.

"It is front page news across every Irish paper today. Last summer, there were emergency board meetings in both Sky and BT after the announcement.

"The fight hasn't been signed; money hasn't been paid over in terms of Fury-Joshua, and it is the responsibility of [us] that we scream and shout as loud as possible.

"Indeed, that there are diplomatic efforts putting the Emirati governments in Dubai under pressure, the Saudi government where they are looking to host the fight."

Robert Smith also told The Guardian that the British Boxing board has no power over WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

"The issue with Tyson Fury is he is not licensed with the British Boxing Board. After his first world title fight with Deontay Wilder [in 2018], when he was licensed with us, Fury decided that due to the fact that he was going to be boxing in America for the next year or two, he would relinquish his British licence and box under a Nevada licence. So we have no jurisdiction over him."

Asked about if Sky Sports and BT Sport should address the subject, Smith added:

"That is a matter for each company but it comes down to the same thing. We are dealing with someone who has not been licensed or convicted of anything.

"It just hasn’t done the sport any good at all. We’re going through a period where the sport has come together.

"To get boxing up and running again [in a pandemic] has been no mean feat. Boxing is more popular now than it has been for a long time and this does not help."

Kinahan has been described in the High Court as the leader of the Kinahan organised crime group and but has no criminal convictions and strongly denies being involved in organised crime.


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