By Michael Kane
Top Rank boss, Bob Arum, confirmed that he paid alleged Irish gangland leader Daniel Kinahan $4 million for each of Tyson Fury’s four fights from 2019 through to 2021.
The money was paid to Dubai based Hoopoe Sports Agent, as consulting fees owed to Kinahan, Arum has said. The four bouts were the two Deontay Wilder fights, Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin fights.
Arum’s confirmation comes as U.S authorities placed Kinahan on a wanted list with a $5 million reward. At a press conference last Tuesday in Dublin, U.S officials placed Kinahan, his father and brother, as well as other known associates under sanctions, including freezing any U.S Bank accounts and credit cards. Hoopoe Sports Agent was one of the sanctioned companies.
Asked how he came to be involved with Kinahan, Arum told Yahoo Sports, “Kinahan called me and we had a long conversation. He has kids and he said he wanted to get out of that other stuff. He said to me, ‘Bob, I’ve done some bad things in my life. I admit that. But I’m not involved with that any more. I’m just trying to clean up my life and be a legitimate business man.’ I wasn’t involved in any of the things he might have done before and he was telling me he wasn’t doing anything.”
Arum and Top Rank have started to disassociate with Kinahan over the last year.
“There came a time that we discovered that he might still have been involved in some nefarious activities,” Arum said. “That was enough for us.”
Ahead of the Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte fight on April 23rd, Arum has no fears of any U.S authorities raiding the event.
“We are complying with all government laws and regulations, as we always do,” Arum said. “But I don’t expect anything [like a seizure] to occur because Kinahan has had no involvement in this event whatsoever.”
Kinahan helped form MTK Global in 2012 which is a promotional company that has Tyson Fury, among many other boxing stars, as clients. Arum said that Top Rank would no longer offer accreditation to MTK and Probellum (another boxing promoter which started life as MTK’s MMA arm).
Both MTK and Probellum have stated in press releases that Kinahan has no involvement in both companies and Probellum also stated that they are a rival promotional company to Top Rank and have never worked alongside them.
MTK said in their statement:
MTK Global will comply fully with the sanctions made by the US government against Daniel Kinahan.
MTK parted ways with Mr Kinahan in February 2017. He has had no interest in the business since then, and will have no future involvement with us.
MTK operates ethically, transparently and lawfully. We will cooperate fully with all authorities and assist with any ongoing investigations.
“MTK Global will take every measure to ensure the company, and those who deal with it are fully compliant with the US sanctions announced this week and take this matter extremely seriously,” added Bob Yalen, CEO of MTK Global.
Probellum statement read as:
Probellum takes the sanctions made by the US Treasury extremely seriously and the business and its employees will be fully compliant with them.
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.
Bob Arum’s comments implying that Top Rank has ceased a business relationship with Probellum are baseless.
Top Rank is a competitor and since Probellum’s inception, Top Rank has never worked directly with us. Any suggestions that Daniel Kinahan is a shareholder or owner of Probellum are false and defamatory.
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