by John “Gutterdandy” Walker
MTK Global boxing promotions has shut down for good, due to its ties to alleged mob boss Daniel Kinahan. Kinahan, who is currently on the run from law enforcement, is an ex-advisor and former close confidante of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs), who makes his second title defense in London this coming Saturday night against fellow Brit Dillian “The Body Snatcher” Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) at Wembley Arena in the UK.
The lead-up to the Fury-Whyte bout has been haunted by the troubles of the reputed cartel boss Kinahan, whose organization has been accused of selling large quantities of South American cocaine across the globe. Until very recently, Tyson Fury had nothing but praise for Kinahan, and had posted a picture online of the two men engaged in a chummy pose in Dubai last February.
A statement issued by MTK Global reads:
“It is a matter of public record that Mr Kinahan’s involvement in MTK ceased in 2017, and despite repeated reassurances in this regard, unfounded allegations about his ongoing association with us and our fighters persist.
“Since leading promoters have now informed us that they will be severing all ties with MTK and will no longer work with our fighters, we have taken the difficult decision to cease operations at the end of this month.
“MTK prospered because we always put the long term interests of our fighters at the heart of what we do.
“Our priority in the weeks ahead will be to ensure that our world class boxers are supported to find new partnerships as swiftly as possible.
“MTK gyms are operated independently so will remain open for the foreseeable future.
“Further announcements will be made in due course. Thank you to all the fans who have supported us over the last decade.”
Tyson Fury has seemed irritated this week when the topic of Kinahan has been raised, though it must be said that most of the professional boxing media has preferred to avoid the subject, instead sticking to rote questions about training camps instead. Fury has chosen to stick to a stock response about “minding his own business” to try and deflect from his former close ties to Kinahan.
“Because I had my picture taken with a man it doesn’t make me a criminal,” Fury said.
The WBC champion added, ” “I’ve got nothing to hide. The only time I’ve ever broken the law was when I got a speeding ticket.”
That last statement would seem to be at odds with Fury’s admissions of rampant cocaine abuse, back when he claimed to have mental health issues while twice avoiding rematches with former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine. Fury ended Wlad’s decade-long title reign with a scrappy decision win late in 2015.
This week, with the allegations against Kinahan forming a constant looming backdrop to the upcoming fight, Fury has doubled down on his vow to retire from boxing after the Whyte bout, win, lose or draw.
Until very recently, however, Fury had spoken of enjoying his life as a “fighting man” and had submitted a list of five fights he wanted in the future, a list that notably did not include the unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine but did include men he has beaten multiple times, such as Deontay Wilder and Dereck “WAR” Chisora.
During a press conference via Zoom last week, however, Fury seemed to be backing away from retirement, only to double down on his vow to quit boxing forever in the last two days.
Contrary to what he said in March, when he talked about wanting to live the fast life of a Miami jet setter, Fury now claims he has no interest in money, and that he seeks a very quiet life of taking out the garbage and doing other familial activities and chores, far away from the glare of the media spotlight.
“I just want to be left alone, I don’t want to be tortured by people,” Fury explained to UK boxing personality Adam Smith in a recent interview.
“I’m here to do this one last fight, and that’s me, I’m out.”
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