Barry McGuigan speaks out on boxing ‘intimidation’ as BBC probe finds alleged crime boss still involved in sport

A BBC ‘Panorama’ investigation has discovered that a suspected organised crime boss is still working at the top of world boxing.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 1st February 2021, 5:39 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2021, 5:57 pm
Boxing manager Barry McGuigan
Boxing manager Barry McGuigan

Daniel Kinahan has been named in the Irish courts as the head of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group – one of Europe’s most brutal drug cartels.

The suspected gangster helped set up a boxing management business that now looks after almost 250 boxers around the world.

MTK Global announced in 2017 that Mr Kinahan had cut ties with the company and in 2020 it was announced that he was stepping back from boxing altogether.

But the company has now confirmed to ‘Panorama’ that the Irish ex-pat still advises some of its boxers.

Lawyers for MTK Global told the programme: “It is true that Mr Kinahan provides some personal advice to a number of boxers managed by MTK Global and we are instructed that Mr Kinahan also provides such advisory services to boxers who are managed by other worldwide boxing management companies too.”

They said Mr Kinahan had never owned, controlled or been an employee of MTK Global.

‘Panorama’ spoke to numerous UK boxing insiders who were alarmed about Daniel Kinahan’s power and influence in the sport.

All of them were too frightened to appear on camera, apart from former world champion Barry McGuigan.

Mr McGuigan, who is now a boxing manager, told the programme that there was an element of terror around the Kinahan name.

“There is no doubt that there is an intimidation effect, there is no question about that.

“Someone has got to look out for this sport. They really need to look at this situation very carefully, because it’s bloody dangerous.”

The courts in Ireland have accepted that the Kinahan Organised Crime Group is involved in drug trafficking, money laundering and gangland executions.

Daniel Kinahan moved to Dubai in 2016 and the police believe the Kinahan family is now running the drug cartel from there.

‘Panorama’ understands the Irish authorities are going to try to get Kinahan cartel members deported.

John O’Driscoll, an assistant commissioner of the Irish police, told the programme they had been successful in identifying members of the cartel, although he declined to confirm any names.

He said: “I think it is reasonable to assume that we will achieve our ultimate objective, which is to put the Kinahan Organised Crime Group out of business and to bring the hierarchy of the crime group before the courts.”