MTK Global announced today that it would cease operations and close down by the end of the month. This news comes after company co-founder Daniel Kinahan was sanctioned by the US government for his alleged role in running a billion dollar cocaine smuggling cartel.
For years MTK has claimed that Kinahan, an Irish national who now lives in Dubai, stopped working with MTK around 2017, despite many of their clients—including Tyson Fury and the UFC’s Darren Till—consistently praising and being pictured with Kinahan.
MTK Global to cease operations
Official statement: https://t.co/BFk7J6Em38 pic.twitter.com/mniw1siMyR
— MTK Global Boxing (@MTKGlobal) April 20, 2022
In MTK’s statement regarding their closure they claim to have “faced unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism since the sanctioning by the US Government of Daniel Joseph Kinahan.”
MTK goes on to state that their decision to close down is also due to “leading promoters” informing them that they will be “severing all ties with MTK” and will no longer work with MTK’s large roster of fighters.
This statement comes after ESPN dropped an MTK show that they were due to broadcast last week. Top Rank’s Bob Arum has also announced that his company will no longer work with MTK or Probellum (a boxing and MMA promotion that is closely associated with MTK).
The news also comes a day after MTK’s CEO Bob Yalen resigned from the company (per Boxing Scene).
Yalen, a former ABC Sports and ESPN executive and member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, joined MTK in 2018 and became the CEO in 2020. Yalen was announced as CEO shortly after Tyson Fury caused a PR firestorm by publicly revealing that Kinahan had negotiated his deals to fight Anthony Joshua.
That revelation leads to calls from Ireland’s government for broadcasters to boycott Fury’s fights and any other events that could be connected to Kinahan. After taking over as CEO Yalen claimed that Kinahan would be stepping back from the sport of boxing.
However, since then Kinahan has been pictured with a number of boxers and MMA fighters. In February, a video was posted on Instagram showing Kinahan and Fury touring a gym in Dubai.
Kinahan has been living in Dubai ever since he survived an assassination attempt in Dublin in 2016. That assassination attempt saw masked gunmen storm a weigh-in for an MTK (then doing business as MGM) boxing event. The attack resulted in the death of David Byrne, an alleged top lieutenant in the Kinahan Organised Crime Group.
That shooting is believed to be a revenge attack by members of an entity often referred to as the Hutch Gang. The KOCG and the Hutch Gang have been embroiled in a bloody feud since 2015, when Gary Hutch—nephew of alleged gang leader Gerry Hutch—was killed by suspected Kinahan associates in southern Spain. Since then the feud has lead to at least 18 murders and many more attempted murders.
At the time of its closure MTK boasts one of the most stacked rosters in world boxing, with Fury, Billy Joe Saunders, Carl Frampton, Sunny Edwards, Joseph Diz, Josh Taylor, Jack Catterall and Lee McGregor all under contract. MTK’s MMA division manages Darren Till, Aleksandar Rakic, Taila Santos, Mike Grundy, Dusko Todorovic, Sumudaerji amd dozens more fighters.
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