On Wednesday, MTK Global announced that it would suspend operations and close by the end of the month. This comes after the US government sanctioned company co-founder Daniel Kinahan for his alleged role in running a billion-dollar cocaine smuggling cartel.
The boxing management company said Wednesday in a statement it has “faced unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism since the sanctioning by the U.S. government of Daniel Joseph Kinahan.”
MTK Global to cease operations
— MTK Global Boxing (@MTKGlobal) April 20, 2022
MTK has claimed for years that Kinahan, an Irish national who now lives in Dubai, stopped working with them around 2017, despite many of their clients, including Tyson Fury and UFC’s Darren Till, consistently praising and being photographed with Kinahan.
“It is a matter of public record that Mr. Kinahan’s involvement with MTK ceased in 2017, and despite repeated reassurances in this regard, unfounded allegations about his ongoing association with us and our fighters persist,” MTK said.
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.
The US Department of Treasury sanctioned the Kinahan Organized Crime Group (KOCG) and seven group members, including Kinahan, on April 11.
The statement comes after ESPN canceled an MTK show that was scheduled to air last week. Bob Arum of Top Rank has also stated that his organization will no longer collaborate with MTK or Probellum (a boxing and MMA promotion that is closely associated with MTK).
MTK Global chief executive Bob Yalen responded to the news by saying the organization “will take every measure to ensure the company and those who deal with it are fully compliant with the U.S. sanctions announced this week and take this matter extremely seriously.”
Yalen subsequently resigned Tuesday.
Kinahan launched MTK Global under the name MGM in 2012 and sold it off in 2017, according to ESPN.
“The company has been forced to distance itself from Kinahan over the years, with the Irishman saying he simply advised fighters who happened to be represented by MTK Global,” the ESPN report said.