Daniel Kinahan calls for exposure of ‘corrupt practices’ in boxing

Gardaí building a case for extradition of organised crime boss to Ireland to face charges

Daniel Kinahan, the Dublin organised crime boss and boxing promoter, has called for the exposure of "unethical and corrupt practices" following a controversial recent fight.

Kinahan, who has been named in court as a leading figure in the Kinahan Organised Crime Group - a vast multinational drugs operation, made the statement on a podcast last week.

The Fight Disciples Podcast had criticised the result of a light-welterweight match between Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall. Taylor won the fight following a split decision by judges, which caused significant controversy in the boxing world. Kinahan represents both fighters as does MTK Global, the boxing promoting company he founded in 2012.

The scoring of the match is being investigated by the British Boxing Board of Control.

In response to commentary on his role in the bout, Kinahan said that “where unethical and corrupt practice exists, it’s important to expose it”.

“Some people have made serious allegations about my involvement in Saturday’s fight. That is why I am happy to invite scrutiny,” he said, adding that he has “nothing to hide” and is willing to answer any questions asked of him.

“Boxing needs to change and I want to play my part in safeguarding the future of the sport. We need greater transparency to ensure fairness for fighters and respect for fans.”

Kinahan currently lives in the United Arab Emirates and has not been in Ireland since the 2016 Regency Hotel shooting when gunmen from the rival Hutch organised crime group attempted to murder him.

Building a case

It is understood gardaí are working on building a case which they hope will lead to Kinahan’s return to face charges in Ireland.

Last week, the UAE's anti-money laundering chief Hamid Al Zaabi said the country "takes every measure to identify, investigate and take action against criminals, including with our international partners".

While declining to comment on Kinahan specifically, he said “deportation and extradition can be punishments for foreign nationals who commit such crimes or are wanted on an arrest warrant in line with proper procedures.”

Kinahan rarely makes public appearances or statements but there is some evidence that it changing. Photographs of him posing with high-level boxers have been appearing regularly on social media and multiple fighters have been quick to praise his professional abilities during interviews.

He is also is due to be interviewed shortly on the YouTube channel of a popular English podcaster.

No previous convictions

Behind the scenes, Kinahan, who has no previous convictions, is believed by gardaí to be orchestrating a campaign to clean up his image and cement his reputation as a legitimate figure in international boxing rather than an organised crime boss.

In 2018, a High Court ruling stated he controlled the Kinahan crime gang which was involved in drugs and weapons smuggling on a global scale. A month earlier, a Spanish police officer told a court in Marbella that Kinahan had ordered the murder of gang rival Gary Hutch on the Costa Del Sol in 2015.

In 2020, a garda told the Special Criminal Court the Kinahan gang was a sophisticated organisation which had ordered the murder attempt on Patrick Hutch.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime Correspondent of The Irish Times