Sky Sports distances itself from Tyson Fury and Daniel Kinahan

Move comes after boxer confirmed gang leader’s role in planning fights for 2021

Daniel Kinahan (centre),  named  as one of the main protagonists in the Kinahan-Hutch feud, was involved in arranging boxing match. Photograph: Collins

Daniel Kinahan (centre), named as one of the main protagonists in the Kinahan-Hutch feud, was involved in arranging boxing match. Photograph: Collins

 

Sky Sports has distanced itself from heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury and his business associate, gang leader Daniel Kinahan, after Fury confirmed Kinahan’s crucial role in some of the biggest fights of his career planned for next year.

Last week Fury took to social media with a self-recorded video to say Kinahan had put in place a two-fight deal between himself and fellow British heavyweight Anthony Joshua.

“Big shout out Dan. He got this done, literally over the line, a two-fight deal; Tyson Fury Vs Anthony Joshua next year . . . Big thank you, Dan, for getting this deal over the line.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said last week sports and media organisations should have nothing to do with a boxing match involving Kinahan. He said the Government has been in touch with officials in the United Arab Emirates, where Kinahan lives, to inform them of his criminal connections.

An Irish representative for Sky Sports issued a statement in reply to queries from The Irish Times saying it had no role in the talks that have arranged the Fury-Joshua fights for next year.

“Sky Sports has an exclusive contract with Matchroom Sports and with Anthony Joshua,” it said of the British heavyweight Fury would go up against. “We have not been involved in negotiations for a possible Joshua v Fury fight. All our broadcast deals are subject to careful consideration.”

Fury must fight US boxer Deontay Wilder, who is his next mandatory challenger, and beat him before the undisputed heavyweight fights between himself and Joshua could take place.

Key player

Kinahan has been named in the High Court and Special Criminal Court as one of the main protagonists in the Kinahan-Hutch feud, in which 18 people have been murdered, mostly in Dublin, since 2015. He has also been named in the courts, along with his brother Christopher Kinahan, as the leader of the drug trafficking and gun running international organised crime gang started by his father Christy Kinahan.

Kinahan was the key target of a gang of gunmen who attacked a boxing tournament weigh-in at the Regency Hotel, north Dublin, in 2016 though he escaped uninjured.

In recent months an online book, rap video and documentary have all appeared across social media suggesting Kinahan was being targeted in a State conspiracy in Ireland. Garda sources said while the narrative was ridiculous it was aimed at an international audience that was not as familiar with Kinahan and his background as people in Ireland.

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