Bob Arum will adhere to the United States government’s mandate related to business dealings with Daniel Kinahan.
The 90-year-old promoter, who was an attorney for the U.S. Justice Department during the Kennedy administration, told BoxingScene.com on Tuesday that his boxing company, Top Rank Inc., has ended any business dealings with Kinahan, a manager and adviser who has been the most controversial figure in boxing over the past several years.
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a press release late Monday night in which it detailed sanctions against Kinahan and other purported members of the Kinahan Organized Crime Group (KOCG) for their criminal activities. A U.S. government official quoted in the press release noted that KOCG smuggles narcotics to Europe, launders money and commits murders as part of its criminal enterprise (https://www.boxingscene.com/daniel-kinahan-issued-sanction-by-us-treasury-key-member-organized-crime-group--165457).
Arum has been criticized for praising Daniel Kinahan in an IFL TV interview that was posted to its YouTube channel in the spring of 2020. He made it clear Tuesday, however, that neither he nor anyone else employed by Top Rank will have any further dealings with Kinahan, who is an adviser to two of Top Rank’s most prominent boxers – WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury and fully unified junior welterweight champ Josh Taylor.
“We’re a United States company, we’re United States citizens,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “Our government has made this determination. We’re gonna follow our government. Period. End of story. Which means you can’t have business with the guy, and you’ve got to observe what the authorized representatives of the government have mandated. You’re either on board or you’re not on board.”
Arum also noted that Top Rank might not deal with MTK Global, with which Top Rank has partnered on contracted fighters and streaming rights through ESPN+, or Probellum because Kinahan has been tied to those companies. Kinahan founded MTK Global in 2012 and later served in an advisory role for that company.
“The lawyers are looking into it,” Arum said. “Those are serious problems that have to be explored because, obviously, MTK and Probellum appear to be entities that he’s involved with. And, in which case, then it’s a no-no to deal with them.”
The undefeated Fury hasn’t distanced himself from Kinahan, but Arum doesn’t expect Fury’s relationship with Kinahan to impact his upcoming mandated WBC title defense against London’s Dillian Whyte from a licensing standpoint or in any other way. Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) and Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs) will headline an ESPN Pay-Per-View show in the U.S. and a BT Sport Box Office pay-per-view event in the United Kingdom and Ireland on April 23.
Kinahan, 44, is from Dublin, but he resides in Dubai. The native Irishman is legally prohibited from entering the United States.
A capacity crowd in excess of 90,000, is expected to attend the Fury-Whyte card at Wembley Stadium in London. Arum maintained Tuesday that Kinahan had nothing to do with putting together the Fury-Whyte fight, which Arum’s promotional partner, Frank Warren, won the right to promote with a whopping winning purse bid of $41,025,000.
“Nobody had anything to do with making that fight other than Queensberry’s Frank Warren and ourselves,” Arum said. “It wasn’t even a negotiated thing. It was a purse bid. This guy from Dubai had absolutely nothing to do with it. I never discussed it with him. Neither did Frank. So, again, I don’t think it’s an issue.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.