Frank Warren apparently did not appreciate Bob Arum mentioning his name in the same breath as an alleged mob boss in regards to their promotional client Tyson Fury.
In a recent interview with The Irish Mirror, Bob Arum, the head of the Las Vegas-based promotional powerhouse Top Rank Inc., responded to outsize scrutiny regarding his relationship with Daniel Kinahan, the controversial boxing figure who was sanctioned by the US government last week for his alleged activities as a key goombah within the Kinahan Organised Crime Group. Arum, who frequently evoked Warren in the interview, stated that he paid consulting fees to Kinahan for four fights involving WBC heavyweight titlist Fury, whom Kinahan, a native of Ireland, advises. Arum added that he cut off Kinahan in negotiations for Fury’s title defense against mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte, which will take place this Saturday, April 23, at Wembley Stadium in London. Arum has stated that he will no longer do business with Kinahan.
“For Fury versus Whyte, Frank and I drew the line,” Arum told The Mirror. “We would not talk to him and we would not deal with him.”
Warren, the head of Queensberry Promotions and Fury’s British promoter, adamantly denied that he or Fury knew anything about payments made to Kinahan, stating that he is not privy to Top Rank’s financial deals.
“Top Rank – Bob Arum – is Tyson Fury’s US promoter,” Warren told BBC 5 Live Boxing. “Queensberry, whom I’m involved with, is worldwide promoter. So, in other words, we have rights to the rest of the world. The only financial involvement with us and Tyson Fury when he fights in the states, is with Tyson Fury himself and BT. We have no financial relationship for those fights with Top Rank.”
Arum told The Irish Mirror and other outlets that he paid Kinahan $4 million in consultation fees directly to Hoopoe Sports Agency, a company registered in Dubai, where Kinahan lives.
“I certainly knew, and Tyson certainly knew, nothing about the payments made by Top Rank to the company in the Middle East,” Warren continued. “That’s their business. It has nothing to do with us. It certainly has nothing to do with me and as I say, Tyson was unaware of it, and that’s the position. That is something for Top Rank to sort out. It was them that made the payments and it was their arrangement.”
In the Mirror interview, Arum suggested that Kinahan was trying to intimidate him. Warren denied he was ever “leaned” on by Kinahan and, moreover, stated unequivocally that Kinahan had never gotten involved in negotiations for Fury-Whyte at any point.
“I’ve certainly not been leaned on,” Warren said. “I’ve been doing this now for 40-odd years. Anyone who has even thought about doing that would get short shrift from me.
"As regards as [Kinahan] being involved in the fight, that’s totally untrue. He’s had no involvement in this fight, nor did he try to get involved in this fight because it was a purse bid. Queensberry won the purse bid and even if we hadn’t won it, he wouldn’t be involved in the fight. We are his promoter in the UK.
“Again I don’t know what the relationship is with Top Rank and Daniel Kinahan. That’s their business, it has nothing to do with me.”
Warren, for good measure, doubled down on his words and warned that he would take legal action against anyone who accuses him of not telling the truth.
“I’ll reiterate,” Warren said. “Whatever Top Rank did and done in the states is their business. I mean, he (Arum) shouldn’t even be talking about me. It has nothing to do with me - or Tyson by the way. Tyson was unaware. Let me make very clear, he can obviously speak for himself, but he had I know for a fact because we had a conversation he was totally unaware of those payments.
“Sometimes things get said and people take it as gospel. I’m telling you the facts, and they are the facts, and if anybody tries to say anything different, or any newspapers or anybody in the media tries to say I’m lying about it, I will sue them, take action.”