UK government must 'urgently' address Daniel Kinahan's involvement in boxing, says MP
The UK government has been told it must be “much more proactive” and “urgently” address the involvement of a suspected crime boss in professional boxing.
Last week Daniel Kinahan confirmed he is organising “multiple world title fights”, insisting that allegations of criminality are part of a “campaign” against him.
It followed revelations over his continued involvement at the top of the sport by the BBC’s Panorama, leading to calls for tighter regulation.
Kinahan has no criminal convictions, but was named in Irish courts as the head of a prominent drug cartel.
On Tuesday, Stephen Farry MP said “stronger pressure was required” from the government, including “a willingness to legislate”.
The deputy leader of the Alliance Party accused ministers of a “passive response” to a series of questions he had asked about the controversy.
Kinahan helped set up boxing management business MTK Global – but it was announced last year he was stepping away from the sport.
However, the company told Panorama that he still advises some of its boxers, and the suspected gangster then issued his own statement, insisting he was innocent, and that he continued to work on “record-breaking” fights.
In the wake of the programme, Farry wrote to the government asking what plans it had to introduce regulation of advisers in boxing, a fit and proper person test for those involved in the sport, and what steps it was taking to ensure that it was not influenced by people alleged to be involved in organised crime.
The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) replied, saying fit and proper persons tests “are a matter for the national governing bodies”.
“We do not intend to intervene in this autonomy at this time but we expect national governing bodies and competition structures to put adequate levels of protections in place,” it said.
In response, Farry – who represents the North Down constituency in Belfast – tweeted “self-regulation has not happened so far”, and said he would be following up further with the government on “serious issues surrounding Daniel Kinahan’s role in professional boxing”.
Kinahan’s role in world boxing caused an outcry in June last year when it emerged he had been working as a personal adviser to world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury before a much-anticipated £200m fight later this year with fellow British world champion Anthony Joshua.
Panorama asked Fury whether Kinahan was still his personal adviser, but he did not respond.