MTK's CEO Claims 'Lawless' Irish Media Are "Creating Havoc" For Boxers
It is a month to the day since MTK Global's CEO Sandra Vaughan announced their decision to pull out of Ireland due to claims of vilification from the Irish media. In the brief time that has elapsed, her promise that a lengthy legal battle is only just beginning suggests that she and MTK have not yet found any reason to be hopeful that access can be restored.
With a scheduled show at the Citywest Hotel cancelled after what Vaughan claimed was "widespread media propaganda" against their organisation, it was decided that no boxer within the MTK stable will fight in Ireland for the foreseeable future.
Despite the horrific events that occurred at Dublin's Regency Hotel during an MGM (previous incarnation of MTK) event in 2016, Vaughan is suggesting that less than two years on, no such links remain.
What would perhaps have been a fairly irrelevant decision for the Irish sporting calendar has further-reaching consequences however given the amount of high-profile Irish boxers currently working with MTK; Michael Conlon and Paddy Barnes, to name just a few.
Speaking from Dubai, Vaughan reiterated her opinion regarding MTK's mistreatment at the hands of the Irish sporting media and why it was necessary to impose an outright media blackout, as well as refusing to sign any more Irish boxers until the situation was rectified:
I'm not naive. Obviously there has been negative press, the links to Daniel Kinahan - I bought the business from Matthew [Macklin]. I thought there was enough distance [from crime], maybe naively so. I thought, we've got Irish fighters, Danny [Vaughan] trains Irish fighters ... I know how important it is for Irish fighters to fight in their hometown. ... I understand that, and I totally support that.
Unfortunately for us, the way the media is set up in Ireland is unlike anywhere else; they are a law unto themselves. When I was announced [as CEO], they picked up on all the negativity, lies about me, lies about my family, a lot of things which we are dealing with legally ... because I think what they are doing is absolutely wrong.
Citing that the ban is "causing havoc" in Ireland for their Irish boxers, Vaughan has claimed that the self-imposed ban reduces the earning potential any Irish boxer has of making whilst working for them.
What is seen by many within Ireland as a level of capricious pettiness targeting a relentlessly supportive and knowledgeable Irish boxing media, Vaughan's claims toward 'lawlessness' appear particularly ironic.
I tried for years to make writing about boxing in Ireland party of my profession, ultimately failed. This ban makes it even harder for those who are still trying to make a go of it, usually at great personal cost https://t.co/XjXvGN8obn
— Kevin Byrne (@KevByrneBox) February 23, 2018
Scant coverage of the MTK ban today and over last few days. Shows how indifferent much of media is to boxing, which makes the ban especially counter-productive.
— The Notorious Kieran Cunningham (@KCsixtyseven) February 11, 2018
Suggesting that much - if not all - the negative press surrounding MTK Global is purely down to fabricated stories from Ireland's 'lawless' sporting media, Vaughan similarly criticised the Irish public for buying into these lies.
Not sure how joined up the thinking in mtk is anyway. They’ve been hiring and firing like the White House since October. Strikes me that they might be trying to blame the media while burning their bridges with Ireland.
— Michael Foley (@MickFoley76) February 11, 2018
Refuting any notion that MTK fighters had been banned from fighting in Dublin externally, Vaughan was keen to stress that whatever negativity surrounded MTK before her takeover is no longer a factor in their day-to-day dealings.
Confirming that all of their boxers are behind MTK's decision, Vaughan reiterated that as long as the Irish media continued their 'witch-hunt' of the organisation, no MTK fighter would feature in Ireland.
You can watch the full interview below.