Famous boxing promoter Bob Arum has declared he will no longer be working with long-time confidante Daniel Kinahan after the US government yesterday issued a $5 million reward for the arrest of the Dubai-based mob boss, as well his father Christy and his brother Christy.
Arum's Top Rank company also have cut ties with MTK, the boxing promotion company that Kinahan once lead, and Probellum, a boxing promotion company with links to MTK, according to reports in America.
It's an early sign of how seismic yesterday's announcement at Dublin City Hall will be for the boxing industry. Top Rank and MTK Global have a long-running partnership. In 2019, the two companies announced a "multi-year licensing agreement" to "bring MTK Global events to fans in the United States on ESPN platforms".
Arum also is a co-promoter of Tyson Fury, who has been advised throughout his career by Kinahan. Arum and Kinahan had worked closely over the years, as Top Rank as looked to expand into the Middle East. However Arum told the Daily Mail yesterday evening:
"I’m a US citizen and the Treasury department does not take these steps lightly. We will respect them (sanctions preventing Kinahan doing business in the US).
"We are not going to deal with Kinahan and his people. We will deal directly (with Fury) or his lawyer Robert Davis.
"I was not pleased with a number of things he (Kinahan) was doing in boxing. I was looking to sever ties anyway."
He also told Marc Raimondi of ESPN:
"The U.S. government doesn't make an allegation like this unless there is evidence to back it up. So, case closed. You cannot take the U.S. position and treat it lightly. It's very, very serious for the U.S. to say what they've said."
Arum had once considered Daniel Kinahan 'honourable'
It's an incredible Damascene revelation for a man who was very happy to praise the character of the Dubliner in the media.
Arum was very prominent in the media defending Kinahan in the aftermath of Tyson Fury praising the Dubliner for putting together a potential superfight between himself and Anthony Joshua in June 2020.
Arum declared back then that 'everyone trusts Kinahan'.
"Our relationship with MTK has been tremendous and particularly with Dan who was the original founder of MTK.
“And now is still an advisor to them and is in effect our advisor regarding the Mid East.
"He’s living in the Mid East and he has very good connections.
“And so we early on seeded to Dan the authority to explore opportunities in the Mid East on behalf of Top Rank.
“We told Frank (Warren) what our preference was and Frank agreed to go along.
He also described Kinahan as 'honourable' on Newstalk radio.
Not only is he intelligent which everybody had told me before, but he is dead honest, forthright and he's a no-nonsense guy.
Weeks after the controversy, Arum confirmed that Kinahan had taken a back seat in the negotiations of Fury-Joshua, a fight we're still waiting for, due to bad publicity.
Yesterday's announcement by the US Department of Treasury appears to have forced Arum to change his tune on Kinahan. How many others will follow suit? And will Arum follow through on his own words? It all remains to be seen.