According to Bob Arum, the founder of United States-based boxing promoter Top Rank, Top Rank paid Kinahan over $4 million in consulting fees for four Fury fights it promoted between 2019 and 2021, showcasing Kinahan’s involvement in the highest levels of boxing.
Fury is fighting against Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday in a highly anticipated heavyweight bout. But the run-up to the fight has been overshadowed by questions about Fury’s relationship with Kinahan, questions he has repeatedly dodged.
“I’m not here to talk politics, war or religion from you, trying to probe for me to say something,” Fury told an interviewer from Sky News on Tuesday. “I’m not interested in others’ concerns. Don’t care, none of my business. I’m a boxing man and I’ve got a fight to think about, enough said.”
He added: “Thank you very much and I won’t be doing any more interviews with Sky.”
Mounir Lazzez, a mixed martial arts fighter represented by MTK Global, gave an unsolicited shout out to Kinahan after winning a fight last weekend. Asked about it after, Lazzez called Kinahan “a friend and adviser,” before professing to be unaware of the sanctions against Kinahan.
Other figures in combat sports have sought to distance themselves from Kinahan.
Michael Conlan, an Irish featherweight, was previously managed by MTK Global and was listed as a client on the website of Hoopoe Sports, a Dubai-based company that was included in the sanctions. But Conlan said in a statement that he has been represented by his brother, Jamie, for the past year, and had never heard of Hoopoe.
Mauricio Sulaimán, the head of the World Boxing Council sanctioning organization, was photographed with Kinahan in Dubai earlier this year. But after the sanctions were levied, Sulaimán said that “at no time” did he have any relationship with Kinahan and called his meeting with him an “innocent mistake, due to absolute ignorance of the situation.”
Arum said Top Rank would not do any business with Kinahan in the future. Eddie Hearn, the chairman of the boxing promoter Matchroom Sport, also said his company would follow all regulations and have nothing to do with Kinahan. Probellum, a promoter that has signed a number of MTK fighters and was linked to Kinahan by a Pakistani politician, denied those links and also said it would not deal with Kinahan.
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