According to Bob Arum, the founder of American boxing promoter Top Rank, Top Rank paid Kinahan more than $4 million in advisory fees for four Fury fights he promoted between 2019 and 2021, showcasing Kinahan’s involvement in the highest levels of boxing.
Fury takes on Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday in a highly anticipated heavyweight bout. But the preparation for the fight was overshadowed by questions about Fury’s relationship with Kinahan, questions he repeatedly dodged.
“I’m not here to talk politics or war or religion on your part, trying to sound out for me to say something,” Fury told a Sky News interviewer on Tuesday. “I’m not interested in other people’s concerns. I don’t care, it’s none of my business. I’m a boxer and I have 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 Kinahan an unsolicited shoutout after winning a fight last weekend. Asked about it afterLazzez called Kinahan “a friend and adviser”, before professing to ignore the sanctions against Kinahan.
Other combat sports figures 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 targeted by the sanctions. But Conlan said in a statement that he had been represented by his brother, Jamie, for a year and had never heard of Hoopoe.
Mauricio Sulaimán, the head of the World Boxing Council sanctioning organization, was pictured with Kinahan in Dubai earlier this year. But after the sanctions were imposed, Sulaimán said that “at no time” had he had a 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 business with Kinahan in the future. Eddie Hearn, the chairman of boxing promoter Matchroom Sport, also said his company would follow all regulations and have nothing to do with Kinahan. Probellum, a promoter who has signed a number of MTK fighters and been linked to Kinahan by a Pakistani politiciandenied these links and also said he would not deal with Kinahan.