US government sanctions on the Kinahan Irish mafia cartel have claimed their first business casualty.
The MTK Global boxing management company has closed its doors after promoters told it they would no longer deal with any of their fighters.
The company was set up under its original name of MGM by Irish gangland kingpin Daniel Kinahan in Marbella.
Kinahan, who lived in a luxury villa in Estepona before moving to Dubai, is believed to control a €1 billion crime organisation. The UAE has now frozen the assets of the Kinahan family following the US sanctions.
Kinahan put the money up to open the Macklin Gym Marbella (MGM) in 2012 with former Irish, British and European Middleweight Champion Matthew Macklin.
Its Puerto Banus location was a good fit for Kinahan when he based himself in Estepona.
Kinahan is the son of Irish underworld kingpin Christy Kinahan, known as ‘the dapper don.’
MGM quickly started to build a stable of top boxing talent and rapidly expanded its operations internationally
The gym even attracted top sports stars including Frank Bruno and Graeme Souness to promotions, raising its profile in the boxing world.
But it was not long before its criminal connections started to put MGM in the press for the wrong reasons.
A vicious Dublin turf war between rival drugs gangs spilled over into Spain, bringing bloodshed with it.
In 2014 Jamie Moore, a former European boxing champion and Sky boxing pundit, was shot outside Kinahan’s villa. Only a miracle allowed the athlete, who was training at MGM, to come out alive.
The U.S. government announced last month that it was offering a reward of $5 million for information that will lead to the ‘financial destruction’ of the Kinahan crime gang or the arrest and conviction of its leaders – Christy and his sons Daniel and Christy Junior
“As a business we have faced unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism since the sanctioning by the US Government of Daniel Joseph Kinahan,” a statement from MTK said.
“It is a matter of public record that Mr Kinahan’s involvement in MTK ceased in 2017, and despite repeated reassurances in this regard, unfounded allegations about his ongoing association with us and our fighters persist.
“Since leading promoters have now informed us that they will be severing all ties with MTK and will no longer work with our fighters, we have taken the difficult decision to cease operations.”
“MTK prospered because we always put the long term interests of our fighters at the heart of what we do,” the statement from MTK added.
“Our priority in the weeks ahead will be to ensure that our world class boxers are supported to find new partnerships as swiftly as possible.
“MTK gyms are operated independently so will remain open for the foreseeable future. Further announcements will be made in due course. Thank you to all the fans who have supported us over the last decade.”
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