MTK Global CEO Bob Yalen Resigns
The damage control continues surrounding the U.S. Government sanctioning Irish businessman/boxing investor Daniel Kinahan and on Tuesday in the U.K., the head of the boxing promotional company Kinahan helped found resigned.
In a statement released by MTK Global, CEO Bob Yalen announced that he is quitting due to what is being termed “personal reasons.” However, anyone paying attention to the news of the U.S. and Irish governments joint investigation knows that the controversy over Kinahan and the U.S. offering $5 million for the breaking up of his family’s crime ring and/or their arrests is at the heart of all that’s been happening.
We regret to announce that Bob Yalen has today stepped down as CEO of MTK Global for personal reasons.
We would like to thank him for all his efforts on behalf of the business and his leadership of our team.
— MTK Global Boxing (@MTKGlobal) April 19, 2022
“We regret to announce that Bob Yalen has today stepped down as CEO of MTK Global for personal reasons.
We would like to thank him for all of his efforts on behalf of the business and his leadership of our team.
Bob Yalen said: “I am incredibly proud of the success of MTK Global and I feel privileged to have served as President and CEO since 2018.
“However, the pressure of the last few weeks has been particularly intense. I need to consider the impact on myself and my family. So after four years leading MTK, I think it’s time for me to step aside to take on new challenges.”
The brief resignation statement continues the fallout from those in the boxing business in the U.K. and even, in the U.S. and Mexico having been associated with Kinahan.
Just Monday our Dan Rafael wrote about WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman having to apologize/explain his association with Kinahan writing in part:
On March 19, Sulaiman was in Dubai, where Irish national Kinahan lives – because he is wanted by authorities in Ireland – to attend a Probellum-promoted boxing event.
While he was there, Sulaiman met with Kinahan, who many believe is behind Probellum and the Dubai-based management company and promoter MTK Global, and distributed a widely seen photo of himself posing with Kinahan and promoter Ahmet Oener as part of his weekly WBC column.
In that March 22 column, Sulaiman wrote, “During Probellum fight night, I also met Daniel Kinahan, who is advisor and manager of boxers, a man who has been labeled as a person linked to criminal groups. I had a fascinating and insightful talk with him, confirmed by the testimonies of many boxers who express their admiration and gratitude for the unconditional support he has given them, which has allowed them to significantly improve their lives.
I am nobody to judge any person, and that has been the policy plus ethos of our organization, to combat all types of discrimination and abuse of power, for any person or group.”
On Monday, Sulaiman distanced himself from Kinahan, as have others in boxing who have done business with him, including Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, Probellum and MTK Global, which Kinahan co-founded in 2012 but sold his shares of in 2017.
“Whilst visiting Dubai recently I was introduced to Daniel Kinahan, who has since been placed on a sanctions list by the U.S. Treasury Department, concerning alleged links to drug crimes,” Sulaiman said in a statement on Monday. “This has generated speculation and attacks on myself and the WBC. I therefore feel it necessary to make it clear that at no time have we had any relationship with Daniel Kinahan. The World Boxing Council deals solely and exclusively with boxing promoters and only they maintain commercial relations in the certification of fights for our titles….”
As Dan continued,
Kinahan is accused of running the day-to-day operations of an organized crime group that has been responsible for numerous murders, distribution of cocaine and international money laundering. The U.S. sanctions mean anyone found to be doing business with Kinahan, his named associates and companies faces civil or criminal penalties.
Within boxing, Kinahan serves (or has served) as an adviser to fighters such as heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, welterweight titlist Terence Crawford, undisputed junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor, featherweight contender Michael Conlan and former middleweight and super middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders, among others.
Probellulm Entertainment and Top Rank Boxing have both last week similarly dis-avowed and ended their business dealings with Kinahan and the crime syndicate family that they’re being accused of being.
For his part, Fury is set to defend his WBC Heavyweight title against fellow Brit Dillian Whyte on Saturday night at Wembley stadium and will take part in a final press conference on Wednesday afternoon in London. It’s expected that he will for the first time have to address his friendship/relationship with Kinahan and the current situation.