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WBC President Sulaiman Latest To Distance From Fugitive Kinahan

WBC President Sulaiman Latest To Distance From Fugitive Kinahan

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WBC President Sulaiman Latest To Distance From Fugitive Kinahan

WBC File photo

WBC President Sulaiman Latest To Distance From Fugitive Kinahan

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman on Monday distanced himself from boxing adviser Daniel Kinahan, whom the United States government last week identified as an organized crime kingpin, and apologized for his recent nice words about him.

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.

“The WBC has had for many years a large number of social responsibility campaigns focused on the prevention and awareness of the dangers of drug use. We have a wonderful program of talks given by a former DEA agent, Rocky Heron, who reaches thousands of people with his presentations. We have rescued many boxers and members of the boxing community around the world from the demons of addiction and we openly and constantly support rehabilitation clinics such as those of Julio Cesar Chavez and Aaron Silva, among others.
“I made an innocent mistake, due to absolute ignorance of the situation.

In this way, I confirm that the World Boxing Council and all its members absolutely reject any action that is detrimental to human beings and we will continue, as always, in total compliance with the laws of all countries in the world.”

Last week, the U.S. government, via the treasury department, announced that it has identified Kinahan as the head of the Kinahan Organized Crime Group and sanctioned him along with six associates, including his father and brother, and three companies he is involved in. A $5 million bounty was placed on Kinahan, 44, and each of the associates for information that will lead to the “financial destruction” of the Kinahan crime group or the arrest and conviction of its leaders. Previously, the Irish government named him as the leader of one of Europe’s most notorious drug cartels.

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.

Since 2000, award-winning reporter Dan Rafael has covered boxing full time and been ringside for thousands of fights, first for five years at USA Today and then for 15 years at ESPN, where he wrote and appeared on various television, radio and streaming programs. In 2013, Dan was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America with the Nat Fleischer award for career excellence in boxing journalism. Dan brings his great insight to the Big Fight Weekend site, podcast and more!

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