Boxer Matthew Macklin has vowed to Sky Sports that he will never deal with or work with his former “best friend” Daniel Kinahan again.
Macklin (39), who co-founded boxing firm MTK Global with Kinahan in 2012 and who once was close pals with him, has stayed silent on the mob boss in recent years – and hasn’t made his feelings known on the recent sanctions imposed upon him by the US government – until now.
In recent weeks, his role as a regular commentator and pundit for Sky Sports has come under scrutiny from some on social media – as dozens of boxing figures such as Tyson Fury, Michael Conlon and Bob Arum all distanced themselves from Kinahan – but he remained quiet.
READ MORE:Insiders reveal panicked Daniel Kinahan scrambling to hide assets of group ‘worth over a billion euro’
In recent days, this paper has repeatedly sought Mr Macklin directly for comment on the issue – but he did not respond.
But in an exclusive statement to The Star last night, Sky confirmed that Mr Macklin, who is a regular pundit with them, has vowed to the company that he will not work with or deal with Kinahan again.
“Matt Macklin disposed of his stake in MTK in 2017. Since then, he has had no commercial dealings with Daniel Kinahan.
“Like everyone at Sky Sports, he will fully comply with the US Sanctions,” a Sky spokesperson said.
In follow up questions with The Star, we asked the spokesperson specifically if Mr Macklin has promised Sky that he will no longer work with or deal with Kinahan – given the US sanctions – to which he stated he has.
It is the first public confirmation from Macklin that he will comply with the sanctions and not have any future dealings with Kinahan – since the bombshell announcement by the US department of Treasury earlier this month.
In that announcement, the US authorities also issued a $5M reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of the Kinahans.
Back in 2017 Macklin, who is not involved in any criminality, referred to Kinahan as his best friend, and stated that the gangster decided to take a backseat in his role at MTK due to “bad publicity.”
“Me and Daniel started off MGM. We were best friends and like I said I was over there all the time when I was training… so we set that up and it just grew from there,” he said.
“Obviously then there’s been a lot of bad publicity… Daniel has taken a backwards step.
“He still advises lots of fighters,” he said.
Macklin later sold his stake of MTK, which grew into a global boxing brand and took on some of the biggest names in the sport – including Tyson Fury.
Throughout the years Macklin was happy to have himself photographed next to Kinahan.
Despite repeated claims by MTK Global that it had parted ways with Kinahan in 2017, several comments by those involved, as well as pictures emerged which showed that the Irish mobster still had links to the company.
Last week MTK Global announced that it was ceasing as a company – in a dramatic announcement.
The company claimed it was ceasing its operations following what it called “unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny,” and also citing “unfounded allegations” as being what has led to its downfall.
But those so-called ‘unfounded allegations’ have over the years been compounded by MTK Global itself, which publicly stated in 2020 that Kinahan was involved with them in a “groundbreaking partnership” as a “special advisor” with another company.
And in May of that year MTK Global even issued a press release where Kinahan himself was quoted – as they promoted a major boxing summit in Bahrain.
Several MTK fighters also stated well past 2017 that Kinahan was their advisor – while the world’s biggest boxer, Tyson Fury publicly lauded the mob boss as being the man responsible for arranging a multi-million euro fight with Anthony Joshua.
Pictures of Kinahan with former MTK Global CEO Sandra Vaughan have also emerged in recent years – and most recently Kinahan appeared in a photo with her husband – boxer Danny Vaughan – a ‘Head Coach’ with MTK Global.
And just last week, legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum said in his view Kinahan was still “a hundred per cent” running MTK Global – despite claims by the company to the contrary.
“He founded it, it’s his company.
“He can say what he wants, I know for fact from some of the stuff that he did, that it was his company – whatever the books said,” he said.
All of this came in spite of claims by MTK Global that it had nothing to do with Kinahan after Ms Vaughan stepped in as CEO in 2017.
At the time Ms Vaughan launched an unprecedented boycott campaign against the Irish media for what she labelled “unfair” coverage of the company.
The so-called #fairnews campaign saw the companies boxing stable launching a somewhat unsuccessful social media boycott that backfired by widespread media coverage.
MTK Global claimed the reason it has to cease trading now is because leading promoters have informed them that it will be “severing all ties” with them and their fighters.
It comes as the US Department of Treasury announced sanctions against mob boss Daniel Kinahan, his father Christy Sr, and his brother Christy Jr, last week.
The US authorities also announced a massive $5M reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of the trio.
Off the back of the US move, it then emerged last week that authorities in the United Arab Emirates, where Kinahan is based, have also moved against him – freezing their corporate and personal bank accounts.
The huge announcement has now dealt a hammer blow to Kinahan and his involvement in the world of boxing.
But it also means the end of his cushy life in Dubai, where he has been able to live a life of luxury while many of his key associates were jailed for their roles in the bloody Kinahan Hutch feud.
That feud, which erupted in 2015, has seen 18 men brutally murdered.
For the last number of years Kinahan attempted to cement his image as one of the leading figures in the sport – fixing some of the biggest fights and working with the most famous fighters in the world.
Perhaps his biggest achievement was working as an advisor to two-time world heavyweight champion of the world Fury – who this week “said he had “absolutely zero” business” with the mobster.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Fury dismissed his relationship with Kinahan, who he once praised – saying the matter was nobody’s business.
“I just had a million questions about all this rubbish before. “But like I said to them, it’s none of my business, and I don’t get involved in other people’s business. So it doesn’t really concern me,” he told them.
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