One of the most prominent boxing and MMA talent agencies will shut down operations.
On Wednesday morning, MTK Global, which insists Irish mobster Daniel Kinahan hasn’t been associated with the company in five years, announced that due to leading promoters cutting ties with its athletes, it has been forced to close doww.
“As a business we have faced unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism since the sanction by the U.S. government of Daniel Joseph Kinahan,” the statement read. It is a matter of public record that Mr. Kinahan’s involvement in MTK ceased in 2017, and despite repeated assurances in this regard, unfounded allegations by 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 at the end of this month.”
MTK Global represents the likes of boxing champions Tyson Fury, Terence Crawford and Josh Taylor, as well as UFC fighters Darren TIll, Aleksandar Rakic, and Su Mudaerji, who competes on Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 205 card.
MTK Global’s announcement specifically mentions finding “new partnerships” for boxers but makes no mention of what will happen to MMA fighters on its roster.
“MTK prospered because we always put the long term interests of our fighters at the heart of what we do,” the statement read. “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.”
According to MMA Fighting, MTK Global’s decision won’t affect the MMA side of its business “since it’s an independent company.”
Kinahan, 44, is wanted by the U.S. government. Last Monday, the Treasury Department announced that it has imposed sanctions on Kinahan and other key members of the Kinahan Organized Crime Group, which is alleged to partake in narcotics trafficking, money laundering, firearms trafficking, and murder.
Mounir Lazzez was asked about his #UFCVegas51 post-win shoutout of suspected Irish mob boss Daniel Kinahan, who was sanctioned by the U.S. government and had a $5 million bounty placed on his head this week.
Here’s what he had to say: pic.twitter.com/Vsf0JTcrhX
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) April 17, 2022
Mounir Lazzez, who picked up an impressive win over Ange Loosa this past Saturday at the UFC on ESPN 34, was heavily criticized after shouting out Kinahan following his ESPN-televised fight during his interview with Daniel Cormier.
“I would love to thank my coaches and my brother, Daniel Kinahan,” Lazzez said. “Without him, I would never be the man that I am today and to my career to this point. Thanks a lot.”
Lazzez was pressed by a reporter during his ensuing media scrum about his praise for Kinahan, but the 34-year-old claimed he wasn’t aware of the sanctions placed on him by the American government.