Gang Kinahan, whose boxing empire is in tatters in the wake of US sanctions in April, went into hiding on Tuesday as Eddie Hearn’s Match Room announced a major new boxing initiative.
Speaking at a press conference on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Hearn announced Dimitri Bevol Gilbert “Zordo” Ramirez’s world title match on September 5 as a “historic moment” for the emirate, with more high-profile competitions planned for the world championships.
The fight, which brings together two undefeated boxers, marks the first new partnership in the “Chain of Champions” between the Principality Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) and Matchroom.
“For us as a company, this is just the beginning of a new world of boxing here in the Middle East and Abu Dhabi,” Hearn said.
“This is about bringing the mega elite sport to Abu Dhabi, but it is also about growing the sport of boxing in this country as well,” he said. “We will put plans together to make sure this sport is built from the ground up.”
Prominent American boxing writer Al Dawson noted that Kinahan did not participate in such a new initiative for boxing in the Middle East.
Posting on Twitter, Dawson said: “Not everything in Middle Eastern boxing is related to Daniel Kinahan.
In April, the UAE issued “severe penalties” for the suspected drug terrorist.
Match Room Advertisement with DCT – Governmental Authority.
“Match Room is likely to follow in the footsteps of the UFC in Abu Dhabi.
“DCT, for example, has been instrumental in building, maintaining, and modifying the Battle Island concept throughout the pandemic.
“They were not interested in standalone boxing matches and instead pointed to Abu Dhabi’s activations in jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts for the growth they wish to harness.
The Matchroom ad is dedicated to the ‘Champions Series’ and hints at the kind of revitalization Abu Dhabi likes – an ongoing partnership rather than a stand-alone Fury vs Joshua match.
Eddie Heard has spoken at length about how Matchroom wants to “copy what the UFC is doing.”
Mob boss Daniel Kinahan has been hiding in Dubai since 2016, while his father Christy Senior and brother Christy Jenner reside in the area.
Kinhan had used the Emirates as his base and had grown an enormous influence on the sport of boxing all over the world.
A measure of this influence, Bob Arum, the highest-ranking president in 2020, called for Kinahan to be tasked with finding a location in the Middle East to counter a potential reunification between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
Speaking in May of that year, Arum, a lawyer with extensive experience who once worked in the administration of President John F. Kennedy, said: “We have great confidence in Dan. He is in fact our advisor on the Middle East.
“He lives there and has very, very good connections so we ceded early on to Dan the authority to explore opportunities in the Middle East on behalf of Top Rank…
“That’s what Dan is looking for because everyone trusts Dan to handle this situation whether it’s Eddie or Frank or me.
“Dan is like a captain when it comes to the practical aspects of fighting a fight in the Middle East. He is one of my favorite companions. He makes no sense, his word is his bond.”
But, Arum turned on Kinahan in April of this year after the US announced sanctions against the gang boss – and police warned those involved in boxing that dealing with Kinahan meant they had involved themselves in a “criminal network”.
More evidence of the chaotic erosion of Kinahan’s former power in the sport also surfaced eight thousand miles from Abu Dhabi, California this week.
sundayworld.com On Wednesday, it reported how MTK – the now defunct boxing company Kinahan founded – no longer has any legal representation in an ongoing civil racketeering case as it faces a judgment of up to $2 million.
Judge John W. Holcombe granted a request by California-based attorney Michael Mancini to relieve him as MTK counsel after finding it “appropriate” to do so “without hearing.”
The case against MTK and Kinahan in California relates to the alleged poaching of Mexican fighter JoJo Diaz, but also sees Danielle Kinahan facing allegations of drug trafficking, money laundering and murder.
In a signed announcement filed with the court earlier this month, Mr. Mancini said his company had notified MTK of the consequences of the development saying that the company had “provided MTK USA with written notice of the consequences of not being able to appear in this action.”
He further stated that he has informed all relevant lawyers of his request to withdraw as legal counsel to MTK, including lawyers for Daniel Kinahan.
“Daniel Kinahan’s lawyer did not object,” he said.