The menacing presence of gang figure Daniel Kinahan in the world of boxing came to the fore again in a protracted legal battle between two Irish fighting greats.
During the marathon case, the Belfast High Court heard there is a “fear of intimidation” from the sports company that Mr. Kinahan co-founded nearly a decade ago.
There were also allegations during the lawsuit between Carl Frampton and his former manager Barry McGuigan that the company MTK Global is used as the “front” for crime.
In response, Mr McGuigan sued his ex-child prodigy for £ 4 million, alleging a breach of contractual obligations.
Yesterday the court heard that the case was settled after 10,000 potentially relevant emails were discovered from Mr McGuigan’s company Cyclone Promotions UK Ltd, which were previously believed to be lost or deleted.
The couple officially split in 2017 after their once close relationship collapsed and Mr Frampton later moved to MTK Global.
The company was co-founded by Daniel Kinahan in 2012 and became famous four years later when it hosted a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel.
The event was stormed by five men, some of whom were dressed in fake Garda SWAT uniforms. One gang employee was dead and two others were injured.
In recent years the sports company has repeatedly attempted to distance itself from Mr Kinahan, previously named in the Irish High Court as the head of ongoing operations for the drug and arms trafficking gang.
The alleged links between MTK Global and crime were raised during the case with Carl Frampton, who denied any knowledge of it.
Barry McGuigan’s attorney, Liam McCollum QC, told Mr. Frampton that MTK Global could be viewed as the “front” for a criminal organization.
The 33-year-old Belfast boxer said he was “unaware of this”.
When the involvement of Daniel Kinahan, who has no previous beliefs, and MTK was passed on to Mr. Frampton, he replied, “I’ve heard the stories … I suspect nothing.”
While the issue of MTK and its links to boxer crime has not been brought up again, it was raised earlier this month with Blain McGuigan, Barry’s son, during his five days on the witness stand.
When asked about his assessment of MTK’s status and reputation in the boxing industry, Blain McGuigan said, “They have (have) quite dubious connections, (there is) certainly fear of intimidation within the sport of who they may represent.
“My biggest concern is that they are getting more and more influence, and it will come to a point where they are in control of both boxers and the competition.”
Barry McGuigan added that “Among other things, there may be a potential lack of honesty in competition.”
Other allegations were made against both parties throughout the lawsuit.
Carl Frampton said he vowed never to fight for Barry McGuigan again after the tax officer asked him to pay a bill for £ 400,000.
His case centered on an alleged conflict of interest regarding Mr McGuigan’s dual role as manager and promoter of some fights.
During another session, Barry McGuigan was told that he had torn up a check for $ 500,000 to be given to Mr. Frampton after a fight in the United States. It was also alleged that he told the US promoter who gave him the check that all funds would have to come through him.
In response to the claim, Mr. McGuigan said this was “complete cobbler” and “junk”.
“I handed the check back to him and didn’t mention anything about money that went to me,” he said.
Mr McGuigan also said the deal was struck for that fight – – a 2016 fight against Leo Santa Cruz in New York, for which Frampton was told he would receive $ 1.5 million (EUR 1.3 million) – – had “far surpassed everything else that had been offered.”
Mr McGuigan also claimed that the boxer was already negotiating an exit before leaving their relationship.
He spent a total of six days giving evidence from the stand. During this time he also said Carl Frampton was “like family”.
Ultimately, however, a resolution was finally found this week to all areas of dispute without the need for a court decision, after discovering more than 10,000 emails that may be relevant to the case.
The Belfast High Court was previously notified that the electronic messages were either lost or deleted from the Cyclone account.
In an unexpected development, however, it turned out that a large number of archived emails were found on the company’s systems last week. The trial was postponed to allow a “mammoth” trawl through all of the newly located material.
Mr Justice Huddleston was informed last night that a consent agreement had been reached. An order issued today confirmed: “All further proceedings related to these claims and counterclaims will be suspended on the terms set out in the signed and dated document entitled” McGuigan-Frampton Dispute Settlement. “No instruction was issued given at the cost.
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