Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza has said cartel chief Daniel Kinahan was accepted by the boxing world because some people viewed him as “edgy and mysterious.”
he US broadcasting boss said that some people in boxing loved the “allure” provided by Daniel Kinahan’s criminal activities.
Mr Espinoza has been the head of Showtime Sports since 2011 and has been responsible for making boxing a focus for the network.
Speaking to FightHype.com, Mr Espinoza said the fact that Kinahan has been sanctioned by the US government is “not a good thing for the sport, that’s for sure.”
He said: “Having people like that within the sport is not a positive but people view it as something that’s sort of edgy and mysterious and its Vegas and there’s this allure to it.
“It’s not corporate, it’s a bit of the wild wild west and [people] love that aspect of it.”
“But there’s a difference between being no holds barred and the wild wild west and then having people that are legitimate global criminals being directly involved in it,” he continued.
“So keeping people like that out of the sport will ultimately be a long term benefit for the sport.”
“I think there’s still a lot to be learned and I think there’s more that will come out with a move like this, I don’t think it’s the end of the story,” Espinoza continued.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if there are additional actions by the treasury department or the US government to go forward because they’ve obviously been looking at this very closely so it is a potential problem.”
Mr Espinoza also said it will be a “problem” if Daniel Kinahan has played a role in arranging champion Terence Crawford’s upcoming fight.
His comments comes as talks are reportedly underway for a super-fight between Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.
Crawford (34), who is the current WBO welterweight champion, was previously managed by Daniel Kinahan.
Crawford’s proposed fight with Spence could be one of the most significant welterweight bouts in boxing since Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquio in 2015.
However, Espinoza says it could be a major obstacle if Kinahan is still advising Crawford – as the fight would take place on US soil and involve US athletes and companies.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of concern in the highest levels of government about Daniel Kinahan and where his business is,” he told Fight Hype.
At a press conference held in Dublin by An Garda Siochana, the US Department of State, Europol and the UK National Crime agency announced a whopping $5 million reward for key information leading to the Kinahan gang being dismantled.
The three leaders of the gang are named by the authorities as Daniel Kinahan, who runs the day-to-day operations, his father Christy Kinahan Snr who organizes property purchases, and Christy Kinahan Jnr who oversees their finances.
Following the news, members of the boxing world, including Bob Arum distanced himself from Daniel.
Tyson Fury, who was previously advised by the Dublin born mob boss, also stated that he was not involved with him when asked if they had any business together.
“Zero, absolutely zero,” he exclaimed.
“That’s none of your business and none of anybody else’s business, I don’t think. Is it?” Fury said.
“My business is my business, your business is yours.”
MTK Global, the boxing promotions company founded by Daniel Kinahan in 2012, also ceased operations citing “unpreceded levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism.”
It came just one day after Bob Yalen stepped down as CEO for “personal reasons.”
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