Kinahan Appointment Could Make Bahrain a Heavyweight Destination

      Published on Sunday, 17 May , 2020      1220      
Kinahan Appointment Could Make Bahrain a Heavyweight Destination

  • Sport

Bahrain has emerged as a potential player in the big fight business after Daniel Kinahan, the co-founder of MTK Global, was announced as a special adviser to a group set up to bring combat sports to the oil-rich Middle East state.

Kinahan, who lives in Dubai, has become a special adviser to KHK Sports, an organisation set up by Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the president of the Bahrain Olympic Committee. A statement said that Kinahan would advise in the development of several sports across the KHK Sports portfolio, but left little doubt that the country would be hoping to attract top-level boxing.

“His Highness recognises the importance of sporting events in promoting the Kingdom of Bahrain globally and enhancing the Kingdom’s tourism industry and the economy,” the statement said. “His Highness appreciates the tremendous value Mr Kinahan will lend to the organisation.”

Bahrain is made up of an archipelago of islands in the Persian Gulf. It only has a population of about 1.5 million people but is a major exporter of oil and natural gas. It a a major ally of the United States in the region, with around 7,000 US armed forces troops based there.

It has staged a Formula One grand prix since 2004, although that has often been the subject of protest because of the country’s poor human rights record.

Irishman Kinahan formed MTK Global as MGM Marbella with Matthew Macklin in 2012. He stepped away from the company in 2017, although is understood to remain an adviser to the company.

Bob Arum, the president of Top Rank, gave a glowing endorsement to Kinahan last week, saying he had “great confidence” in him and saying he had ceded authority to him to negotiate the possibility of staging a Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua fight in the Middle East.

He is the son of Christy Kinahan, who was jailed for drugs offences in the 1980s. Christy Kinahan is said to be the head of a crime organisation that has been involved in an ongoing deadly feud with a rival gang in Dublin.

Daniel Kinahan was rumoured to have been the target of the armed attack on a weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in Dublin in 2016, which left one man dead.

“It is an honour for me to work with His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Mr. Mohammed Shahid and the entire the team at KHK Sports,” he said in a statement. “KHK Sports has made an impressive mark on the world of combat sports and has fantastic ambitions to grow into a global powerhouse.

“I look forward to working with the team to realise these dreams and further build Bahrain combat sports into a globally recognized presence. We will create opportunities for Bahraini fighters on the international stage whilst attracting the biggest names in the sport to the Kingdom.

“His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa has been visionary in his approach to the sport and has built KHK Sports out of passion which is paramount to continued growth and inspiration of the people of Bahrain.”

Category Sport | 2020/05/17 latest update at 10:00 AM
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