Ireland's latest gangland victim boasted that he got €20,000 from a Chinese syndicate for every brutal cage fight he was involved in.
Murdered James Talbot's bizarre claims were made to gardai when they stopped the drug dealer and criminal with a Chinese man in a car in Ronanstown, west Dublin, just over a month ago.
Senior sources say that the 46-year-old convicted heroin dealer had been "throwing his weight around" in relation to uncollected drugs debts for the mob he was working for.
Talbot’s wife and four children, who range in age from seven years old to their early 20s, were in the family home in Lucan when the shooting occurred, gardai confirmed.
It is understood that the former pro-boxer had been involved in cage-fighting in recent months.
He was shot several times in the chest in the hallway of his home after answering the door.
Talbot was alive when officers reached the house, and gardai carried out CPR on him until paramedics arrived.
He was rushed to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown after the attack, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Detectives were last night still trying to establish an exact motive for the murder.
Officers are focusing on a cash row that is separate to a feud in the area that has already seen two murders during last summer.
“It is understood that he was refusing to pay a drugs debt to a gang that are based in the south inner city.”
However, this did not stop armed gardai calling to the apartment of the chief suspect in the Carroll killing – a gangland psycho who the Herald previously revealed is planning a “gangland spectacular” in which four men would be shot dead on the same night to cause “maximum mayhem”.
The source added: “It is understood that Talbot was refusing to pay a drugs debt to a gang that are based in the south inner city – they are the same crew suspected of murdering Mickey Devoy last month. Whoever he messed with, he messed with the wrong people.”
The weapon used in Talbot’s murder was a handgun, which was later found in the burnt-out 05 D 15878 Toyota Avensis car which had been stolen on January 31 in the Coolock area.
Gardai are anxious to find out where this car has been for the past two weeks and are appealing for anyone with any information on the vehicle to make themselves known.
The gunman was described as being around 5ft 10in tall and was wearing a grey hoodie.
The getaway car was not driven from the estate at speed, but it was dumped in a cul-de-sac on the nearby Earlsfort road a short time later.
Talbot had a fledgling boxing career in the UK in the early 1990s and later worked as a personal trainer.
He was furthermore a convicted heroin dealer and was suspected of being involved in organising cannabis grow houses in recent years, according to gardai sources.
He received a seven-year prison sentence back in January 1998 after he was arrested in possession of €300,000 worth of heroin. It is understood that gardai were unaware that there had been a threat on his life.
Ken Foy, Crime Correspondent