Top Irish amateur boxer signs pro deal with gym linked to Kinahan crime boss
Rio Olympian David Oliver Joyce has announced that he has left the amateur ranks to join a gym that was searched by police investigating the Kinahan cartel.
The 2009 European champion announced the decision to turn professional on his Twitter account this evening. He has signed on with the MTK Global.
Happy to announce. That iv turned over to the pro game. With MKT. big things ahead. Looking forward yo it. pic.twitter.com/8s5NzC6Ml8— Daveyoliverjoyce (@daveyoliver101) April 17, 2017
MTK global, previously known as Macklin's Gym Marbella (MGM), was founded by retired professional Matthew Macklin, who has no involvement with crime.
Mobster Daniel Kinahan, a son of international drug trafficker Christy Kinahan, was heavily involved in the running of the Spanish gym but has taken a step back.
In an interview recently, Macklin said: "Me and Daniel started off MGM. We were best friends and like I said I was over there all the time when I was training... so we set that up and it just grew from there."
"Obviously then there's been a lot of bad publicity... Daniel has taken a backwards step.
"He still advises lots of fighters."
It was recently raided as part of an operation by Spanish police investigating the murder of Gary Hutch (33) in 2015.
Dubliner James Quinn (34) was arrested in relation to the operation and is currently facing charges before a Spanish court for the murder of Hutch.
An MGM-sponsored event - Clash of the Clans - was taking place in the Regency Hotel last year when a six-man hit team stormed the hotel, murdering cartel lieutenant David Byrne (33).
Daniel Kinahan is believed to have been the primary target of the hit.
Joyce, who has no involvement in crime, joins fellow Olympian Paddy Barnes at the MTK Global stable.
- Read More: 'I don’t really know him' – Olympic hero Paddy Barnes discusses relationship with crime boss Kinahan
“I've been wanting to turn professional since returning home from the Olympic Games,” Joyce said.
“I'm delighted to do so with MTK and look forward to working with them.
“I've known Paddy since I was a kid and discussed turning over when we were at the Games. Seeing those guys do it has given me that little edge to go and do it for myself.
“I've seen the shows recently and they look great, there have been some top boxers in action and I want to show people how good I am on the big stage.
“I had a great amateur career but I believe I'll be even better as a professional, a lot of people have told me I've got a great style for the pros. The amateurs are shorter and I believe the longer rounds will suit me down to the ground."