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Thursday 14 December 2017

Paddy Barnes: 'Daniel Kinahan can sit in my corner'

‘I know nothing about feuds or crime,’ says Olympian who signed for MGM Gym

Boxer Paddy Barnes: ‘People are saying he’s a criminal but he’s been convicted of nothing’. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Boxer Paddy Barnes: ‘People are saying he’s a criminal but he’s been convicted of nothing’. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE Newsdesk Newsdesk

Boxer Paddy Barnes has revealed that he would have no problem with Daniel Kinahan, who has been embroiled in the ongoing Kinahan-Hutch feud, cornering him for a professional bout.

The two-time Olympic medallist revealed last week that he had signed a contract with the MGM Gym, which was searched as part of an international operation against the Kinahan cartel.

The Marbella-based gym was founded by the former boxing champion Matthew Macklin, who is not involved in criminality.

Mobster Daniel Kinahan, a son of the international drug trafficker Christy Kinahan, plays a senior role in running the MGM gym.

However, in an interview with the 'Sunday Business Post', Barnes (29) said that he didn't know anything about the Kinahans - despite Daniel Kinahan being pictured in the gym.

"I've read people saying that. But where's the facts and the proof of it?" said Barnes. "I don't know anything about the Kinahans, I only know Matthew Macklin. But what has Daniel Kinahan been convicted of?"

Barnes, who is expected to debut in Belfast before the end of the year, claimed that it would not bother him if Daniel Kinahan was in his corner come fight night.

"If he wants to sit in my corner, he can sit in my corner," he said.

Read more: 'MGM were the only ones who have actually offered me something' - Paddy Barnes on why he signed for controversial gym searched as part of Kinahan raids

The champion boxer also questioned why Daniel Kinahan has been portrayed as somebody involved in crime. He said: "So people need to be careful what they are saying if they are slandering people's names.

"People are saying he's a criminal, but he's been convicted of nothing. Strange, isn't it? He's roaming the world free with no convictions and warrants for his arrest."

The Belfast man also did not hold back on his thoughts about Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey.

Hickey, who remains in Brazil, is fighting charges of alleged ticket touting during the Rio Olympics, allegations he firmly denies.

"If Hickey is guilty, f**k him," said Barnes. "I don't care what happens to him really.

"It's nothing to do with me," added Barnes in the wide-ranging interview. He also said that he has very little time for sports officials.

Barnes said: "People in those kind of roles, presidents of associations or whatever, if you are doing well they want to lick your arse.

"If you're not doing well, they don't want to know you."

Irish Independent

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