Wednesday 21 August 2019

Daniel Kinahan praised by MTK Global president Bob Yalen

MTK Global president Bob Yalen (inset) has confirmed the company's media ban in the Republic of Ireland has been lifted
MTK Global president Bob Yalen (inset) has confirmed the company's media ban in the Republic of Ireland has been lifted newsdesk

The president of MTK Global, Bob Yalen, has praised the boxing management company's co-founder Daniel Kinahan for his work in the sport.

Yalen, who previously praised Kinahan in an interview with The Sunday World in May, doubled down on The Boxing Esq. podcast with Kurt Emhoff, stating that he "perfectly understood" why Kinahan - one of the leaders of his father Christy's multi-million illegal drug empire - stepped away from the company.

Having spoken about MTK's current boxing operations, Emhoff turned to "a few incidents" that have happened with MTK in the past.

Emhoff said: "I'd (sic) probably be remiss if I didn't ask about MTK... there's been a few incidents in the last couple of years with the violence at the weigh-in, cancelling some shows.

"The Irish press made a big deal of Daniel Kinahan's involvement. Is he still involved with MTK, Daniel Kinahan?"

Yalen replied: "No. No, he's agreed to step aside and he perfectly understood what the issues were.

"In fairness to Daniel, I've met very few people who have a fighter's best interest at heart, more of a best interest of heart than Daniel.

"He may himself admit did he always go about it the right way, maybe not, but never anything malicious.

"Daniel, anytime I've spoken to him in the past, is always 'what's best for the fighter?' 'what can be done for the fighter?'

"So I can't fault him for that."

Emhoff then raised the subject of MTK's Irish media ban, and asked if the ban had been lifted.

Yalen replied: "Yeah, yeah absolutely."

Emhoff asked Yalen about "the incidents in the past" and their possible effects on Yalen's decision to become MTK's president.

"No. None whatsoever," Yalen replied. "When I sat and spoke with the people it wasn't just 'dollar, cents' it wasn't just how we move this fighter into the first position, how we get a title shot."

Yalen also credited the company's CEO Sandra Vaughan as the "driving force" behind MTK, adding: "Sandra's terrific. She's very savvy on how to move things forward."

Yalen revealed how he became the president of MTK Global, saying: "I guess I got lucky. They recruited me through some mutual contact and I went over to Dubai, had a nice meeting with them.

"I really like the outlook of the company, I like the way they think, the way they want to treat their fighters. It is what I consider a really good fit.

"Boxing is my passion. The way they want to treat their fighters, not just in the ring but out of the ring really appealed to me and so I just accepted right on the spot."

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