James McClean explains why he showed his support for MTK Global's Irish boycott
James McClean has explained why he publicly backed boxing promoters MTK Global's campaign to boycott the Republic of Ireland.
The Marbella-based company issued a lengthy statement today distancing themselves from crime boss Daniel Kinahan and revealed they would not be signing any more fighters from Ireland or stage any events in the Republic.
MTK also announced a boycott of Irish media with CEO Sandra Vaughan claiming there has been a "witch hunt" against the company, adding the media "have continued to vilify MTK Global in all and any mention of Irish boxing and MTK Global signed boxers".
MTK Global, formerly known as MGM, represents some of the biggest names in Irish boxing, including Carl Frampton, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes.
I Was asked to Show support for mates, people i have good relationships with and who i also train with .. nothing more nothing less.. end off the matter— James McClean (@JamesMcC_14) February 8, 2018
Macklin’s Gym Marbella (MGM) was set up by former boxer Matthew Macklin in Spain before it changed its name to MTK in early 2017.
Daniel Kinahan, son of Christy Kinahan, was heavily involved in the running of the facility in Marbella.
Macklin, who has no involvement in crime, now has an advisory role with the company following the takeover in November last year.
The move comes following the cancellation of a boxing event in CityWest recently where five MTK boxers were due in action, with the hotel claiming the insurance costs forced them to make their decision.
No MTK fighter has fought in Ireland since David Byrne was shot dead in the Regency Hotel in February, 2016, at the weigh in for the boxing event 'Clash of the Titans'.
McClean, who won the RTE Sports Personality Of The Year award for 2017, took to Twitter to say: "I support @mtkglobal #FairNews campaign & boycott of Irish Media. Please help support."
Following some criticism to his tweet, he added: "I Was asked to Show support for mates, people i have good relationships with and who i also train with .. nothing more nothing less.. end off the matter."
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.