Monday 21 January 2019

MTK boss Vaughan admits media ban is causing 'havoc' for Irish boxers - but says it's here to stay

Sandra Vaughan of MTK Global.
Sandra Vaughan of MTK Global.

MTK Global boss Sandra Vaughan has described the Regency Hotel shooting as 'horrific' as she vowed that the self-imposed media ban in Ireland will continue.

Vaughan and the boxing management company hit the headlines last month when it released a video revealing a media ban for all MTK boxers in the Republic of Ireland.

The company also distanced itself from crime boss Daniel Kinahan and revealed it would not be signing any more fighters from Ireland or staging any events in the Republic.

The release of the video came in the wake of the cancellation of a boxing event at CityWest Hotel featuring five MTK boxers on February 3, with Vaughan claiming there was 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'.

Speaking to iFL TV, who carry an MTK Global logo on their banner on YouTube, Vaughan said that while it is the boxers who are suffering, MTK will continue to impose the ban in Ireland.

David Byrne was shot dead at a boxing weigh-in at the Regency in 2015 when Hutch gunmen entered the building and opened fire. Daniel Kinahan, who co founded MTK Global in 2013 (then named MGM), is believed to have been the intended target.

Vaughan took over MTK in October 2017 and admitted she thought that all links to gang boss Kinahan would stay in the past.

"Obviously there has been negative press, links to Daniel Kinahan," Vaughan said.

"I bought the business from Matthew [Macklin]. I thought there was enough distance…maybe naively so.

"The ban to speak to the media over there wasn’t taken lightly. That situation is causing havoc there for the boxers. The reason we can’t sign anyone is because we can’t afford to sign any boxers in Ireland because if they can’t fight in Ireland, we have got to ship them elsewhere to fight."

Vaughan, who confirmed that MTK Global have moved their HQ to Dubai, added that she wasn't trying to 'rubbish' what happened at the Regency Hotel in 2015.

"Hoping for fresh start but still not happening because of certain newspapers and certain journalists that are still scaremongering," she said.

"I am not rubbishing anything that happened in the past. The Regency situation was absolutely horrific, horrific.

"For me personally, my father in law who is nearly 80 was there. We spent a whole day trying to work out if he was alright. There were boxers there, it was horrific.

"So I am not rubbishing what happened or making out that it is in the past. It’s not just horrific for us, the boxers or the situation with the boxers…for everybody who is involved, the families, the sisters, the mothers.

"But we are talking about going forward now. The media is not allowing us to succeed in Ireland. We can’t afford to sign anymore Irish fighters."

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