EXCLUSIVE: Eurosport shelves fight nights amid scrutiny around Probellum boxing promotion and alleged crime lord Daniel Kinahan – who has a $5MILLION reward for his arrest by the US government over international drug smuggling and money laundering
- Eurosport has dropped the final two Probellum shows of a five-fight agreement
- Sportsmail understands that additional due diligence was taken by Eurosport
- Probellum strongly insists they have no links to wanted man Daniel Kinahan
- Last week Kinahan had a $5m bounty slapped on his head by the US government
Eurosport has shelved plans to broadcast future shows staged by the Probellum promotional company amid increasing scrutiny on links between Daniel Kinahan and boxing.
Probellum’s president Richard Schaefer has strongly insisted there is no connection between his business and the alleged crime lord, who has had a $5million bounty put on his head by the US government.
But the emerging force in British promotion has now suffered a significant blow, as Sportsmail understands Eurosport has dropped the remaining two shows of an agreement reached with them in March. The first of those, headlined by the WBO bantamweight world title fight between John Riel Casimero and Paul Butler in Liverpool, was due to be broadcast on Friday.
A source told Sportsmail that the broadcaster has been carrying out additional due diligence around Probellum, who promote several fighters advised by Kinahan.
Eurosport, who had entered into a five-show, non-commercial partnership with the company in order to trial the boxing market, declined to comment when contacted by Sportsmail.
While developments around Kinahan have caused widespread uncertainty within boxing, Probellum have strongly maintained they are not linked through business to the Irishman.
The US government will pay $5million to anyone who can help them arrest Daniel Kinahan – who is wanted on the grounds of international drug smuggling and money laundering
Probellum president Richard Schaefer (right) has denied the promotion has any Kinahan links as Eurosport shelve the final two fights of a five-fight agreement amid scrutiny on Kinahan
In March, a Pakistani politician, Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti posted pictures of himself with Kinahan on Twitter, with the message: ‘Met Probellum on aligning vision on boxing for Punjab and how to make this sport bigger for our youth. Looking forward to hosting Daniel in Lahore to discuss Pakistan’s first International fight with foreign world class boxers.’
Probellum argued the post was ‘misleading and factually inaccurate’ and reiterated that Kinahan has no organisational or financial connection to the company.
It has also been reported that the trademark for Probellum was registered in 2019 by MTK Global, the management company co-founded by Kinahan.
It has been claimed Kinahan severed all ties in 2017 with MTK, whose website list Tyson Fury among their fighters, though Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum said last week that Kinahan is still involved.
Tyson Fury has distanced himself from links with Daniel Kinahan – who is wanted by America
Kinahan and WBC heavyweight champion Fury were photographed in Dubai two months ago
With several Probellum fighters connected to MTK and Kinahan, including flyweight world champion Sunny Edwards, who described him as an ‘old friend’, Schaefer last week said their boxers would have to cut ties with the alleged gangster.
Sportsmail understands that on Tuesday, Probellum circulated a document to their fighters which they must sign to state will have no ongoing involvement with MTK or Kinahan.
Meanwhile, Bob Yalen has resigned as CEO of MTK Global.
Yalen said: ‘I am incredibly proud of the success of MTK Global and I feel privileged to have served as President and CEO since 2018. However, the pressure of the last few weeks has been particularly intense.
‘I need to consider the impact on myself and my family. So after four years leading MTK, I think it’s time for me to step aside to take on new challenges.’