Sky Sports presenter Matthew Macklin is BLOCKED from travelling to the US amid his links to alleged crime boss Daniel Kinahan – who once called him his ‘best friend’ – after attempting to fly to Las Vegas to work on Shakur Stevenson vs Oscar Valdez
- Sky Sports presenter Matthew Macklin was due to fly to the US for punditry duty
- But the former middleweight fighter was blocked from boarding his flight
- It comes amid his ties to Daniel Kinahan, who has a $5m bounty in the States
- Kinahan – who started MTK Global alongside Macklin in 2012 – is accused of leading an international crime cartel
- Kinahan once called Macklin his ‘best friend’ and also has links to Tyson Fury
- Macklin insists he has had no commercial dealings with Kinahan since 2017
Sky Sports pundit Matthew Macklin has been prevented from travelling to the United States as the fallout from the Daniel Kinahan saga continues.
The former world title contender was due to fly to Las Vegas this week to cover Saturday’s super-featherweight unification fight between Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez.
However, Sportsmail can reveal he was not allowed to board his flight at a London airport amid scrutiny from US authorities into those with past or present links to Kinahan, who was sanctioned by the US Treasury earlier this month over allegations that he is leading an international crime cartel.
Macklin insists he has no commercial ties to Kinahan, having initially co-founded the MTK boxing management company in 2012 with the Irishman, who once described Macklin as his ‘best friend’.
Both men relinquished their stakes in MTK in 2017 and the company, which grew to hold 200 fighters, folded last week because of claims they disputed that their links with Kinahan were ongoing.
Sky Sports declined to comment on Macklin being refused entry to the US, but told Sportsmail in a statement: ‘Matthew Macklin relinquished his interest in MTK in 2017, and has had no commercial dealings with Daniel Kinahan since.
Sky Sports pundit Matthew Macklin (L) has been banned from entering the US amid his links to alleged crime boss Daniel Kinahan (R)
Macklin (L) – a prominent face in Sky’s boxing coverage – was due to fly to Las Vegas to cover Shakur Stevenson’s fight against Oscar Valdez
‘Matthew Macklin is not a named individual in the US sanctions, nor does he have any interest in, or prior dealings with, the named companies (in the detailed US sanctions). However, he will of course be fully compliant with any responsibilities which may arise from the sanctions.’
It is an awkward situation for the broadcaster, who told Sportsmail earlier this week that they would be standing by the former European champion, despite attention generated by his historic ties to Kinahan. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Macklin, who has remained silent in recent years about his previous relationship with Kinahan.
It is understood that other figures in boxing who have been glowing in their praise of the alleged mob boss have run into similar issues travelling to the US in the past fortnight.
Ex-middleweight fighter Macklin (R) insists he has not had dealings with Kinahan since 2017
Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has also come under fire for his connections to Kinahan, who was his advisor in the past
The US government’s sanctions against Kinahan have sent a shockwave through the sport. Despite allegations as far back as 2018 from the Irish High Court that he was a lead figure in organised crime, many in boxing have loudly sung his praises in recent years, including heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, who was pictured with Kinahan in Dubai in February.
Fury thanked Kinahan on social media in 2020 for brokering a two-fight deal with Anthony Joshua, but insisted ahead of his title defence against Dillian Whyte last weekend that he had ‘zero’ existing connection to him, in business or as an advisor.
Fury’s British-based promoter Frank Warren also said the fighter had no knowledge of, nor involvement in, payments worth millions that Fury’s US-based promoter Bob Arum admitted to making to Kinahan for consultancy work on four Fury fights. BT Sport, who broadcast Fury’s fights in Britain, are understood to be looking into their past transactions.
There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Fury.