Daniel Kinahan, Boxing and the Importance of Due Diligence in Reputation Management

19 Apr 2022
   —  by Declan Short

In the world of reputation management, there’s no bigger challenge than being connected (directly or indirectly) with organized crime. And so, it may have come as a body blow to UFC star Mounir Lazzez to learn that Irish boxing promoter and reputed Irish mob boss, Daniel Kinhan had a $5 million bounty on his head from the US authorities.

The news broke just days before Lazzezz thanked Kinhan in his post-fight interview on ESPN following his victory against Ange Loosa. He said “I would love to thank my coaches and my brother Daniel Kinahan. Without him, I would never be the man who I am today and my career at this point. Thanks a lot.”

When asked to clarify his comments in a press conference, Lazzez said he was unaware of the allegations against Kinahan, which include running one of the world’s biggest cartels, drug trafficking, money laundering, and alleged gang war in Dublin and Spain that has resulted in 18 deaths.

He called Kinahan a “friend and adviser” and when told that Dublin police accused anyone in combat sports who still works with him of being involved in a criminal network, said, “I don’t follow this kind of news.”

But this should come as no surprise; back in 2018, prolific Irish sportswriter Ewan MacKenna wrote an article for The Irish Independent titled ‘Boxing to Daniel Kinahan is what football was to Pablo Escobar – and it’s choking the sport in Ireland’, noting his dealings in the sport and with organized crime resulting in a series of attempts on his life and the deaths of his associates. What makes this story so significant, as MacKenna says, is “the direct nature of the link here that means you cannot turn away and say it’s okay.” Subsequently, boxing stars, promoters, and managers with ties to Kinahan have begun the process of distancing; Tyson Fury, who helped arranged his fight with Anthony Joshua, has praised Kinahan on social media, but has since ducked questions following the sanctions. Calls for regulation and proper governance have been shared by the boxing community. However, there remains an underlying sentiment of apathy; as The Guardian’s Sean Ingle notes, “It is a warning that has been issued multiple times before. Perhaps this time boxing will finally listen. Then again, this is boxing.”

Then again, the calls for governance have only become stronger not only across boxing but sport in general; from ethical questions relating to the premier league take-overs at Chelsea and Newcastle, to Yorkshire Cricket being mired in allegations of racism, the expectations of responsibility and proper conduct from the sporting world are only increasing as time goes on.

As the spotlight points more directly at brands and individual celebrities, influencers, and leaders, and not just in sports, being aware of the reputations of your associations is paramount. Social360 recently launched its Social Media Due Diligence report based on our proprietary search technology and years of analytical experience, working with some of the highest-profile brands in the world.

The report is designed to help:

  • Brand teams who need to closely monitor what brand ambassadors and influencers are saying about their products.
  • Sports management to understand what players are talking about, the language they are using and any potential issues that may come to light with increased media exposure.
  • Recruiters, headhunters, and the internal Human Resources function in corporations who wish to research potential employees, the management, or board members for value-misalignment or inappropriate online behavior.
  • Lawyers and legal teams, researching social media for corporations, cases, high net worth individuals, and family offices.
  • Agencies, insurers, and any organization that needs to know the value versus risk proposition of their clients and potential partners.

The team at Social360 has deep experience managing reputation issues for clients, acting as communications practitioners, and more than a decade of monitoring know-how. For all concerns related to due diligence, or for any other inquiries, please contact Giles Brown or visit our product website for more information.

Declan Short
Senior Analyst and Content & Marketing Manager