MTK Global announces total boycott of Irish media

Updated / Thursday, 8 Feb 2018 20:37

Michael Conlan has changed his Twitter profile picture in a show of solidarity with his management company

Boxing management company MTK Global - home to Carl Frampton, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes - have announced a total boycott of all media in the Republic of Ireland.

MTK, co-founded by former middleweight fighter Matthew Macklin, have aired their unhappiness at what they call "widespread media propaganda".

The company was also part-founded by gangland figure Daniel Kinahan back in 2013. It was bought out by external investors last November, with Macklin remaining on the board. 

In February 2016, a weigh-in at Dublin's Regency Hotel before an event held by MTK was thrown into chaos when five men - three dressed as gardai, another as a woman - entered the venue and opened fire at the crowd, killing 33-year-old David Byrne. 

MTK believe coverage of the gym and its boxers has been unfairly tied in with criminal gangland activity. They currently represent 29 Irish boxers.

On Thursday, MTK Global CEO Sandra Vaughan read a statement that was released on their website, admonishing what they believe to be a "witch-hunt" from the Irish media, blaming recent news reports regarding garda surveillance at an upcoming event for its subsequent cancellation.

"On Saturday 3 February, a boxing event being run by SK Promotions, which was due to feature 5 MTK Global signed boxers, was cancelled when the Citywest Hotel pulled out of hosting the event following widespread media propaganda," she said.

"Despite announcing MTK Global cutting all ties with Daniel Kinahan in February 2017, and announcing a full management buy-in by myself in October 2017, the Irish media have continued to vilify MTK Global in all and any mention of Irish boxing and MTK Global signed boxers.

"How are we ever meant to move forward as an organisation when we keep being dragged into the past by media?

"We will no longer issue press releases. Our team and athletes will no longer participate in interviews. Media from the Republic of Ireland will no longer be welcome at any MTK Global hosted events.

"We will provide no further comment to any media from the Republic of Ireland on any matters, be it sporting or business."

* RTÉ Sport have published seven stories regarding MTK boxers in 2018 and will continue to cover the careers of Carl Frampton, Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan and others.