Boxing bullied out of the Kinahan business on eve of Fury versus Whyte

“I think crime pays. You travel a lot.”

Woody Allen

Fighters always attract a troupe of colourful characters. Their money, and their potential to be parted from it, even more. Sycophants. Chancers. Criminals. Sugar Ray Robinson, the greatest of them all, engaged a parade of the bizarre and the harmless. From a person with Dwarfism, employed for no discernible reason beyond the novelty of their height, to a pair charged with whistling while the shimmering Robinson worked – if Gilbert Rogin’s obituary of April 24th 1989, by way of coincidence, is to be taken as a gospel of the period.

The great man danced in an era in which dressing room visitors were far from harmless, and in a shady world where the advice of ‘advisors’ was always followed. Boxing’s enduring chaos is fertile territory for organised crime. In the 1950s, a period oft considered a golden age, the Mob were manifestly the king makers within the sport.

On the eve of the heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte, Daniel Kinahan’s growing influence within boxing’s many lucrative shadows, including a documented advisory capacity in Fury’s later career, has finally been arrested.

If not the man himself. It is a story perhaps only at its beginning.

Continue reading “Boxing bullied out of the Kinahan business on eve of Fury versus Whyte”

“I coulda had class”. Fighters, films and the fix

For cinema goers, the image of a boxer being coerced into losing a fight or consoled in the aftermath, is all too familiar. A convenient vehicle deployed by film makers, since the advent of ‘talkies’ in the 1920’s. From John Wayne to Charlie Chaplin, actors have been knitting their brows as earnest pugs buckling beneath the guilt that ensues. Electing to forgo the integrity they cherished, in exchange for easy money or the promise of richer fruit down the line, is a choice much easier to reject in theory and detached from the starkness of life as a prizefighter from the 1930s to the late 1950s.

As Brando immortalised in The Godfather, fighters, like others in position of influence and value, were made offers they couldn’t refuse.

Continue reading ““I coulda had class”. Fighters, films and the fix”

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