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Billy Joe Saunders threatens to retire after Daniel Kinahan leaves MTK Global

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders 29-0 (14) has threatened to walk away from the sport after the news that advisor Daniel Kinahan was stepping down from his role with MTK Global.

The 30-year-old southpaw was expected to defend his belt against Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) in Las Vegas on Cinco de Mayo before the global coronavirus pandemic put the kybosh on the fight.

This announcement that Kinahan was moving on comes after a week of negative media coverage for the Dubai-based management firm.

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“This is part of the reason why nothing has moved forward with me at the minute,” Saunders told iFL TV.

“There’s only one man I can trust and go away and work and tell him this is what I want to happen, and sometimes he’ll make it even better.

“Without a man you can trust in this game 100 per cent, it’s something I don’t want to be involved in anymore.

“It’s about having somebody you can trust and go and get on with your business. Making fights is more stressful than getting ready to fight.

“I took a lot of advice from a very personal friend of mine in Daniel. He’s walking away from boxing, which is a big, big loss in my eyes.

“I don’t know if I want to be a part of it at this level anymore moving forward.”

Bob Yalen, who was announced as Sandra Vaughan’s replacement as MTK Global CEO on Monday, said Kinahan would be a loss to the sport.

“Daniel’s going to be taking time away from the sport to focus on other interests and hopefully this will put a stop to the negative press from Ireland that’s based entirely on hearsay,” Yalen said to The Athletic.

“No court has ever found this man guilty of anything. The man has never been charged or convicted of a crime. The only basis for these allegations is the hearsay testimony of biased parties.

“And it’s unfortunate for his fighters that he’s taking this step back.

“But I respect his personal decision. He wants to do what’s right for the sport, he loves the fighters.

“But MTK will continue to secure the best, most lucrative deal for its fighters and ensure the biggest fights in the sports are made.”

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