World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on Tuesday insisted he had “absolutely zero” business with Daniel Kinahan and said sanctions against the alleged crime boss were nothing to do with him.
Fury’s defense of the WBC title against Dillian Whyte at Wembley on Saturday has been overshadowed by a heated debate over the champion’s reported links to Kinahan.
The 33-year-old Briton mentioned Kinahan as a “key advisor” in the past.
Kinahan was recently named as being a head of the Irish Kinahan crime gang and hit with worldwide financial sanctions by the United States government, who have offered a $5 million (£3.84m) reward for information on the group leading to the arrest and conviction of its leaders.
Dubai-based Kinahan, who has always denied any wrongdoing, is alleged to be one of the leaders of a cartel the US authorities accuse of smuggling drugs, money laundering and bringing violence to “the most vulnerable in society”.
Fury had avoided questions about Kinahan last week, but he finally addressed the controversy after Tuesday’s open workout at Boxpark Wembley.
Asked if he had any business with Kinahan, Fury said: “Zero, absolutely zero.
“It’s none of my business. I keep my own business to myself, that’s it.
“Has it been a distraction? Not really, it’s got nowt to do with me, has it?
“If I say, ‘There’s a war going on in Ukraine’, and people ask me about that, it’s got nowt to do with me. I keep my business to myself. I’ve got my own troubles to look after with six kids and a wife.
“I’ve got a lot more to think about than other people’s business. In my life, I’ve got a man who wants to punch my face in next week and I’ve got to deal with that. Anything else is out of my control.”
Fury, who is co-promoted by Top Rank, was pictured with Kinahan in Dubai in February but played down the image.
“A picture doesn’t mean I am a criminal,” said Fury. “I can’t control who is in the building.
“There could be a criminal in this building now. It doesn’t mean I am involved in his criminal activity, does it?”
Frank Warren, who also promotes Fury, added: “Let me make a couple of things very clear — one, Daniel Kinahan has nothing to do with this show and, two, as Tyson said, he was unaware of any payments made by Top Rank to Daniel Kinahan.”
At last month’s unveiling press conference for the Whyte fight, Fury said he was set to retire after the bout, before then taking a more non-committal approach when asked about his future last week.
Quizzed again on his retirement plans on Tuesday, Fury appeared to rule out returning to the ring once he has faced Whyte.
“That’s it. Get a good victory here on Saturday night, relax, sit back and enjoy life. I am loving every second of this week,” he said.
“It’s been a long old journey, ups and downs in my career, lots of ups and downs. I’m coming up to 34, 20 years as a boxer, that’s enough for anybody. There’s plenty of other stuff I need to do like look after my kids and wife and enjoy them.”