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Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:42 am
Post subject: Boxing to Daniel Kinahan is what football was to Pablo Escob
Journalism has always loved boxers, and with good reason. Firstly, those in the sport usually have a great story to tell, as society is sadly structured in a way that means many pugilists come from a rung
on the ladder that isn't supposed to produce heroes.
Secondly, despite their on-canvas risks and rewards, they need to tell those stories to put bums on seats so they can make a tough living.In a world of media managers and marketing suits, that rarity has made boxing more beautiful still.
But it's also made these last couple of weeks so strange. At the start of February, Sandra Vaughan, described as the CEO and sole shareholder of boxing management company Mack the Knife Global (MTK), released a video that reminded of the bishop in Father Ted blaming all ills on journalism.
"None of the new management team or owners, nor any of the Irish boxers signed with MTK Global, have any connection with crime, yet many Irish media continue to drag up past affiliations and sensationalise and slander MTK Global
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and their stable," she fumed. "As CEO I cannot and will not allow this to continue.
How are we ever meant to move forward as an organisation when we keep being dragged into the past by media? This witch-hunt by Irish media has left me with no choice but for MTK Global to pull out of the Republic of Ireland for the immediate future."
That was followed by a Trump-esque Twitter campaign as MTK got fighters to run with the hashtag #FairNews. It was a directive sent to a WhatsApp group containing all boxers with instructions as to how to upload a banner to go across profile pictures that said the same. But this isn't about some cheap spat with the media that left sportsmen with little choice of an opt out. It's more important.
Vaughan's move was baffling, particularly for the overlooked reason that it makes no sense. Hers is a business with 29 Irish fighters on their books (including Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes and, in an advisory capacity, Carl Frampton) and they have invested considerable time and effort into dominating this market and making a
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go of the sport here.
Now though they've run for the DUP's hard border, raising questions when all they had to do was give answers. The CEO has decided to fight fire with petrol, but it wasn't all that was unusual. Neither was the omerta
Those on even the highest balconies in the sport have never been hard to access, and that has included MTK who have wanted to sell their product. But since Vaughan's move, it's been hugely different. Time and again, people in various positions were approached, including fighters at all levels, and the request was simple.
An off-the-record talk to fill in blanks and to hear them and their company's side of the story. Nothing more or less, yet in hindsight that may have been naive.
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