Moves Being Made To Strike Off Disrupt Promotions As An Ongoing Concern

Boxing Scene

It seems the much maligned Disrupt Promotions is going to be struck off as an ongoing concern.

The promotional entity started with an unusual video posted to YouTube – since deleted – featuring Nicholas Link, a Dubai-based South African businessman who claimed he knew little about boxing but wanted to spark changes in the sport.

Plenty within boxing felt almost instantly that the formation of Disrupt was the reincarnation of what was previously called Probellum, which was formed after the plug was pulled on MTK Global.

A lot of things seemed to constrict financially in boxing after Daniel Kinahan, a hugely influential “advisor” and “manager” to fighters and others within the sport was sanctioned by the U.S. Government, and it seemed like Disrupt was an attempt to pick up from where Probellum left off. 

According to the Companies House website in the U.K. there is “an active proposal to strike off” the private limited company, which is overdue on filing its finances, which should have been completed in January. 

The Companies House website also says the company was formally-known as DZRUPT PROMOTIONS LTD for a short period in January 2023.

The officer whose name appears as in charge of Disrupt is Dominic McKean, formerly of Probellum Holdings Ltd, and “assets” – a word they used for, among other things, their fighters – were “assigned” from Probellum to Disrupt after Probellum closed its doors while a spotlight was being shone brightly on their operations. 

By the time MTK ceased operating, they claimed Kinahan was no longer involved. When Probellum started, Probellum claimed Kinahan was not involved. When Disrupt started, plenty in the sport claimed he was involved, because so many of the same faces were. 

Even with Disrupt apparently on the way out, there are many who claim Kinahan’s fingerprints are heavily on the sport today, and that several of his go-to promoters and managers are still involved – even if not all of them are appropriately licensed by the British Boxing Board of Control.

There are also plenty of Kinahan loyalists in the sport who did very well financially from his involvement, and one said of Disrupt: “No issues, to be fair… Paid on time and [they] were OK.”

The Link Disrupt video to announce the new venture in early 2023 was widely derided and mocked when it was posted online, because of suspicions surrounding it. 

On the Disrupt website, a statement with Link’s name attached to it read: “We’ve got to be able to deliver exciting, exhilarating and engaging content, and that’s fights, and everything around the fights. There’s an entire sporting ecosystem around boxing which I don’t believe has been developed. 

“Money is one thing, but really the focus for me is on making a change and disrupting – hence the company name. That’s what we intend to do. We intend to be disruptive in the way that we do things. We intend to bring new ideas, new technologies, new ways of doing things and, equally important, new people into the market.

“The consumer wants to watch the best fights, not just ones two people who are scratching each other’s backs have agreed to put on. They want to be able to engage with those fights, whether it’s from a sports betting or prediction angle; getting involved in some type of Fantasy League or open communication channels. I think there’s a lot that can be done, so that’s my angle for getting into boxing.”

The website stated that Disrupt had been “formed by a group of prominent businessmen from the U.K. and South Africa” with a goal of building “a global brand which fighters, sponsors and media outlets want to be associated with”.

It added that the goal was to unify the sport and become “the dominant player in the space” while shaping “the narrative and the consistent voice which the global fanbase can rely on”.

“… Disrupt Promotions has big ambitions and we want to be a force for good within one of the world’s most popular sports.”

It apparently has not worked out that way.

In the immediate aftermath of the video, Link denied any association with Kinahan but said Disrupt had acquired “several assets from Probellum”.

However, a spokesman for Link told The Irish Sun: “We would also like to state on record that neither Disrupt Promotions, nor Nicolas Link have any involvement or relationship, be it personal or professional, with Mr Kinahan and have no intent to form any in the future.”

And back to the YouTube video, possibly aware of the incoming social media feedback, Link had added: “My reputation and ethics and diligence are very, very important to me and to my shareholders.

“So it’s not something I’m about to put on the line by taking an irresponsible, stupid risk.

“I don’t know the past regime. I don’t know anything about them, I don’t know who they are other than reading commentary in the papers and media and stuff, and it’s not something that I really want to get involved with whether they did well or didn’t do well, I have no idea.”

Like Disrupt and Link did, Probellum had also distanced itself from Kinahan after the Paksitani politician Raj Taimoor Khan Bhatti, the Provincial Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Government of Punjab – who was pictured with Kinahan – had written on Twitter: “Met @probellum on aligning vision on boxing for Punjab & how to make this sport bigger for our youth. Looking forward to hosting Daniel in Lahore to discuss Pakistan’s first international fight with foreign world-class boxers InshAllag. Will share more info in the coming weeks.”

Probellum then denied Kinahan – who along with his brother and father each have a $5 million bounty on their heads from the U.S. Treasury for allegedly running a drugs and arms cartel worth more than £1 billion – was employed by them. 

One of the three Nicholas Link-promoted shows, according to BoxRec, in Uzbekistan was not verified by BoxRec for weeks, if not months. The results were finally uploaded, and the record site lists Link as the promoter of three events in total – including the one in Uzbekistan featuring Liverpool’s Paul Butler, formerly of MTK, another in Dubai, an MTK stronghold, featuring Liverpool’s Jazza Dickens, formerly of MTK, and the third in Denmark, featuring Dina Thorslund, formerly of MTK and Probellum. The Uzbekistan show even had Probellum signage in the arena in Tashkent.

The last post on the Disrupt Instagram page was some 23 weeks ago, and promoted an upcoming Steven Cairns fight. The page had 844 followers, and of the 133 accounts followed by Disrupt, many had links to MTK and Probellum – and many were also followed by the Probellum account. 

Cairns subsequently joined Queensberry Promotions, while other former Probellum and/or Disrupt fighters, including Sunny Edwards, Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez and Regis Prograis, went to Matchroom.

On March 11, an application authorised by McKean was made to strike off – dissolve – Disrupt, and the Registrar of Companies have given notice that it should happen within two months from the First Gazette Notice on March 19, 2024.

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