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Sunday 21 January 2018

Ex-boxer with links to Hutch family is knifed 'by the cartel'

Former boxer Anthony Fitzgerald
Former boxer Anthony Fitzgerald

Associates of the Kinahan crime cartel are believed to be behind the latest knife attack on former boxer Anthony Fitzgerald.

The 32-year-old was rushed to hospital after being slashed in the face for a second time in just over 12 months.

Fitzgerald, who has close ties to the Hutch family, was sliced in the face just before 7pm last Friday as he worked at a stall on Dublin's Henry Street.

The former Irish, European and Intercontinental super middleweight champion used to fight out of the Kinahan-linked MTK gym in Spain before the split which saw the Kinahan and Hutch cartels go to war with each other.

Fitzgerald helped carry the coffin of feud victim Gary Hutch after his murder in Spain in September 2015, and is a cousin of the Hutch family.

Blade

He was operating a Christmas market-type stall on the busy pedestrianised street when a group of up to four men arrived and attacked him.

As he was being beaten one of the men pulled out a knife or a blade and slashed Fitzgerald repeatedly with it.

The former boxer received wounds to his head and face, as well as defensive wounds to his hands.

Gardai were called to the scene and Fitzgerald was rushed to the nearby Mater Hospital, where he was treated for facial and hand injuries.

"He needed stitches in his wounds. Whoever did this will leave him scarred on top of the scars he already has for the previous attack," a source said.

In November last year, Fitzgerald (32) suffered knife injuries after a lone thug ran into his father's pet shop on Parnell Street in Dublin and cut his face.

When the attacker then attempted to flee the scene his moped wouldn't start, and he was cornered nearby by several men who began to attack him.

Gardai arrived and both the attacker and Fitzgerald were rushed to hospital.

Punishment

Sources have confirmed that the Kinahan cartel is suspected of being behind the latest attack on the retired boxer.

"It looks like he was targeted by cartel thugs as some sort of punishment," they said.

"To do it so publicly just shows how brazen these thugs are," they added.

Henry Street was crowded with shoppers and commuters at the time of the attack.

Gardai will be studying CCTV from the area in the hope that it identifies the attackers.

They believe Fitzgerald may have been targeted because of his relationship to the rival Hutch family.

He has attended funerals of the Hutch family and associates who were killed by the Kinahans, but Fitzgerald himself is not involved in the feud which has now claimed more than a dozen lives.

In April this year he escaped jail after he pleaded guilty to breaking a bus driver's nose during a road rage incident on North Circular Road on November 18, 2014.

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