The Arizona Boxing Commission rarely has to deal with dozens of subpoenas and the prospect of 10 hours of witness testimony for a simple licensing hearing. Yet that’s exactly the scenario that was laid out by Joe Diaz’ attorneys this morning.
The Boxing Commission was scheduled to either accept or deny Diaz’ application for a trainer’s license, but the hearing was postponed until next month to give both sides more time to prepare for what could be a long and complex hearing.
Ed Moriarity, an attorney from Montana who is representing Diaz, told Boxing Commissioners Michael Preston Green and Lionel Ruiz that he is seeking subpoenas for 25 witnesses, and that the testimony will take at least full two days.
Moriarity said Diaz’ trainer’s license – and his reputation – are at stake.
“This is a critical situation that has to be fully supported, so you gentlemen can make this decision,” he told the commissioners this morning.
Preston Green, though, warned both sides that he plans to keep the hearing as short as possible, without violating Diaz’ rights to due process.
“I’m going to reign this in as tightly as we can,” he said.
But Moriarity insisted the subpoenas were necessary to prove that Diaz had not committed the violations that led to the revocation of his license five years ago. Diaz’ license to train boxers was stripped on July 9, 2005, after the Boxing Commission decided that he had lied about signing for prize money after a fight.
Diaz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying his rivals framed him by forging his signature. And last year, Diaz’ primary accusor, boxing promoter Peter McKinn, was indicted on several felony counts, including conspiracy, fraudulent schemes, theft, and forgery.
The accusations against Diaz “are incorrect and we can prove it,” Moriarity said.
When it became clear that the legal arguments were going to more resemble a full-blown trial than a hearing over a boxing license, the Boxing Commission decided it would be best to hold a hearing in three to four weeks. No date was set.
If I had to guess, I’d say the Boxing Commission will do whatever it can to limit the scope of any future hearing involving Diaz. Otherwise, Diaz’ attorneys are likely to go on the offensive, and the witness testimony could have legal ramifications that stretch far beyond the intended purposes of the legal authority granted to the Boxing Commission.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think Diaz is ready to call it quits - even if he gets his license back.