The Arizona Boxing Commission has reinstated Joe Diaz’ boxing license.
The commission voted unanimously this afternoon to restore the license that was stripped from Diaz five years ago. The hearing was originally scheduled to take place three days ago, but commissioners agreed to reschedule it when there was a hang-up over 25 subpoenas requested by Diaz’ attorneys. Today’s hearing was expedited to clear up the matter.
“I’m happy, but I’m not through,” Diaz said after the commissioners announced their decision.
Diaz had claimed all along that he was framed by his rivals back in 2005, when he was accused of lying about receiving a cash payout for one of his fighters, Ramon “Yori Boy” Campas. Diaz also said former Boxing Commissioner Mary Rose Wilcox, who is now a Maricopa County supervisor, was part of a conspiracy to force him out of boxing.
Diaz, 70, continued to operate Top Level Gym in Phoenix even though he couldn’t officially train them. He was still licensed as a boxing trainer in 22 other states and a handful of foreign countries, which allowed him to take his boxers out of state to fight.
“When they hurt me, they hurt boxing,” Diaz said.
He lost many of his clients during that time, but he said he’s now ready to rebuild the following he once had and to repay debts to those who helped him keep his gym open during the past five years.
Businessman Joe Azin helped Diaz pay the bills at his gym. Private investigator William Rucker worked on Diaz’ case without pay. Several attorneys also pitched in: Tim Watt, Tom Wilmer and Ed Moriarity.
“I just want to say ‘thanks,'” Diaz said. “I couldn’t have done this without them.”