BY LINDA BENTLEY | DECEMBER 29, 2010
Arizona Boxing Commission serving state-sanctioned criminal activity
Federal IDs issued to rapists, child molesters and other violent offenders
Joe Diaz Top Level Boxing Gym is a living testament to boxing trainer Joe Diaz’s life, from Galicia to New Jersey to Arizona, where his life has been turned upside down by politicians and state actors conspiring with criminals.
Photos by Linda Bentley
PHOENIX – Boxing trainer Joe Diaz has been calling for Mary Rose Wilcox to step down as Maricopa County Supervisor, since learning she used her position as boxing commission chair and as county supervisor to protect the criminal activity of Top Rank Boxing promotion’s Arizona front man Peter McKinn at Diaz’s expense.
Diaz’s life was turned upside down beginning in 2004 when McKinn bounced a $5,000 check to one of Diaz’s fighters, Luis Ramon “Yori Boy” Campas.
Sonoran News reported the details of Wilcox’s involvement in the cover-up to protect McKinn in the Nov. 10 and Nov. 24 editions.
And, while Wilcox stood behind McKinn and called Diaz a liar, based on forged documents created by McKinn, on June 18, 2009, the commission approved a promoter’s license for McKinn with the stipulation he be required to obtain an event bond and use cashier’s checks for payments.
In February 2009, the commission approved several promoters’ license applications and numerous events without requiring any such conditions.
So, it was seemingly apparent, prior to the June 18, 2009 commission meeting, that McKinn was bouncing checks.
However, it was Diaz who was denied renewal of his trainer’s license, while the commission renewed McKinn’s license after year.
Joe Diaz Top Level Boxing Gym, located at the northwest corner of 9th Avenue and Jefferson Street in downtown Phoenix is a living museum, both inside and out, of Diaz’s life, from his roots in Galicia to his foray into professional boxing in New Jersey to his gym in Arizona.
The gym is also where Diaz is fighting for good to prevail over evil with legal action consisting of boxes of evidence and blown up copies of exhibits, connecting the dots, plastered both inside and outside of his gym, detailing corruption in the Arizona State Boxing Commission, from Wilcox’s office as a county supervisor all the way to the governor’s office, where Wilcox’s husband Earl Wilcox worked as special assistant to Governor Janet Napolitano.
Napolitano appointed Wilcox as chair of the boxing commission, where she served until June 2009.
Long time Boxing Director John Montano, under whose watch illegal aliens and violent criminals were issued licenses, was asked to retire in April 2009 by Department of Racing (the umbrella agency for the boxing commission) Director Luis Marquez, who asked the commission to allow Montano to volunteer as chief inspector and have authority at sanctioned events, which was approved by the commission.
Records obtained from the boxing commission reveal numerous criminals and illegal aliens were provided federal identification documents.
For example, Rodolfo Mata-Rios, a citizen of Mexico, signed his application for a trainer’s license stating he had never been convicted of any crime other than a traffic violation, when, in fact, he spent five years in prison in Puerto Rico for molesting a five year old.
The commission issued Mata a license on more than one occasion.
Then there was Gilberto Luque, 31, who trainer Ricky Ricardo said he worked with as an amateur in the Olympics from the time he was 12, winning a gold, silver and international bronze medal.
Luque, a Mexican national, obtained an Arizona State Boxing Commission License and federal ID in February 2007, approximately six months after he was released from the Arizona Department of Corrections.
In May 1999, while in the country illegally, Luque was arrested and charged with sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated assault and misconduct involving weapons.
He entered a plea agreement, pleading guilty to the kidnapping charge, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Ricardo said when Luque initially came back in 2007, he had no idea Luque had been here illegally or that he had just been released from prison for kidnapping.
Luque had already obtained his boxing license by that time.
When he learned Luque was an illegal alien and a convicted felon, Ricardo said he wanted nothing more to do with him.
Ricardo said he didn’t understand the purpose of licensing boxers, trainers and promoters if criminals and illegal aliens can simply use false identification and lie on their applications and be taken at their word.
While the state requires participants to all be licensed and fingerprinted, apparently no one at the state boxing commission is doing any background checks.
So, we have a state agency providing federal IDs and licenses to violent criminals and other felons, such as McKinn, who, finally, after nearly seven years, pled guilty to the fraudulent scheme that nearly destroyed Diaz. McKinn’s sentencing has been continued to Feb. 7.
Sources close to McKinn, who asked not to be identified, have indicated McKinn, currently out on bond, has stated he has no intention of showing up in court for his sentencing.
Then there is Carlos Christopher Reyes, who received a boxing license in 2003, was convicted in 2004 for theft of a means of transportation, a class 3 felony and placed on probation, which was revoked in 2005 and he was sentenced to three years in prison.
Reyes, however, had been arrested numerous times before. He was arrested in 1997 on charges of assault, obstructing government operations and criminal trespass; in 1998 for resisting arrest and criminal trespass; in 1999 for disorderly conduct-fighting.
Reyes appeared before Superior-Kearney Justice of the Peace Bruce Griffith, who dismissed them.
In 1998, Reyes pled guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and criminal trespass in the third degree, with Griffith dismissing a criminal damage charge.
Reyes also pled guilty to a disorderly conduct charge in 1998.
In May 2003, about six weeks before Reyes applied for his license, Griffith dismissed a 1997 assault charge against Reyes, indicating Reyes had completed a diversion program.
Even though Reyes wasn’t convicted yet for the felony theft charge until after applying for his boxing license, he already had a lengthy criminal history. Yet when asked if he had been convicted for any crime other than a traffic violation, Reyes said no.
It seemed strange to see so many violent criminal charges dismissed against Reyes by the same judge, that is until Diaz pointed out Superior is Wilcox’s home town.
Meanwhile, in December 2008, Montano was ordered by a Puerto Rico court to pay more than $90,000 to the World Boxing Organization (WBO) for illegally using the organization’s name to sanction fights during the mid 1990s.
The $90,000 Montano was ordered to pay included $58,000 for an unauthorized withdrawal from WBO’s account Montano and his co-defendants transferred from Puerto Rico to Arizona.
Diaz says he is bound and determined to expose and clean up the corruption within the state boxing commission and the county supervisors’ office and bring honor back to the sport.