Join Date: Oct 2003
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Joe Diaz- Top Level Boxing Gym
Does anyone in here know of Joe Diaz?
I had the pleasure of getting to know him in Finland last month, when his fighter Yori Boy Campas took on Finland's proud warrior, Amin Asikainen.
The character that is Joe Diaz amazed me with his straight forwardness and honesty. He gave me documents of his dispute with the Arizona boxing commision and his quarrel with Bob Arum.
He also showed me the documents that was used in court to prove that Tom Gaffney had paid Yori Boy Campas his purse after a fight (which Diaz claimed he did not do). The astonishing thing about that document was that it was signed with Joe Diaz' name. With the same handwriting, only a little sloppier, that Gaffney had signed with.
Diaz looked me straight in the eye when I had breakfast with him and said "I never sign anything, not ever. I am a man of my word, I shake hands."
That's why he praised Don King too, claiming that King had never failed to be a man of his word on any issue, even though a deal between them was never written, only shaking hands.
This man really was something else, his stories and his honesty was out of this world.
He kicked Mike Tyson out of the gym after only a week because Tyson's entourage was smoking marihuana.
I asked him all kinds of questions about the sport, what he felt about this and that and his view on today's fighters.
He was particular passionate when talking about Sugar Ray Robinson.
That was hands down the best fighter he had seen, live or on tv.
An honorable mention goes out to Yori Boy for carry on with the fight, even though he woke up the morning of the fight with a high fever.
I talked to Yori that morning, he was inside the hotel packed with winter clothes from head to toe, his nose running and eyes watering.
Joe Diaz told me this story about when he first took over Top Level Boxing Gym in the middle of Phoenix;
The neighbourhood and the surrounding streets were flooded with drugdealers and gangbangers, and people were afraid to even leave their houses.
Joe said to me: "if you kill my children, I kill you."
So every morning when he woke up, he took his revolver and went out on the street, taking down one dealer a day.
A couple of weeks later, the drugproblem was a non-issue in his neighbourhood. To this day, no drugdealer have the balls to enter that street, something Joe is very proud of.
He said he never think of repercussions because, after all, there's only two ways he can die; Naturally or unnaturally...
He never said what he did to the drugdealers, if he killed some or just scared them. I asked, but he just looked at me and laughed, at which point Yori Boy turned to me, pointing to his head and said "loco".
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