Don King Vs. Bernard Hopkins Arbitration

By G. Leon


Don King Vs. Bernard Hopkins Arbitration

Burstein questions Arnold Joseph

 MR. BURSTEIN:  Should we start with Mr.

   17      Joseph, then?

   18             THE CHAIRMAN:  Please.

   19             MR. OLIN:  I do want to remind the panel

   20      and Mr. Burstein that we promised last time--

   21      Mr. Joseph has been on and off the stand about

   22      half a dozen times and interrupted for various

   23      witnesses, but the last time Mr. Burstein

   24      promised he had 15 or 20 minutes left with Mr.

   25      Joseph .



    2             MR. BURSTEIN:  That is the problem with

    3      having a delay of three or four months.  I can't

    4      promise you 15 or 20 minutes.

    5             MR. OLIN:  He has already had many, many

    6      hours with Mr. Joseph .

    7             MR. BURSTEIN:  We will be done in plenty

    8      of time.  All we are looking for is the truth .

    9             THE CHAIRMAN:  Let's go forward.  Mr.

   10      Joseph, you remain under oath from your prior

   11      testimony.  Are you aware of that?

   12             THE WITNESS:  I understand that.

   13             (Arnold C. Joseph resumes previously

   14      sworn)

   15      BY MR. BURSTEIN:

   16             Q.    Mr. Joseph, am I correct between

   17      the Daniels fight in February 2002 and May 2002

   18      DKP never wrote you or Mr. Hopkins a letter

   19      designating Betare or Hakkar as the opponent DKP

   20      wanted Bernard Hopkins to fight next?

   21             A.    What were the dates?

   22             Q.    Between February 2002 and May 2002.

   23             A.    I don't recall.

   24             Q.    Certainly-- if you take a look at

   25      Exhibit 8-K in your book, this is a letter that



    2      you sent Mr. King on or about May 13, 2002.  If

    3      you look at the second paragraph, certainly as

    4      of May 2002, it was your understanding that DKP

    5      had been pushing, as you called it, the wait for

    6      Roy Jones and HBO plan?

    7             A.    Is there a question?

    8             Q.    Is that correct?  Is that what you

    9      were saying as of May 13?

   10             A.    I can read the letter.  I just

   11      restate what is in the letter.

   12             Q.    I am asking you not whether you can

   13      read the letter.  Is that a letter you sent in

   14      which you said that as of May 13, Don King

   15      Productions had been pursuing the wait for Roy

   16      Jones and HBO plan?

   17             A.    I am reading the letter .

   18             MR. BURSTEIN:  Could I respectfully, I

   19      think it is a simple yes-or-no question.

   20             THE WITNESS:  I can't answer the question

   21      unless I read the letter .

   22             THE CHAIRMAN:  He says is this a letter

   23      in which you stated what it says there and is

   24      that your position.  That is really what he is

   25      asking.



    2             THE WITNESS:  To that I can say yes.

    3      There was something else he said.

    4             Q.    Even putting aside the letters, you

    5      never had a conversation or Mr. Hopkins never

    6      had a conversation with anyone at DKP between

    7      February 2 and at least May 21, 2002 in which

    8      you were told that DKP wanted the WBC mandatory

    9      to go forward as Bernard Hopkins's next fight?

   10             A.    I don't recall.  I recall having

   11      conversations with him about whether or not the

   12      mandatory was necessary and him --

   13             MR. BURSTEIN:  I move to strike.  I just

   14      asked a specific question as to whether or not

   15      you were told this, not what everyone else was

   16      told.

   17             THE CHAIRMAN:  You are right.  Just stick

   18      with what he is asking.

   19             A.    I don't recall.

   20             Q.    Take a look at Exhibit A M.  This

   21      is a letter written by Mr. Hopkins on May 21,

   22      2002, correct?

   23             A.    Yes.

   24             Q.    You received a copy of this?

   25             A.    Yes.



    2             Q.    You see that Mr. Hopkins wrote that

    3      DKP had not provided us with any information

    4      about my WBC mandatory.  Do you see that?

    5             A.    I see that.

    6             Q.    Do you recall seeing this letter at

    7      or about the time it was sent since you are a CC

    8      on it?

    9             A.    Yes.

   10             Q.    Does that refresh your recollection

   11      that as of at least May 21 DKP had not provided

   12      you with any information concerning the WBC

   13      mandatory?

   14             A.    No.

   15             Q.    Is there anything that would

   16      refresh your recollection as of whether as of

   17      May 21 DKP had provided you any information

   18      about your mandatory?

   19             A.    I'm not sure.

   20             Q.    As of May 23, if you look at

   21      Exhibit A N, you wrote to Mr. Sulaiman

   22      expressing Mr. Hopkins' readiness to fight his

   23      mandatory, correct?

   24             A.    Yes.

   25             Q.    And between May 23 and July 2, do



    2      you recall if DKP ever told you that it wanted

    3      Bernard Hopkins to fight the WBC mandatory

    4      before fighting Trinidad?

    5             A.    Yes, definitely.

    6             Q.    Isn't it a fact that at the

    7      Atlantic City meeting that you had in June 2002

    8      it was according to you Bernard Hopkins who

    9      asked about fighting the mandatory and it was

   10      Don King who said let's do Trinidad first?

   11             A.    I don't recall that.

   12             Q.    Take a look at Exhibit 278 which

   13      would be in tab 1 of the testimony binder.

   14             MR. ROSENTHAL:  Page 278?

   15             MR. BURSTEIN:  Yes.

   16             Q.    Were you asked this question and

   17      did you give this answer at 278, line 2?  "Did

   18      you say anything or did Bernard say anything in

   19      response to him about Trinidad?

   20                   "Answer:  Yes.  He said you know we

   21      have got this mandatory to do.  We have got a

   22      lot of things we are working on right now.  We

   23      have the mandatory to do.  What are you going to

   24      do about that, and you know we get that out of

   25      the way.  Let's talk about it, and King pressed



    2      further and said, well, you know, let's make

    3      this fight happen" referring to Trinidad.

    4                   Does that refresh your recollection

    5      that at the meeting in June Mr. King was taking

    6      the position that the Trinidad fight should be

    7      pursued before the mandatory?

    8             A.    It refreshes my recollection to the

    9      exact opposite that we are discussing prior to

   10      this time we discussed Trinidad, the mandatory,

   11      where the mandatory was going to take place, the

   12      circumstances of the mandatory and the money.

   13             Q.    I think that was a yes-or-no

   14      question.

   15             THE CHAIRMAN:  He said that it refreshes

   16      his recollection to something else entirely.  I

   17      think you can stop there.

   18             Q.    But isn't it a fact that you

   19      testified just a number of months ago that at

   20      this meeting Bernard Hopkins said we should get

   21      the mandatory out of the way and it was Mr. King

   22      that said we should make this fight, meaning the

   23      Trinidad fight, happen?

   24             A.    Did I say that in here?

   25             Q.    Did you testify to that?



    2             A.    I testified to exactly what it says

    3      here, but that is not inconsistent with what I

    4      am saying now .

    5             MR. BURSTEIN:  I move to strike after

    6      that is not consistent.

    7             Q.    Did you testify --

    8             THE CHAIRMAN:  Overruled.

    9             Q.    Is this an accurate transcription

   10      of your testimony on November 22, 2004?

   11             A.    Yes.

   12             Q.    Were you telling the truth when you

   13      testified under oath on November 22, 2004?

   14             A.    Yes.

   15             Q.    On July 2, you wrote to Mr.

   16      Sulaiman and expressly requested a purse bid if

   17      DKP and AB Stars could not reach a deal for the

   18      WBC mandatory, didn't you?

   19             A.    Is there a letter?

   20             Q.    Do you recall it or not?

   21             A.    I don't recall specifically the

   22      date.

   23             Q.    Take a look at Exhibit A R, the

   24      second paragraph.  Have you had a chance to read

   25      the second paragraph?



    2             A.    No.

    3             Q.    Let me know when you are done.

    4             A.    I have read the second paragraph.

    5             Q.    Does this refresh your recollection

    6      that on July 2 you wrote to Mr. Sulaiman and

    7      said that Mr. Hopkins wanted the mandatory bout

    8      to take place as soon as possible and that the

    9      WBC should order a purse bid if DKP and AB Stars

   10      could not come to terms for a bout in a

   11      relatively short amount of time?

   12             A.    I wrote that in the letter.

   13             Q.    Is your recollection refreshed that

   14      you wrote that in the letter?

   15             A.    I just said that.

   16             Q.    No, you just said you wrote it in

   17      the letter.  Is your recollection refreshed that

   18      you wrote that?

   19             A.    Yes.

   20             Q.    A day later if you look at Exhibit

   21      A S, Mr. Sulaiman wrote you back.  If you go to

   22      the third to last paragraph --

   23             JUDGE SCHACKMAN:  Page 2 .

   24             MR. BURSTEIN:  Page 2 on Exhibit A S.

   25             Q.    He concurred with your request.  Do



    2      you see that?

    3             A.    Which paragraph?

    4             Q.    The third paragraph from the

    5      bottom.

    6             A.    He says we concur with your

    7      request.

    8             Q.    So, as of July 2 and July 3, am I

    9      correct that it was Bernard Hopkins' position

   10      that, if DKP and AB Stars could not get a deal

   11      done, Bernard Hopkins intended to fight his WBC

   12      mandatory pursuant to a purse bid regardless of

   13      what Don King wanted and regardless of whether

   14      or not Don King was the ultimate promoter of the

   15      fight?

   16             A.    That is false.

   17             Q.    You had asked for a purse bid if

   18      they couldn't agree, correct?

   19             A.    Correct.

   20             Q.    Mr. Hopkins had said he was willing

   21      to fight the WBC mandatory pursuant to a purse

   22      bid, correct?

   23             A.    That's correct.

   24             Q.    You also said that, if Don King and

   25      AB Stars didn't get a deal done, you wanted the



    2      purse bid to go forward, correct?

    3             A.    Yes.

    4             Q.    And you understood that, once the

    5      purse bid went forward, Don King might not end

    6      up being the promoter of the bout, correct?

    7             A.    If he didn't win the purse bid.

    8             Q.    He might not end up being the

    9      promoter of the bout, is that correct, yes or

   10      no?

   11             A.    That's correct.

   12             Q.    So, what you were saying when you

   13      said I want Mr. -- Mr. Hopkins wants a purse

   14      bid, you were saying we want to go forward with

   15      the Hakkar bout, even if DKP and AB Stars cannot

   16      get a deal done?  Weren't you saying that?

   17             A.    Yes.

   18             Q.    And you were also saying that we

   19      want this to go forward, even if a deal can't be

   20      done, knowing -- withdrawn.

   21                   You were also saying that we want

   22      this fight to go forward, if a deal can't be

   23      done, even if Don King doesn't want the deal

   24      taking place and even if it ends up having to be

   25      promoted by different promoter?



    2             A.    That is false.

    3             Q.    You were saying that a purse bid

    4      certainly contemplated -- let me see if I can do

    5      it a different way.  You were certainly saying

    6      that you were prepared to go forward with the

    7      fight even if Don King did not end up being the

    8      promoter of the bout?

    9             A.    That's correct.

   10             Q.    And you were prepared to go forward

   11      with the bout even if Don King had chosen not to

   12      bid, correct?

   13             A.    Yes.

   14             Q.    So that, if Don King had decided he

   15      didn't want to go forward with the bout, you

   16      were still prepared to go forward with it?

   17             A.    Or whomever won the purse bid,

   18      but --

   19             MR. BURSTEIN:  Move to strike.

   20             THE CHAIRMAN:  You have answered the

   21      question.

   22             Q.    In fact, before you had ever been

   23      sent a contract from Don King for either Betare

   24      or Hakkar, you had requested a purse bid from

   25      the WBC, isn't that correct?



    2             A.    Before I was ever sent a written

    3      contract.

    4             Q.    Yes.

    5             A.    But not before we discussed it.

    6             Q.    Before you were ever sent a written

    7      contract for Betare or Hakkar, you had requested

    8      a WBC purse bid in the event that a deal could

    9      not get done with DKP for the WBC mandatory, yes

   10      or no?

   11             A.    I believe that I received a written

   12      contract sometime in July, so, if that is the

   13      case, then, yes.

   14             Q.    O.K.  Now, with respect to Mr.

   15      Joppy, you will agree that between the Hakkar

   16      bout which took place at the very end of March

   17      2003, correct?

   18             A.    Yes.

   19             Q.    And April 29, 2003, DKP never came

   20      to you and said we want Mr. Hopkins to fight Mr.

   21      Joppy as the next opponent?

   22             A.    He didn't come to us with any

   23      opponent.

   24             Q.    So the answer is he never came

   25      forward to you -- came to you during that time



    2      period and said we want Joppy to be the next

    3      opponent?

    4             A.    What was the end date?

    5             Q.    April 29, 2003.

    6             A.    I don't recall.

    7             Q.    Let's look at Exhibit C K, a letter

    8      you sent as of May 1.

    9             A.    It is not there.

   10             MR. OLIN:  We don't have it.

   11             MR. BURSTEIN:  It is not in yours?

   12             MR. OLIN:  No.

   13             Q.    As of May 1, 2003, if you look at

   14      the first few sentences of this letter, you had

   15      heard nothing from Mr. King about plans for

   16      Bernard's future bouts?

   17             A.    That's correct.

   18             Q.    So certainly as of May 1, 2003, Mr.

   19      King had not come to you and said we want

   20      William Joppy to be the next bout?

   21             A.    He did not.

   22             Q.    Two days earlier in fact you had

   23      demanded a purse bid from the WBA, hadn't you?

   24             A.    I don't know.  Do you have the

   25      document?



    2             Q.    Let's look at Exhibit C I.  On

    3      April 29, you asked that the WBA schedule a

    4      purse bid within the next two weeks, didn't you?

    5             A.    Yes.  I did.

    6             Q.    In fact, on May 1 you told DKP that

    7      you were going to do that.  In fact you enclosed

    8      your April 29 letter or that you had done that?

    9             A.    Is there a letter that you were

   10      going to refer me to?

   11             Q.    C K.

   12             A.    What was the question?

   13             Q.    On May 1 you told DKP that you were

   14      requesting a purse bid of the IBF?  End of the

   15      first paragraph.  Do you see where you wrote,

   16      since you obviously do not intend so, we have

   17      asked the WBA to call for an immediate purse

   18      bid?

   19             A.    Yes.

   20             Q.    Now, if you look at Exhibit C H and

   21      although this is dated April 29, I think you

   22      testified on direct looking at the fax header

   23      that the real date of this letter was about June

   24      13.

   25             A.    Yes.



    2             Q.    That after the Toney bid, the Toney

    3      bout fell apart, you asked again for an

    4      immediate purse bid.  Correct?

    5             A.    That's correct.

    6             Q.    And what you were saying and asking

    7      for an immediate purse bid, were you not, was

    8      that Bernard Hopkins was planning on fighting

    9      William Joppy as his next fight for any promoter

   10      who would win a purse bid?

   11             A.    I can't accept that entire

   12      statement, because you said his next fight and

   13      he was always willing to make alternative plans

   14      for the mandatories if Mr. King came up with an

   15      alternative plan.

   16             Q.    But you understood that once the

   17      purse bid was held that if Mr. Hopkins wanted to

   18      keep his WBA belt he would have to fight the

   19      fight?

   20             A.    No, that is not the case.

   21             Q.    You didn't understand that?

   22             A.    No, that is not the case.  I have

   23      an understanding to the contrary if you would

   24      like to hear it.

   25             Q.    Now --



    2             THE CHAIRMAN:  You will have a chance on

    3      redirect.

    4             THE WITNESS:  Sure.

    5             Q.    But you certainly made clear in

    6      this letter on June 13 that, absent DKP coming

    7      up with some other alternative, Bernard Hopkins

    8      was going to fight that purse bid bout

    9      regardless of what DKP wanted and for any

   10      promoter who won a purse bid?

   11             A.    I can't accept that entire

   12      question.

   13             Q.    Was Bernard Hopkins saying that if

   14      there was no alternative available given to him

   15      by HBO he was going to fight Joppy pursuant to a

   16      purse bid?  Let me rephrase that.  That was a

   17      terrible question.

   18                   On June 13 when you wrote this

   19      letter, were you not saying, according to you,

   20      that, if Don King did not provide Bernard

   21      Hopkins with another alternative, Bernard

   22      Hopkins was going to fight his WBA mandatory

   23      pursuant to a purse bid?

   24             A.    No, I wasn't saying all of that at

   25      all.



    2             Q.    You weren't?

    3             A.    No, what I was doing was asking as

    4      I said in the letter for a purse bid to take

    5      place.

    6             Q.    Let's play this out.  You were

    7      asking for a purse bid to be held, right?

    8             A.    That's correct.

    9             Q.    In asking for the purse bid to be

   10      held, are you saying that Bernard Hopkins had no

   11      intention with going forward with the purse bid?

   12             A.    He had --

   13             Q.    Yes or no.

   14             A.    I can't say yes or no.

   15             Q.    Would he have gone forward with the

   16      purse bid if in the absence of Don King making

   17      another offer that was more attractive to him?

   18             A.    I am speculating, but I believe so,

   19      yes.  That was the intent.

   20             Q.    That was the intent at the time?

   21             A.    Yes.

   22             Q.    So as of the time you wrote this

   23      letter, it was Bernard Hopkins' intent in the

   24      absence of DKP providing a more attractive

   25      opportunity to go forward with the Joppy bout



    2      pursuant to a purse bid, right?

    3             A.    In the absence of Mr. King

    4      providing any alternative, yes.  He would have

    5      gone forward.

    6             Q.    And he would have done so

    7      regardless of Mr. King's wishes, right?

    8             A.    Mr. King's wishes were consonant

    9      with his at the time with respect to this bout.

   10             Q.    He would have -- even if Don King

   11      didn't want the bout to go forward, he would

   12      have gone forward with the purse bid and would

   13      have fought the bout for a promoter other than

   14      Mr. King, correct?

   15             MR. OLIN:  Objection.  Calls for

   16      speculation, because that is not the fact.

   17             A.    That is not the fact .

   18             THE CHAIRMAN:  O.K.  I understand.

   19             Q.    Now with respect to Carl Daniels,

   20      it is my understanding that you believe that Don

   21      King Productions' initial offer for that fight

   22      was less than 1.5?

   23             A.    My recollection was that it was

   24      less than 1.5.

   25             Q.    But you have no specific



    2      recollection of what that offer was?

    3             A.    I do not.

    4             Q.    In your deposition you testified

    5      that you had no recollection even about who you

    6      negotiated with for the Daniels fight and that

    7      the only numbers that stood out in your mind

    8      with respect to that negotiation were the

    9      numbers of $1.5 million and $1.7 million.

   10             A.    Could you show me where I said

   11      that?

   12             Q.    Do you recall whether or not you so

   13      testified?

   14             A.    I don't recall that.

   15             Q.    Well, is it true that you have no

   16      recollection of anyone who you discussed that

   17      fight with?

   18             A.    I have a recollection of speaking

   19      to Mr. DiBella about it, and I have a

   20      recollection of speaking to Mr. King about it.

   21             Q.    Is it true that the opening numbers

   22      that stand out in your mind in connection with

   23      that negotiation were $1.5 million and $1.7

   24      million?

   25             A.    I don't recall that.



    2             Q.    Take a look in the book I guess it

    3      is tab 7, page 21.

    4             MR. OLIN:  This is his deposition, Judd?

    5             MR. BURSTEIN:  This is his deposition.

    6      Tell me when you have it.

    7             A.    I have the page.

    8             Q.    Line 20.  Were you asked these

    9      questions and did you give these answers:  "Now

   10      there came a time when there were negotiations

   11      between the Hopkins side and the King side for

   12      the Hopkins purse for the Daniels fight?

   13                   "Answer:  There were discussions.

   14      I can't remember who the discussions were

   15      between, who I had discussions with.  Again, I

   16      can only give firsthand information about what I

   17      did, and I can't remember with whom I had

   18      discussions.  I believe Lou DiBella was involved

   19      at some point in time.  I believe that at some

   20      time or another offers were communicated and an

   21      offer was communicated to me or a purse amount

   22      was communicated to me for the bout.


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