It’s exceptionally rare for a high-profile MMA fighter to show a genuine interest in taking on a top boxer at their own game, and when Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and hi camp began to push for a fight with former super-middleweight champion Jeff Lacy, the boxer admits he was caught off-guard.
“Honestly, I was a little stunned,” Lacy reveals in a press release released by his camp today. “Nick has accomplished a great deal in mixed martial arts and is certainly one of the best in the sport. But getting in the ring with me for a boxing match is a path he needs to be very wary of taking.”
And in case there was any doubts, the 33 year-old is more than up for the challenge.
“I’m willing to put it all on the line anytime, anywhere.”
Quite literally in fact, as Lacy claims he would take the fight in Diaz’ neck of the woods, Northern California.
The catch could be money though, with Lacy saying he’ll fight, “for the right price.” Diaz has also made it clear that his interest in competing in the ring is financially motivated, but whether he can obtain the kind of money he thinks he can from a bout like this remains to be seen.
Lacy’s manager appears to like the idea though, and sees Diaz as an unexpected, but worthy challenger for Lacy, who’s record stands at 25-4.
“In my opinion, Nick Diaz has the best boxing/striking skills in the MMA game today, he’s always in exceptional shape, his comfort level in the pocket and under fire is comparable to any seasoned boxing champion’s, and I feel his hands are better than B.J. Penn’s, who many believe is the best in the sport,” Gilbert said.
So it appears that this boxing ‘superfight’ could become a reality, though it will be interesting to see whether Zuffa will step in to try to redirect Diaz’ attention back towards MMA with either a crossover fight with a UFC star for instance.