It appears that Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is to get his wish to fight in the boxing ring, with a press release from promoter Don Chargin claiming that former IBF super-middleweight boxing champion Jeff Lacy has signed on to be his first opponent.
It’s believed the bout will take place in the Fall of this year, though the press release misses out some key information such as whether Diaz has agreed to the bout, and at what weight the contest will be held.
Lacy was at one time a star in the boxing world holding a record of 21-0 (1nc) at the time he held the title, before finally losing to Joe Calzaghe in 2006. Since then his form has dipped considerably, and he’s won just once in his last four fights leaving his record at 25-4 (1nc).
Chargin believes it would make for an exciting match-up however.
“This is a very dangerous fight for both men,” Chargin stated in the press release. “Not only is this fight dangerous but stylistically it is very intriguing. I expected more resistance from fight fans and media in regards to this match-up but its amazing as to the hundreds of calls and e-mails I’ve received from fans on both sides wanting to see this match-up take place. I’ve received more than a few inquiries from some other very high-profile boxers that want to step up and fight Nick. Its been a real whirlwind.”
“I’ve been around boxing for quite some time and I’ve seen a lot of great, tough fighters in my six decades within the sport,” Chargin continued. “I believe that if Nick had been one of those kids who had picked up boxing from a youth, he’d undoubtedly be a world-champion today. Sometime within the next 2 weeks I’ll be personally making the trek to Cesar Gracies gym to setup a private, closed door sparring session between Nick and a few nameless top-level contenders I have in mind.”
If the bout does indeed go ahead then it would suggest that talks between Diaz and UFC president Dana White which were set for this week did not go according to plan – from the UFC’s side at least. White had earlier admitted that he would prefer Diaz to get back into the cage to fight again rather than compete in the boxing ring, but that if an agreement couldn’t be reached with Diaz then he would have no means to stop him since his current deal allows for it.
While Diaz has been vocal about his interest in a boxing bout, within the last week he also had began to talk up a fight between himself and current UFC welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre.
Update: Diaz’ manager Cesar Gracie has confirmed that unless the UFC offer them a fight with GSP then they will take the fight with Lacy.