I had the opportunity recently to shoot the bull with Don Chargin, the man who will be managing and promoting MMA badass Nick Diaz into a dual career as both MMA machine and pugilistic professional.
Here is what Don Chargin had to say:
Don, thanks very much for taking the time out of your schedule. First off, how did you get involved with Nick Diaz?
Well Ryan, I heard through some of my people, now you know I’m always looking for boxing prospects...but no one ever really thought about recruiting guys from mixed martial arts. Some of my friends who were more versed in MMA brought up the name of Nick Diaz. I hadn’t really heard about him, but I was able to watch some of his tape (fight films), saw his natural boxing ability and his footwork, and immediately thought he has what it takes.
Then I saw him do well these last few times on Showtime (for Strikeforce) and I was really impressed. I learned from a close friend who owns a boxing gym in Oakland, CA where Nick trains and got to see him. He can really fight, and I think it’s time to put a real exciting MMA fighter in a boxing ring.
Why do you think Nick Diaz, of all MMA fighters, should be in boxing?
Few MMA fighters are as impressive as Nick is with his boxing skills, his hand speed, his footwork. I talked with Nick and his trainers, and he is very anxious to show off his skill in the ring. He is also very anxious to step in with the best fighters...to get a good fighter as an opponent. He is not getting any tomato cans...the three professionals (opponents) are all world ranked.
Nick is known as a “bad boy” in MMA, kind of a villain. Do you think that will translate to boxing, and is that a necessarily good thing?
Definitely. Nick is a great fighter with great personality...I want him to be comfortable in the ring, to act natural. Nick is not a phony, he doesn’t put on an act for the hype. We want to make sure his opponents have the same kind of personality. That will make for exciting fights.
Many promoters try to play off that image, and it’s refreshing to see you will embrace it. Finally, to wrap up, what plans do you have for Nick?
Nick is going to fight between middleweight and light-heavyweight. For boxing, that means he will fight between 160-175 pounds, but most likely he will be fighting between 168 pounds and 175 pounds, which is super middleweight.
The plan is for Nick to make a run at becoming a champion in both boxing and MMA. Between fans for MMA and boxing this is going to be a big draw. Nick wants to contend for a title, so we are going to get him good fights...turn him loose and see what happens. I’m very anxious to see him fight and very anxious for Nick to show that skill of his.
Well Don, that about does it for me here. Good luck with the first fight, and I and a lot of MMA fans look forward to seeing Nick step foot in a boxing ring and represent MMA.
You’re very welcome Ryan and I look forward to getting Nick