Nick Diaz vs. Jeff Lacy: Is This Really a Good Idea for Diaz?
The greatest display of his striking prowess to date was his fight against Paul Daley a few weeks ago. Diaz showed that he was able to strike with one of the best pure strikers in MMA. Not only was he able to recover when Daley floored him with his best punch, but Diaz was able to come back, punch well to both the head and body, and ended the fight in the first round.
Before and after the fight, Diaz complained that he was overworked and underpaid. By MMA standards, the $175,000 he made in disclosed pay for his fight against Daley isn't bad at all. But by boxing standards, it's chump change for high-mid and upper-tier fighters.
After Zuffa acquired Strikeforce, they re-negotiated many of the fighters contracts under their new company, Forza LLC. Diaz was one of the fighters who chose to keep his current contract, which includes a clause that would allow him to have a professional boxing match, as long as the bout was broadcast on Showtime.
For those who guessed he may take on a "can" in his second professional boxing match, guess again. After defeating the debuting Alfonso Rocha over five years ago, Diaz is throwing around some names for his second opponent that has many scratching their heads.
One name that got brought up was Sergio Martinez. Martinez is currently the The Ring magazine middleweight champion. He is also ranked No. 3 in nearly all pound-for-pound list, right behind a couple of scrubs named Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
Now it is well known that Diaz smokes pot for "medicinal purposes." But when he brought up Sergio Martinez as a possible opponent, he must have been under the influence of the stickiest of the icky.
Now the latest rumor flying around is a bout between Diaz and former super middleweight belt holder Jeff "Left Hook" Lacy has the potential to become reality.
For those who may not be familiar with Lacy, he was a much-hyped and the next "can't miss" boxer in the super middleweight division. Many in the boxing world were hoping that Lacy could make a splash in the division which had traditionally been dominated by European fighters.
After reeling off 22 straight victories against faded former champions and acquiring the vacant IBF title, he faced off against long-time belt holder Joe Calzaghe to unify the IBF and WBO titles.
Despite the fact that Calzaghe was undefeated in 40 professional matches, was ranked No. 1 in the division and was one of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters, all the hype surrounding Lacy made "Left Hook" the favorite in the match.
Could Nick Diaz hold his own against Jeff Lacy?
To make a long story short, Calzaghe gave Lacy the kind of beating that can change a fighter's career en route to winning all 12 rounds in dominant fashion. Since the loss to Calzaghe in 2006, Lacy has gone an unimpressive 4-3. He has been able to defeat lower-tier fighters, but lost against former champions Jermain Taylor and Roy Jones Jr.
In a recent appearance on Inside MMA, Diaz' teammate Gilbert Melendez stated that Diaz has sparred with current top super middleweight Andre Ward. Melendez also claimed that there were times when Diaz got the better of Ward in their sparring sessions.
Ward won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and has gone on to go a perfect 23-0 as a pro. In his opening bout of the Super Six tournament, Ward defeated Mikkel Kessler to win the WBA title. Also, he is ranked No. 1 by The Ring magazine. One has to believe that the only way Diaz could ever get the best of Ward is if Ward was going extremely easy on the mixed martial artist.
While Diaz might be one of the best strikers in MMA, to think he could hang with a solid professional boxer is nothing short of ludicrous. Even if Lacy is not what he once was—or was never what he was supposed to be—he would have no problems with a mixed martial artist.
Lacy has spent his life perfecting the craft of boxing the best he can. Diaz has spent a majority of his life perfecting his jiu-jitsu and has been working on his hands over the past few years. Lacy's experience alone would be enough to destroy Diaz. That's leaving out the facts that Lacy has the faster hands, straighter punches and packs more power behind his punches than Diaz ever will.
Boxing fans never wanted one of their own to lose a mixed martial arts match, much less lose the fight in such embarrassing fashion. It is safe to say that MMA fans do not want the same to happen to one of their best fighters.
Should Diaz ever step inside the squared circle against Lacy, be surprised if Diaz could last more than four rounds with the former champion. Also, he would become to boxing what James Toney has become to MMA—a laughingstock.
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