(Compared to some of the things he’s experienced in boxing, Jeff Lacy (right) is excited to work with a serious, sober professional like Nick Diaz.)
Credit Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy, his camp and promoter for continuing to act like this proposed boxing match with Nick Diaz is a done deal, even though our suspicion is that Diaz and Cesar Gracie are just using Lacy and Co. to turn up the heat on Zuffa, LLC. Don’t get us wrong, we totally believe that Diaz is down to fight the former super middleweight champion … but likely only if the UFC can’t or won’t make a bout with Georges St. Pierre happen in the near future. Whatever the case, Lacy and his people are getting a nice publicity rub off this.
Case-in-point, Lacy got himself invited on ESPN 1100 in Las Vegas with Steve Cofield this week, where he sounded pretty dumbfounded that Diaz would want to “step into his ring,” but said he was totally willing to take advantage of the situation. In fairness, Lacy was actually somewhat complementary of MMA, saying he’s become a big fan, but then went on to compare the striking in our sport to glorified Toughman competitions. Lacy’s quotes are after the jump.
“I really don’t understand what was going through his mind,” Lacy says of Diaz. “I understand he may love a challenge (but) I’m up for this more than you would ever know. I don’t want to down talk the sport, I love MMA, but when you have people talking about it’s taking away from boxing, no … For me not to take this fight, it would make me a scaredycat. I don’t think I’ve ever been scared of anybody I’ve ever stepped in the ring with.”
Props to Lacy for not being afraid to use the term “scaredycat” in adult conversation, by the way. The boxer got a little testy when the radio hosts implied that if a punching-only fight with Diaz ever did go down, the pressure would be on Lacy to prove his point about MMA strikers being akin to amateurish brawlers.
“How would you figure the pressure’s on me when this is something I’ve been doing all my life?” Lacy responded. “It’s something I can close my eyes and do There pressure’s on him to step over, just like the pressure was on James (Toney) to step over to something he’s never done before … This is something I love to do, and I’ve dealt with way better technical fighters than this guy Diaz, is gonna present to me. I’ve dealt with a lot of different styles. He’s stepping into my ring, but it’s gonna be tougher for me? I don’t think so.”
Over the weekend, news broke that Diaz had signed some sort of contractual agreement with Lacy and promoter Don Chargin, but there seemed to be some confusion (or disagreement) about what that meant. In conversation with MMA Fighting, Chargin acted like Diaz-Lacy was a go (“We’re going to a lot of trouble if we don’t have it signed,” he said), while Cesar Gracie said his fighter would wait to see if the UFC is “serious” about giving Diaz a fight with GSP.
Meanwhile, we’re still under the impression Dana White will fly out to Stockton – staying in San Francisco, we assume, since we just can’t see Dana putting himself up at the Stockton Super 8 – and meet with Diaz to see if there’s anything the promotion can do to make Diaz happy … er, happier … er, at least happy enough not to up and quit the sport.