Challenge extended, challenge accepted.
Just days after Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and his manager Cesar Gracie stated they were focused on a professional boxing match for the Stockton, Calif., native’s next fight, names like Fernando Vargas and Jeff Lacy starting popping up as potential opponents.
While nothing is set in stone yet, former super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy appears poised to accept the challenge to face Diaz in the boxing ring.
“Honestly, I was a little stunned. 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. I’m willing to put it all on the line anytime, anywhere!” said Lacy in a prepared statement on Monday.
“For the right price, I’m more than interested in heading to his turf and put my fist in his mouth and silencing him.”
Diaz has long talked about making a move into the professional boxing arena, and after his first-round knockout of top contender Paul Daley, that fire has been reignited.
According to his manager, Diaz has worked it out with the promoters at Strikeforce to allow the fighter to pursue his boxing dreams. Until negotiations are complete, it’s too soon to tell when or where such a bout would take place, but Gracie had earlier indicated they would like for Diaz to box in September or October, with no clear indicator of when he might return to the cage.
Joey Gilbert, who serves as manager and attorney for Lacy, seems all for the bout as well. He would be happy to put his fighter in against one of the premier MMA fighters in the sport.
“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 commented.
Until the chatter turns into a pen put to paper, everything remains up in the air as far as Diaz’s move into boxing. But, he’s at least gained the interest of one prominent boxer who is ready to accept his challenge.