Earlier today a press release was issued by Jeff Lacy's camp to get word out that they are interested in taking Nick Diaz up on his interest in a boxing match. Lacy's best days in the boxing ring are behind him but it would appear that his camp realizes that his name is in the news and they're ready to make a push to make it stay there as long as possible. That isn't a knock on the camp, that's simply good management.
A former Olympian, "Left Hook" Lacy captured the IBF super middleweight title in only his 18th bout. Pegged as one of boxing's next great superstars by many, his career was derailed when Joe Calzaghe (an overlooked underdog heading into the bout) dominated their twelve round fight. Lacy's career has gone downhill to the point that he was used as fodder for Roy Jones Jr. to build up to the Bernard Hopkins rematch, and Jeff followed up the Jones loss with a loss to journeyman Dhafir Smith this past December.
The combination of former champion and faded skills no doubt make Lacy an appealing choice for Diaz. Lacy's camp responded to the challenge with this (from the press release):
Former super middleweight world champion Jeff "Left Hook" Lacy read with interest last Friday’s edition of the USA Today newspaper in which Strikeforce Champions’ Nick Diaz challenged him to a boxing match.
"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 the St. Petersburg resident.
"For the right price, I’m more than interested in heading to his turf and put my fist in his mouth and silencing him."
I reached out to Lacy's manager, Joey Gilbert, and asked if any talks have been held between the two camps and, if so, how far they had gotten:
Nothing has even been discussed, but I know both parties and both fighters are not about "talking business", they're about "making fights happen" and so the release is exactly that, Jeff's response to Nick's interest in fighting him.
Gilbert responds to my inquiry of what the purse split would need to look like:
As far as a purse goes, both men are accomplished fighters and champions, that is something we will have to sit down and negotiate. Caesar Gracie is a gentleman and knows the fight business, so I'm fairly certain neither he nor I will become the impasse should talks gain traction.
Does this mean a 50/50 purse split?:
Having not spoken to my client or anyone from Nick’s camp I think it would be irresponsible of me to pre-set terms, but if you’re asking me if I think that is fair, I certainly do. At the end of the day, they are entertainers and they’re both showing up, so maybe this is a great time to start bonuses in boxing for who wins. Paid for by the promoter of the loser of course. Who knows, maybe I seek counsel from Mr. Dana White.. he sure seems to have all the right answers lately…
And his final thoughts on the idea of the bout?:
I think that shows the kind of character Diaz has is calling out Jeff because there are far less dangerous "boxers" out there that really pose no threat. Jeff can punch and Nick knows that, so it's exciting for all fight fans (mma and boxing) and I'm a deal maker, not a deal breaker so I'm open to whatever, it's about Nick and Jeff.
I'd be lying if I said I was on board for the Nick Diaz vs. faded boxer challenge. But, I still find the story and the path it is sure to travel over the coming months to be fascinating.