I had the chance to talk to Jeff Lacy's manager, Joey Gilbert, about the deal between Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and former world super middleweight boxing champion Jeff Lacy to square off in a boxing match. Gilbert shared some very interesting information about the bout.
When I asked for information on the purses the fighters would be paid, Gilbert managed to surprise me. "Nick Diaz will be making at least the $175,000 he made in his last MMA bout, possibly slightly more." Another interesting development in terms of the payouts followed when Gilbert said "Jeff Lacy is actually making slightly less than Diaz." He then went on to explain that Lacy was willing to take less than the 50/50 split that we discussed the last time we spoke because he wanted to make sure they got the deal done.
I've been very up front about the fact that I did not think there was more than $50,000 in a boxing match for Diaz against a Lacy or Fernando Vargas. Of course, I was also talking about the fact that I didn't think a network would put up money for the fight to have that high of a purse.
Some argued that Showtime would pour money into the fight because they wanted an MMA fighter they could cross-promote with boxing. But this was clearly not a Showtime project, as Gilbert explains "Right now we're ready to go with an independent pay-per-view, but Showtime would be crazy not to pick this up. Jeff Lacy made his name on Showtime and Nick Diaz is a champion in mixed martial arts and a Showtime fighter."
It's certainly not out of the question that Showtime will get involved. But again, Diaz in boxing was a Nick Diaz project, not part of the grand Showtime marketing scheme.
Finally, Gilbert said that the bout would be a ten round fight.
Bloody Elbow will have much more on the fight in the coming weeks as details continue to emerge. I plan on sitting down with Lacy next week to discuss why he is taking the fight, what risks he thinks Diaz presents and how he intends on dealing with Diaz's iron will and jaw.