Strikeforce welterweight (170 lbs.) champion Nick Diaz believes his big-fight options in the world of mixed martial arts are dwindling, so the controversial star is now looking to land a notable boxing fight. Fernando Vargas was the first option, but Vargas has been out of the game for almost four years now and hasn't won a fight since 2005.
So since one shot boxer appears to be out, another one is stepping up. Eddie Daniels of TBO.com reports that Jeff Lacy has offered to take the fight with Diaz (25-7 MMA). On Friday, Diaz mentioned Lacy as a potential boxing opponent in USA Today.
"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."
Diaz is one of the better stand-up fighters in MMA, and probably one of the better boxers in the MMA world. Lacy, meanwhile, is 33 years old and hasn't looked so much as good in a fight since 2005. That came just before he was dominated and ruined by Joe Calzaghe on the road in the UK, after which he struggled with injuries that turned him into a fighter shot early. He got debatable wins over Vitali Tsypko, Peter Manfredo Jr. and Epifanio Mendoza before losing wide to Jermain Taylor in the last HBO appearance for both fighters in November 2008. Since then, Lacy has bottomed out. He escaped with another questionable win over Otis Griffin, lost big to a long-since-relevant Roy Jones Jr., and in December, lost to journeyman Dhafir Smith (24-20-7, 4 KO) on wide scorecards over 12 rounds.
To put it nicely, Lacy is irrelevant in the boxing world at this point. For a first opponent in boxing, he would make a decent opponent for Diaz, but if Diaz is really looking for some major payday, he's looking in the wrong direction. Any amount of money there ever was in Jeff Lacy is long gone.
Is the idea better or worse than blown-up Vargas? Better, I guess. At least Lacy has fought recently, even though he didn't do it well, and is a natural in the weight class Diaz would need to fight in. But either fight is just a novelty against a washed-up boxer.