On Saturday, it was reported that Diaz is very close to official as the next opponent for UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, whicn many felt was what the MMA star was really chasing by "exploring" the option to fight the washed-up Lacy in a boxing ring.
Today, Diaz's team sent out a press release saying that the 28-year-old won't be boxing any time soon. Veteran promoter Don Chargin expressed disappointment, but excitement for Diaz's MMA career:
"Nick is a good kid and a very exciting fighter. Right now he has an opportunity of a lifetime as it pertains to his MMA career. While I don't doubt that Nick and his team were serious about taking the big step into boxing, it only makes sense for him to finish what he started and see how far he can go in MMA before he does anything in boxing. It's all about timing... we began these discussions over two years ago and nobody would have imagined the type of demand that there currently is for Nick as a mixed martial artist."
... "I've had a long promotional career filled with numerous big events dating back the 1960s. Taking Nick Diaz into boxing would have undoubtedly been a big one but this is Nick's career and his legacy as a MMA fighter needs to be solidified now. I wish him all the luck going forward and know that Zuffa will have itself one very exciting fighter for many years to come."
Here's what Diaz's manager Cesar Gracie added:
"Nick's been working really hard to get to this point in his MMA career and it wouldn't make sense for us to make that transition into boxing right now. If this were a couple months ago or if certain fights had played out differently, we'd definitely be ready to go into boxing, but that's not how it played out. Don Chargin is a great boxing promoter and he understood our dilemma completely and I thank him for that."
This was all fairly predictable. Lacy is a non-factor in boxing and without TV for the bout, he and Diaz would have had to go to independent PPV, which likely would have bombed and given its promoters quite a bath to take overall. It's probably unlikely that Diaz ever was seriously hoping to enter boxing, but I think he'd definitely have done it had he not gotten a fight with St-Pierre, which is really big money and a huge fight for him. But the hope all along was surely that Diaz could use this as leverage to land the St-Pierre fight, which makes sense for him, for St-Pierre, and for UFC's business.