Lacy signs on to box Nick Diaz
May 7, 2011
Journeyman boxer Jeff Lacy has signed on to fight Nick Diaz sometime this fall according to a press release sent out on Friday. The press release does not state whether Diaz has signed on to fight Lacy.
Immediately after the Paul Daley fight, Diaz’s manager. Cesar Gracie indicated that he may retire to enter boxing and make more money. But, according to initial reports, Diaz would make as much, or a little more than the Daley fight – $175,000.
Bloody Elbow points out that the fight may not be a done deal:
There’s also no indication that Diaz and his camp have even agreed to the terms. This could be nothing more than a PR stunt by Lacy and his camp or it could be Lacy signing a contract that Diaz and his camp have already verbally agreed to.
This matters because UFC President Dana White is reportedly headed to Stockton, CA to meet with Diaz and his manager/trainer Cesar Gracie with the intent of talking them out of Diaz boxing.
Bloody Elbow writes that Showtime may not be involved in this fight:
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 [Lacy’s manager, Joey] 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.”
Bad Left Hook discusses money and tv:
Money-wise, if they don’t get Showtime backing here (or HBO, I guess, though that’s incredibly less likely), that $175K and whatever Lacy makes is going to be steep. But I don’t fault Gilbert or anyone for looking to make this fight happen with solid paydays. Lacy isn’t getting younger or better in this life and was never a real box office attraction anyway, and Diaz, while a well-known name in MMA, is barely a blip on the radar as some kind of sports star or anything. In other words, this isn’t exactly the years-ago proposed fight of Roy Jones Jr vs Anderson Silva.
TV-wise, I hope they do get on Showtime. For one thing I’d like to see it, and even though I’m a pushover, I just can’t see myself buying this fight on pay-per-view, especially assuming how tight the budget would be for anything worthwhile on an undercard. If they do have to go the PPV route, hopefully they’re looking at Integrated Sports, who have put on plenty of PPV fights over the years targeted at very specific audiences. It’s not like their most recent effort (Adamek vs McBride) was ever going to be a blockbuster. Integrated, for their level of shows, are very good at targeting the desired audience.
As Bloody Elbow states, the UFC has to be against this fight. If Diaz loses to Lacy, what does it say about MMA fighters if one of its champions loses to a boxer on the decline. Any sense of superiority from the Couture-Toney fight would be given back (half-joking). Secondly, the fight could torpedo the chance for Diaz to fight GSP. And if he loses out on GSP, he would lose out on what should be the biggest payday of his career. Its not hyperbole to say that the Lacy fight could be one of the worst career decisions ever for the simple fact that Diaz is an elite MMA fighter on the cusp of superstar status. With Zuffa buying Strikeforce, Diaz can see bigger fights and better paydays. What’s the plan after the Lacy fight?
Its also interesting that if the Lacy fight would come to fruition, its likely that an independent tv distributor would pick up the fight and not Showtime. How would this sit with Zuffa if one of its stars, under contract with the UFC, fights outside of the Zuffa umbrella?
Of course, this can be all a game of chicken with Zuffa to apply pressure on White, et al. for a raise the next time Diaz appears in Strikeforce (or the UFC). Hopefully this is the case and maybe Zuffa and the Diaz camp can reach an agreement so that Diaz stays out of the ring and in the Octagon.