We should remember how eager the MMA world was when James Toney begged and bluffed his way into a UFC fight. Seriously, even Dana White himself made smug jokes about "boxers versus mixed-martial-artists" after Toney was signed and scheduled; and Dana was the promoter! Furthermore, remember Dana White himself comes from a boxing background and had no reason to disrespect his sole claim to legitimacy in the world of combat sports (that is, besides being a great promoter/business man). Randy Couture nearly hurt himself begging for a chance to be the guy to humble the (legitimately) great James Toney.
I confess I had a great time with the pre-fight hype between James Toney and Randy Couture. My boxing friends continually reminded me of Toney's achievements in the ring; of who he had knocked out and at what weight; of the "severe" danger of having a high-level boxer hit you with 4-ounce gloves, and the like. I laughed and mocked in the most irritating manner possible. I told them I would buy them all dinner if James Toney won even a single round.
I had three reasons for my confidence: Firstly, I had actually seen the first UFC events and knew how easily boxers were taken down (a boxer's safe zone is leaning into you while covering, essentially giving away double under-hooks like candy at Halloween); secondly, the match was an MMA fight, with MMA rules; finally, even if Randy Couture could not immediately take Toney down (insert raucous laughter sound-clip here), he invented the Greco-grind. The fight went just as nearly everyone in the MMA world predicted it would. Of course, it might have gone differently. I hear you mealy-mouth muttering about a "punchers chance", etc. But the odds were solidly on our side.
Skip to the present. Nick Diaz wants to box. (He actually has one boxing match which he won by decision)
Nick Diaz is one of those guys who are only happy if miserable. We all know a guy like this, who would rather climb a tree and moan from the top of it then try to be generally content right here on the ground. The interview Diaz gave after his last Strikeforce title defense is one of the most surreal, edge-of-reality ramblings I have ever heard. He sounded like a guy who had missed his lithium pill. His complaint is about not being paid like boxers are paid; undoubtedly referring to the multi-million dollar prize fights that happen in the world of PPV boxing.
I could write about how boxing payouts differ from MMA payouts; how the organizations are different; how boxing has no "middle-class" of fighters who make decent money. But no. Nobody cares . It's like the NFL strike. Enough already. Play ball.
Jeff Lacy, 25-4, (with 17 wins by knockout) has signed to fight Nick Diaz. My boxing friends are in heaven. They watch Nick Diaz's standup and fall over laughing. They leap up and imitate Diaz's left hook, pat-pat style, and especially his facial expressions. They can't wait for this fight. This is redemption. They want event posters to put up on the walls of their gyms. Even Jeff Lacy seems stunned that a guy with one boxing match gets to fight, say, Jeff Lacy.