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Old 04-21-2011, 07:07 PM
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Change would be good for Diaz

Is there an unhealthy set of delusions going on with Nick Diaz entertaining the idea of pro boxing? Maybe. But it's for a long time been his preferred method in the "mixed" aspect of martial arts anyway, so why not do away with sidelines? And when did he get a million hardcore managers to tell him otherwise?

Diaz is bored with MMA. He's bored with the competition. Bored with the journalists covering it. Fed up with the rigmarole of training. Tired of hyphenated words like "jiu-jitsu." Where delusion steps in is in his expectation to make Manny Pacquiao's payday by merely trying his hand at the sweet science -- but that should be fine with whichever public you belong to (MMA or boxing). Why? Three reasons: A) Because it's in his system, and there's only one way to get it out; B) Because he will learn that his better purses are in garden variety martial arts; and C) Because, no matter who they grab to square off with him, it will be entertaining. That's still the larger function of organized sports.

So long as there's language in his contract with Strikeforce that he can box -- and his manager, Cesar Gracie, says Diaz is allotted one boxing match in 2011 -- I have no qualms with it. Think about the names being bandied about as possible opposition. In former IBF super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy, Diaz would have a name that's just enough to make it valid. If it's Ricardo Mayorga, there's enough neuroses to make it fun. If it were Fernando Vargas, the hard 209 calling card becomes an ordinary deuce. And if it's Sergio Martinez, it might be the first time we hear Diaz called "a can."

Whatever the case, Diaz is not likely to earn the $175,000 he scoffed at in his fight with Paul Daley to retain his welterweight title. But maybe in his confused brain that matters less than he sort of/definitely contends. If he's unmotivated by MMA, then a fight with a wrestler like Tyron Woodley (probably the one discipline that makes him yawn big tears right now) will either be boring or stupid. Either way, not good for Nick Diaz.

Diaz is only 27 years old, and he's on top of his game. When Michael Jordan was bored, he played baseball. Diaz is not a novelty act like James Toney; he can box. His contract says he's allowed to, so he should be afforded the chance to do it. If he finds he likes it, he can decide if he wants to make it a full-time switch. If not, he comes back motivated and, theoretically, less disgruntled.
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