And the flood gates are open.
After Nick Diaz announced his intention to box before returning to mixed martial arts in 2011, the Strikeforce welterweight champion has not suffered from a lack of willing participants.
Count among that group former super middleweight world champion Jeff Lacy, who, along with Fernando Vargas and Sergio Martinez, were mentioned by the Diaz camp as desirable opponents.
“Honestly, I was a little stunned," said Lacy, a resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., in a prepared statement. "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."
Lacy's interest no doubt stems from the fact that he's fallen on hard times as a boxer. The 33-year-old former U.S. Olympian, unbeaten in 21 fights before losing a unanimous decision to Joe Calzaghe in 2006, has dropped three of his last four bouts, including an embarrassing decision to journeyman Dhafir Smith in December. Lacy (25-4) also lost on points to Jermain Taylor and Roy Jones Jr.
Diaz, under contract to pro boxing Hall of Fame promoter Don Chargin for a bout this year, is available to box in 2011 under the parameters of his current contract with Strikeforce.
“For the right price, I’m more than interested in heading to his turf and put my fist in his mouth and silencing him," Lacy said.