Former UFC title challenger Nate Diaz is getting set for one of the biggest fights of his career. No, not a third fight with Conor McGregor. Nor is it another shot at UFC gold. Instead the Stockton’s own is on his way to a PPV bout against celebrity pugilist Jake Paul.
The match seems sure to get fans talking and draw eyes on the night. Diaz has been a premium B-side attraction for years inside the Octagon, and the ‘Problem Child’ has proven that while he may not be a highly skilled boxer, he knows how to sell the sizzle. When he fights, people watch.
‘Leaked’ Nate Diaz sparring footage hits web
If we know people are going to splash out to watch this spectacle, perhaps the bigger question worth asking is, ‘Will it be any good?’ Paul’s past bouts, mostly against other washed-up former UFC talents, have tended to be more on the level of undercard filler fans might see at any random boxing event. However, still just 38-years-old (and with a long history of sparring high level pro boxers), Diaz shouldn’t be quite so washed or out of his element as guys like Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren proved to be.
That doesn’t mean he’s anything like a seasoned pro. Footage of Diaz boxing an unknown sparring partner recently hit the internet and while Diaz doesn’t look awful, it also doesn’t look like he’s getting much pushback either. Paul may not be a world beater, but he’s proven he can land his own shots with some serious power.
“Nate Diaz is wearing white,” The person recording the video explains. “The athlete in the black shirt is bad, he has never fought. Not as an amateur or as a professional.”
Several outlets have misreported that the man Diaz is sparring is Esquiva Falcao, since Diaz recently trained with the Brazilian, but it’s much more likely that Falcao is the man recording the video. It seems unlikely that a boxer of Falcao’s stature would be so willing to let Diaz walk him down with his guard down, or be so defensively lax when Diaz is letting his own strikes go.
Jake Paul’s notorious sparring session
Jake Paul has had his own noted sparring session leaks ahead of his past fights. Most notably, Haseem Rahman Jr. uploaded some clips of his sparring with Paul after the two were set to face off against one another in the ring. The fight ended up getting scrapped after Rahman made several attempts to move the weight limit up from 200 lbs to 215.
Rahman notably went after Paul later in the build up to their aborted bout for that moment in the second clip where Paul turns his back and jogs to reset away from the ropes.
“When I backed you in a corner, why did you turn your back and run? Why’d you turn around and run? Who runs in a boxing ring? You ran like you were at track.
“He’s a runner he’s a track star!” Rahman prodded, singing to Paul.
“Why you running in a boxing ring? Do you know how to box? Have you learned that yet? Have you learned that you can’t run yet? Have you learned that much yet, that you can’t be running in the ring? Did you learn that yet? It’s only been 18 months.”
Amanda Serrano to co-main against former Bellator attraction
Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz is set to go down on August 5th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. The bout will mark Paul’s return from his first professional defeat, against Tommy Fury—younger half-brother to heavyweight champion Tyson Fury—back in February.
For Diaz, not only will his bout against Jake Paul mark his professional boxing debut, but it will also mark his first fight of any sort outside the UFC Octagon since losing to Hermes Franca at WEC 24 back in 2006. Most recently, Diaz defeated Tony Ferguson at UFC 279, after a planned fight against Khamzat Chimaev fell through on weigh-in day, forcing the UFC to almost entirely reshuffle their PPV main card.
Alongside the cruiserweight (200 lb) main event between Diaz and Paul, the DAZN PPV card is set to be co-mained by undisputed featherweight champion Amanda Serrano in the second defense of her unified belts. Serrano has become something of a cause celebre for Paul after signing to his MVP Boxing promotion, regularly appearing as a featured attraction on his PPV cards.
Serrano is set to take on former WBO featherweight champ and brief Bellator sensation Heather Hardy. Hardy and Serrano have fought once already, back in 2019, with Serrano winning a 10-round unanimous decision and nabbing Hardy’s title belt in the process. Now 41-years-old, this fight will mark the first time Hardy has competed in either the cage or the ring since a 2021 boxing loss to Jessica Camara.
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