In a followup to yesterday’s story about UFC President Dana White nixing a proposed fight between UFC middleweight champion and boxing legend Roy Jones Jr., despite both fighters wanting the bout, GracieFighter.com is reporting that Strikeforce founder Scott Coker would like to match Jones Jr. against Nick Diaz. Diaz had challenged Jones Jr. to a boxing-rules fight after his victory over Frank Shamrock last month. “We would absolutely set this fight up,” Coker reportedly said. “Of course we would have to run it by Showtime for final approval, but I don’t see why we wouldn’t have this fight.”
According to an article at MMAJunkie.com, Coker denied making that quote during yesterday’s Strikeforce media call, saying “I’ve had several calls from different people saying, ‘Roy Jones vs. Nick Diaz, Roy Jones vs. Cung Le, Roy Jones vs. this guy or that guy, but it’s something that we haven’t really talked about. I really don’t even know how serious it is. But the question is, ‘Does he want to fight in MMA? Does he want to fight in just boxing?’ These are all things that haven’t been fleshed out.
“I did get a call from Nick’s manager asking me if I’d be interested in looking at a fight between Roy Jones and Nick. I said, ‘Are you talking about boxing? Are you talking about MMA?’ He says, ‘In MMA.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s something we can definitely have a conversation about. That just happened this morning. That’s the extent of it.”
Showtime Senior Vice President Ken Hershman was even more poignant, saying that the fight “would be a very long shot of ever happening.”
“It has nothing to do with money,” Hershman noted. “I think it’s an insult to the integrity of mixed martial arts to think Roy Jones, or any professional boxer, could just come in and fight Nick Diaz in a mixed martial arts context. In a boxing context, it’s completely different.
“But beyond that, it’s not the strategy we’re employing. We’re looking to build the best mixed martial arts brand. I believe we have the best professional boxing brand on television, and I think our fights month in and month out prove that. I don’t see the need to combine the two at the moment.”