Jake Paul finally got his wish. He will be fighting Nate Diaz in a 185-pound boxing match set to take place August 5 in Dallas, Texas. In Diaz, Paul has arguably the biggest opponent he’s faced yet in terms of drawing and star power. However, the YouTuber-turned-boxer made a big mistake in choosing to fight the Stockton native next — and here are three reasons why.
Nate Diaz has been around boxing for years
Paul has defeated a number of other ex-UFC fighters like Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley and Anderson Silva. It’s only natural to think he’ll defeat Diaz, right? Well, unlike those fighters, Diaz actually has a background in boxing. He’s largely known for his boxing and jiu-jitsu in the UFC, but his main preference of the two in mixed martial arts is still boxing. Askren and Woodley were wrestlers while Silva was primarily a Muay Thai specialist.
There’s also the little fact that Diaz has actually sparred and trained with world champion level boxers such as undefeated former undisputed light heavyweight champion Andre Ward for years.
“Nate helped me get ready for Chad [Dawson] and he always comes in shape and throws a million punches from a million different angles,” Ward said in 2017. “Those boys [Diaz brothers] could do good in boxing. Anytime I’ve fought a left-hander I’ve had them over in camp. They lasted the whole camp, they can take it and dish it out.”
Diaz has also sparred with WBC super lightweight champion Regis Prograis with the latter releasing footage on YouTube that shows the former more than holding his own.
Essentially, Diaz will not beginning any boxing training in preparation for fighting Paul — he’s been doing it for years. And while this is Diaz’s professional boxing debut and Silva had a few bouts under his belt before fighting Paul, Silva just recently turned 48 and has been well past his prime for over a decade. Diaz, in comparison, is 38 and while he’s not “young” or in his prime by any means, he can still put a pace on opponents which leads to the next point.
Nate Diaz’s cardio and pace can overwhelm Jake Paul
If there’s one thing a Diaz brother is known for, it’s their relentless pace and unlimited cardio — they just do not get tired.
Another thing they’re known for is their durability. Paul can certainly land shots on Diaz early on. He will more than likely open a cut on Diaz and make him bleed given the latter’s excess scar tissue in his eyebrows (hopefully, this doesn’t stop the fight abruptly with a doctor’s stoppage).
But if he’s unable to finish or hurt Diaz and blows his gas tank early in the process, that’s a recipe for disaster as Diaz will continue marching forward, throw volume at him and talk trash while doing it — just ask Conor McGregor.
Sure, Diaz has slowed down in recent UFC fights and that’s only natural with his age and longevity in combat sports.
But a big factor in many of those fights was Diaz being compromised with leg kicks. He’s never really been one to check them and in his last two fights alone, he ate 34 and 23 leg kicks respectively. He won’t have to worry about that or getting taken down — he can just strike and clinch with Paul for the duration of the eight-round contest.
Jake Paul cannot afford two losses in a row
His questionable pay-per-view sales aside, Paul does have a legitimate fanbase and his fights do gain mainstream media attention. One just needs to see how much coverage his fight with Tommy Fury got. But at the same time, let’s not forget he lost the Fury fight and it’s fair to say it somewhat killed the hype of Paul’s boxing career. He wasn’t as good as many originally thought and with that L on his record, the idea of facing him is far less enticing now. He definitely cannot afford another defeat so soon.
To his credit, he was able to drop Fury — but other than that, he was comprehensively outboxed and just outclassed by Fury over the course of the contest. And yes, Fury is a professional boxer, so this was kind of expected in a way even though the odds told a different tale. But Fury is far from an elite boxer himself and has virtually fought nobodies in his own boxing career.
And so, the Cleveland native would have been far better served fighting another former UFC fighter or potentially even a YouTuber. The goal is to always go a step higher in terms of opponent so it’s understandable that he went for Diaz.
But even the best boxers have tune-up fights every now and then, and Paul could have certainly done with an easy layup. There will always be fans tuning in for Paul’s fights, but there will also be a considerable drop as well if he manages to lose two in a row at the hands of Diaz.
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