Nick Diaz decides against boxing

Updated: May 23, 2011, 5:33 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

Nick Diaz will not venture into professional boxing after all.

Less than a month after a boxing promoter announced an agreement was in place for a match pitting Diaz against IBF super middleweight former champion Jeff Lacy, the same promoter said Diaz would remain in mixed martial arts.

"Nick is a good kid and a very exciting fighter," fight promoter Don Chargin said in a prepared statement. "Right now, he has an opportunity of a lifetime as it pertains to his MMA career. While I don't doubt that Nick and his team were serious about taking the big step into boxing, it only makes sense for him to finish what he started and see how far he can go in MMA before he does anything in boxing."

Diaz (25-7), the current Strikeforce welterweight champion, met with UFC officials last week in Las Vegas to discuss his options. The 27-year-old's camp had previously said he wouldn't try boxing if a fight with UFC champion Georges St. Pierre (22-2) could be made in the same time frame.

Although it's been speculated the UFC could announce a St. Pierre-Diaz fight within the week -- possibly to be held by the end of the year in Montreal -- president Dana White told ESPN.com Monday negotiations are still ongoing and nothing is imminent.

"We're working on it," said White, via a text message. "There's a lot to get through."

Diaz's contract with Strikeforce allowed him the option of a professional boxing match in 2011. Rumors had swirled of possible matchups with Lacy, Fernando Vargas and even current middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.

However, when Strikeforce was purchased by UFC parent company Zuffa Inc., earlier this year, it opened a few doors for the three-time defending champion -- including potential for a fight against St. Pierre, which Diaz has long wanted.

According to Diaz's manager, Cesar Gracie, the team decided that Diaz's options in MMA outweighed the appeal of crossing over to boxing.

"There are some people that have said we were just posturing to go into professional boxing, and they don't undertand this thing is something we had been working on since 2009," Gracie said. "There's a certain chance that comes along once in a very long while and it only makes sense to stick to MMA as of right now.

"If this were a couple months ago or if certain fights had played out differently, we'd definitely be ready to go into boxing. But that's not how it played out."

Brett Okamoto covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.

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