If you call them out, they will come.
Current Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz has been openly campaigning for a boxing match in lieu of a return to mixed martial arts and there are a couple of pugilists more than ready to oblige him.
Former super middleweight world champion Jeff Lacy would put his fist in Diaz's mouth for the right price and Sergio Martinez, a former WBC super welterweight champion, is apparently ready to do the same.
According to a press release today from Don Chagrin, Diaz's boxing promoter, he will actively be seeking a fight for the fall of 2011, saying:
"It's the type of match-up that will undoubtedly shake-up both the MMA and boxing world for years to come when Nick Diaz steps into the ring. Nick is the first MMA fighter that I've seen throw punches like a boxer. That's what got my attention when I decided to sign him. Diaz can make the cross-over to boxing."
Where there's smoke, there's fire and there are clearly enough interested parties to make Diaz's boxing aspirations come to fruition.
However, his contract with Strikeforce may not be as clear cut as it's been made out to be and Scott Coker and company have a little something to say about all this.
"Here's the one thing I don't want to get into, I don't want to get into Nick's contract status with us," Coker told MMAWeekly.com. "I know he does want to box, we'll go back and look at the contract and take it from there. But I don't want to go into whether he can or cannot. At some point, Cesar and our group will sit down and have a conversation because obviously there's a lot to talk about. (As of today, Diaz's boxing career is not full steam ahead), no, not at all. I hope we'll have him back in the cage here in the next three or four months."
Diaz is coming off one of the craziest opening rounds in MMA history, when the scrappy Stockton slugger scored an improbable come-from-behind victory via first round technical knockout over British striker Paul "Semtex" Daley.
Following his Strikeforce win, The Cesar Gracie student told HDNet he "doesn't see much of a future for himself in the sport of MMA" and "he's better than all the guys Strikeforce has."
Apparently, the brass in San Jose don't feel the same and they would like to have him in the cage in a few short months. Perhaps coincidentally, that would coincide with Strikeforce's first planned foray into pay-per-view.
There just may be a battle brewing but it might not ever reach the ring or the cage.
Where will Nick Diaz's next fight take place? The squared circle? The hexagon ... or maybe the Octagon?