Part of the fun regarding the Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul boxing match in Dallas, Texas, on Aug. 5, 2023, is that we have no idea what to expect from Diaz. While Nate has been fighting for decades, we’ve never seen him compete inside the boxing ring, and all we have to go by are some unreliable accounts from other boxers he’s trained with.
The latest such story comes from London Olympics silver medalist, Esquiva Falcao, who shared photos and a somewhat concerning report of Diaz’s skills over a 12-round spar.
“I had a crazy sparring with that guy — great, great guy,” Falcao said in an Instagram video (via Bloody Elbow). “In the beginning I thought he was tired. By the end, it looked like he was dying, you know? Because his fighting style is a crazy one.
“When you look at him, you go: ‘He’s tired already,’ then we started sparring and in the second round [my coach] told me that he was already tired,” Falcao continued. “So, he told me to take it easy, keep it steady so he can go for at least 10 rounds. I took it down a notch and we were just boxing, you know?
“We ended up going for 12 rounds, even though he was tired,” he added. “He was landing shots and eating a lot of shots, too. It’s bad. He is heavy now, he’s overweight. He must weigh about 220 pounds now or more. So the only big guy here at the gym is me. So I ended up having spar him. I enjoyed doing it, though.”
Much has been made of Paul’s youth and size advantage in comparison to Diaz. Paul is 26 while Diaz is 38. Paul fights at 185 pounds, while Diaz is a natural 155 pounder with a few puffed up 170-pound fights under his belt.
Is Diaz hoping that some fast weight bulking will help him against Paul?
It’d be an iffy strategy. Diaz’s greatest tool is his cardio. It lets him put unbelievable pressure on his opponent and never let off. If he’s coming into the Paul fight carrying an extra 40 pounds on his frame, will he be able to push the pace like he has in his earlier career? Or is this why everyone is saying young Nate would whup Jake, old Nate not so much?
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