Or, at least we thought it’d be highly anticipated.
Ticket sales for the event have been sluggish, and there’s some concern that Paul’s target audience will illegally stream the DAZN pay-per-view (PPV) event rather than pay for it. And Diaz doesn’t care one way or another. Indeed, Paul has been critical of the younger Diaz brother, saying he’d hoped Nate would do more to hype up and promote the fight.
“That’s his problem,” Diaz said in a new extended interview with ESPN. “I don’t really — I think my fighting promotes as it is, promotes my fights. I’m not gonna get into a little kid argument with the guy and act like we’re any realer than it is. It don’t get no realer than this anyway.
“I don’t need to act like it’s ... I don’t talk a bunch of s— like he wants to do, I don’t want to stay and talk s— and go back and forth,” Diaz continued. “He said something about me at the press conference and I’m like, I wasn’t there for no argument. I didn’t even want to go to no press conference to argue with nobody. Like, if we’re gonna argue, we’re gonna fight. So lets just stay the f— away from each other until the fight. Pardon my language.”
We expect things to heat up during fight week when Diaz and Paul are both in Texas and “The Problem Child” turns up the YouTube personality hijinks. How will Diaz react to all that?
“I’m ready for everything,” he said. “I’m ready to go to war right now and I’m ready to be cool until it’s time to fight. I don’t care. I’m at a point in my career where I’m not trying to scare anybody, I’m not trying to fool anybody. If people want to watch, that’d be great. If they don’t, that’s fine too. That’s where he got me twisted. I’m not in this gimmick fight with him. I only need him to know that I’ll whup his ass, I don’t need the whole world. I don’t need to go begging to watch. Don’t watch.”
The boxing community certainly isn’t giving Diaz much of a chance of beating Paul. They’ve pointed to sparring footage and stories from recent sparring partners as proof Diaz doesn’t have the boxing chops to hang in the ring with a younger, bigger opponent. Diaz shrugged off the doubters, and even laughed about sparring partners talking s— about his skills.
“It comes with the territory,” he said. “I know boxing dudes and boxing gyms, they’re kind of ignorant to things, a lot of boxers. Whenever I whup someone’s ass, I’m ‘tough,’ I’m ‘in good shape.’ I’m not ‘good.’ You know what I’m saying? But I’m just in better shape than every boxer that I ever sparred ever? Heh. So, it comes with the territory, okay? It’s all good.”
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