“The Problem Child” is back, and he has a new MMA legend in his sights: Nate Diaz. Most boxing picks have Jake Paul beating Diaz, with his early line of -330 being the shortest as a favorite. Oddsmakers are giving Paul his due as he keeps building his resume. But Diaz is the ultimate underdog. Does he have what it takes to stand up to Paul?
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) July 20, 2023
Paul vs Diaz: How It Happened
Paul has made a boxing career by calling out and fighting old mixed martial artists. He’s starched former champions like Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren and owns a win over the great Anderson Silva. And for what seems like years, he’s been taking shots at Nate Diaz.
For Diaz, he was only able to make this fight happen by fighting his UFC contract out. Diaz submitted Tony Ferguson in September of last year to conclude his deal. He did not re-sign and signed on to box Paul in a 10-round affair earlier this April.
It should have been big boxing news. But given all the altercations and back-and-forth between the two, it felt more like a relief to finally see things made official. If there has been little fanfare to the event, Paul would suggest it’s because Diaz has done next to nothing to promote the fight.
Paul vs Diaz was supposed to sell itself. You have Paul, a notorious ex-YouTube star turned pro boxer with a penchant for getting underneath everyone’s skin. And Diaz, a fan favorite thanks to his “no f— given” attitude.
However, Paul is coming off a loss to Tommy Fury in a bout where he was favored. Fury proved he was a “real boxer,” but he was a fledgling compared to the other professionals. On top of that, Paul’s bout with Silva also underperformed at the box office.
Maybe Paul’s allure has faded. At some point, fans will get tired of his shtick of beating up on old MMA fighters. Nothing changes in this bout, as Diaz is 38 and has no relevant wins in the last seven years. As such, he’s also tough to bet online, even as an underdog.
Does Diaz Even Care?
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) July 9, 2023
The biggest question here is if Diaz even gives a you-know-what about this fight. He is not the type to “promote” a fight the way Paul or Conor McGregor does. He tends to keep to himself. While there is footage of him training, one can only wonder if Diaz is just looking for a payday here.
This is not to speculate that Diaz will just show up. But he has next-to-no reason to win outside of pride. He will reportedly make at least $1.5 million to fight Paul and potentially more if the pay-per-view sales do well. Maybe Diaz will want to beat Paul or put up an entertaining fight to create an appetite for a more lucrative rematch.
But Diaz has not exactly been a logical thinker. This is a fighter who elected to laugh and point at champion Leon Edwards’s face instead of finishing him. Diaz has also shown up out of shape in several bouts. As far as boxing predictions are concerned, it’s best to keep an eye on Diaz leading up to the bout.
How Will the Fight Play Out?
Based on the Las Vegas boxing odds, Paul should win this bout. It is expected to go over 6½ rounds (-160) in the sportsbook though the lines are split on whether this win goes to a decision or not (-110/-130).
Diaz is extremely durable and has only been finished twice in an MMA setting. One of them was a doctor stoppage due to a cut, and his corner threw in the towel in the other. But he’s never been put out cold, even by some of the hardest punchers.
However, Diaz is 38 and will be boxing a virile Paul who has flattened ex-UFC fighters of Diaz’s age. It will not be shocking if Paul becomes the first fighter to hand Diaz a KO loss.
Paul vs Diaz Fight Information
- Boxers: Paul (6-1-0, 4 KOs) vs Diaz (0-0-0)
- Date: Saturday, August 5, 10 p.m. ET
- Venue: American Airlines Arena, Dallas, TX
- Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass