Former boxing light heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal must have felt left out of all the mixed martial arts versus boxing talk that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor have incited in recent months: Pascal has started his own cross-sport dialogue and in characteristically brash manner.
In a video published by TMZ Sports on Monday, the 34-year-old Pascal called out Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Nick Diaz for a match under boxing rules and wasn't especially gentlemanly in doing so.
“The UFC fighters, they always say that they can fight, that they can box, but I don't see that,” Pascal tells the TMZ interviewer. “Nick Diaz talks a lot of trash and he never had someone who can talk back to him like I can do.”
Pascal was sure to clarify the rule set he wanted for a bout with Diaz, albeit in a dubious, clichéd manner.
“With boxing rules. I don't claim I can go on the floor,” Pascal continues. “On the floor with a man, that's not my thing.”
“I'm pretty sure that I can whoop his ass because I'm a fighter, not a UFC wrestler. Boxing is an art. I can tell Diaz, 'Why don't you come out of your redneck country and fight me in a real city like Montreal, cause that s--- can be sold out.”
The Haitian-born, Quebec-based boxer last fought on Dec. 16 of last year, knocking out Argentinian Ricardo Marcelo Ramallo in the third round. It was his first bout since being knocked out for a second time in a light heavyweight title challenge against Sergey Kovalev 11 months earlier. Pascal reached his greatest success in 2009 and 2010, winning the World Boxing Council's version of the 175-pound title before defeating Chad Dawson to claim The Ring magazine and true lineal light heavyweight titles.
Pascal lost his light heavyweight crown to boxing legend Bernard Hopkins in May 2011, after fighting “The Executioner” to a draw five months prior.
“One thing I know, Nick Diaz never held a real belt like this,” Pascal muses in the video, showing off his array of boxing world titles.
Diaz, 33, hasn't fought since his bout with Anderson Silva at UFC 183 in January 2015, over two years ago. The Stockton, California native was originally defeated via unanimous decision, but the bout was overturned to a No Contest by the Nevada Athletic Commission after Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites, while Silva was popped for drostanolone, androstane, oxazepem, and temazepem. In recent months, UFC President Dana White has publicly claimed that the former welterweight title challenger has turned down all of the bouts the promotion has offered him.
Diaz has expressed interested in professional boxing bouts in the past, but has had just one in his career, winning a four-round unanimous decision over Alfonso Rocha in April 2015. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and his brother Nate Diaz have also spent time sparring with former boxing world title challenger Rodney Jones, as well as current light heavyweight king Andre Ward, who has repeatedly praised the boxing skills of the brother duo.