K.J. Noons. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
When reports began circulating over the past few weeks that a much-anticipated rematch between EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons and Nick Diaz could place on October 4th on CBS, Diaz’s camp quickly stated that there was a strong possibility that Noons’ camp may not accept the fight if it was offered.
It turns out that they were right.
According to MMA Weekly, EliteXC VP Jared Shaw has revealed that Noons’ management camp refuses to return any of EliteXC’s phone calls in an attempt to set up his next title defense. Even more unfortunate for the organization is Noons’ rumored to be more interested in a return to boxing rather than continuing his winning ways in MMA.
“Nick Diaz is the number one contender and K.J. Noons should step up and be the champion that we think he is and take this fight,” Shaw said. “Nick Diaz will take this fight any place, anywhere. (Noons’ management) won’t even return our calls. I don’t understand it. This fight on CBS is maximum exposure and the opportunity for maximum sponsorship dollars, way more than he could make on Showtime. At this point, I question his management.”
“We believe in K.J. as our champion,” Shaw continued. “For some reason (his camp) is not coming straight out and saying no, but they are making it very difficult to make it happen. His manager doesn’t want us talking to him directly. Who knows what K.J. even knows about the situation, but his management is holding us hostage.”
Shaw also added that the promotion is still actively seeking to put a fight between Diaz and Noons together for network television. However with Noons’ camp apparently continuing to avoid EliteXC officials at all costs, it seems that it’s unlikely the bout will take place in October. It’s also interesting to note that Noons’ management team (City Boxing and Mark Dion) is the same group that Brandon Vera had trouble with during his re-negotiation period with the UFC last year.
Whether or not Diaz will be part of the card is another question. His victory over Thomas Denny was arguably the most exciting fight on EliteXC’s July 26th broadcast on CBS, but DREAM officials are attempting to match Diaz up against Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in a bout that would crown DREAM’s first welterweight champion in September.
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