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Olympic boxer Esquiva Falcao explains controversial sparring post, says ‘boxing is not for’ Nate Diaz

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Esquiva Falcao
Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Olympic medalist Esquiva Falcao is doubling down on his take that Nate Diaz doesn’t have decent boxing — and he doesn’t foresee a good night when the UFC veteran faces YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul on Saturday in Dallas.

Back in June, Falcao posted a video on his Instagram page moments after sparring with Diaz, calling him “overweight” and saying “it looked like he was dying.” Diaz’s teammate Chris Avila then fired back on The MMA Hour, claiming that Falcao “got f***** up”.

Falcao told MMA Fighting that his intention with the video wasn’t to criticize Diaz, but he received so many questions from fans about his skills that he felt the need to address it.

“Nate Diaz has bad boxing — boxing is not for him,” Falcao said. “I praise him because he’s a warrior, a good fighter, a jiu-jitsu guy with a big name, but he’s not good in boxing.

“I can’t lie, I can’t say his boxing is good, that he will become a world champion if he gives it a try. His boxing is bad. If he enters a boxing tournament, he’ll lose depending on the opponent he faces. But he has heart, he likes to brawl. But technique-wise, he’s bad.”

Diaz makes his professional boxing debut Saturday after a long career in MMA. Paul, on the other hand, attempts to rebound from his first boxing loss to Tommy Fury following wins over the likes of Anderson Silva, Tyron Woodley, and Ben Askren.

“Jake Paul is very strong and has shown punching power,” Falcao said. “He’s knocked out almost every ex-UFC fighter he’s fought. Even though Nate Diaz can take a beating, I don’t think he’ll handle him. I think Jake Paul will knock out Nate Diaz, because Nate Diaz works with his hands too low, he trusts his chin and his punching power, so I think Jake Paul knocks him out.”

As for his sparring session with Avila, who claims Falcao “lost every round again,” the 30-1 boxer said, “If that’s true, [Avila] would become an Olympic medalist and world champion in boxing then, right?”

“If he says I got beat up in jiu-jitsu, yes, it’s not my area. But in boxing, he didn’t touch me,” Falcao added. “My coach asked me to go light on him so I could do my six or eight rounds of sparring, because if us boxing guys go Super Saiyajin [full power] on them, they won’t survive, they’ll want out. The rhythm is completely different.

“If they were to train jiu-jitsu with me, they would have to go light, because I don’t know that. He might say he beat an Olympic medalist to make it look better for them, cool. But what I can say is that I did 12 rounds with Nate Diaz and then six rounds with Avila, and Nate Diaz was harder than Avila. I had to go easier on Avila because he’s lighter, and I had to hold back and complete my rounds of sparring.”

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