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October 17, 9:11 AM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (3:30 PM)

Greetings Fight Freaks! I am live in Caesars Atlantic City in the media room for Pavlik-Hopkins and it's a hive of activity. So we have plenty to discuss. And, of course, the new notebook and blog are posted. Let's get to it.

rob (jersey)

Assuming both Pavlik and Abraham both win - is a match between the two more likely to be at Middleweight or Super?

Dan Rafael
  (3:32 PM)

If that fight ever happens, and I have my doubts, I think it would eventually be at super middle.

Tomas(texas)

Hey Dano-mite, whats the vibe like right now?

Dan Rafael
  (3:33 PM)

Press room is humming. Arum is here. Cameron Dunkin (Pavlik's manager) is here. I ran into undercard fighter Danny Jacobs and Jim Lampley earlier. Harold Lederman is around, Uncle Bert Sugar, Mark Taffet, the Golden Boy and Top Rank staffs. It's all good.

Mike NJ

I know you like Pavlik be dec. but is it 117-111 or a barburner with the fight on the table in the 12th in your mind?

Dan Rafael
  (3:33 PM)

I see it a competitive 8-4 fight for Pavlik. Barnburner is hard to envision.

David (Nashville)

Dan-o, Juanma from Top Rank is a great addition, but do you have any suspicions who in GBP's camp will land the two other coveted slots on Oscar and Manny's card?

Dan Rafael
  (3:34 PM)

One will be Victor Ortiz. The fourth TV bout is not determined.

Kevin (Chandler, AZ)

Do you expect the quality of fighters on ESPN FNF to improve with the extra budget from WNF?

Dan Rafael
  (3:34 PM)

Someone didn't read today's notebook. The end of WNF has zero to do with the FNF budget, which isn't increasing.

Daian, Miami

Dani, Do you think Bhop would quit if he find himself in trouble in the late rounds?

Dan Rafael
  (3:35 PM)

One thing BHop isn't is a quitter so I would be quite surprised if that happened.

Pat (chicago)

Great stuff on Sportscenter today. What is the percentage chance of Pavlik dropping Hopkins?

Dan Rafael
  (3:36 PM)

Thanks. Hope everyone had a chance to see SportsCenter earlier. I think it's not ouot of the question that BHop could go down on his rear end, but it's obviously something that hasn't happened in 14 years.

Daian, Miami

do you think Pavlik would fight the winner of Orealas/Rubio or is he going after the winner of Joe/Roy?

Dan Rafael
  (3:37 PM)

The winner of that undercard fight will eventually be Pavlik's mandatory so I could see it happening but I think Pavlik is looking for bigger fights. That fight is not a big fight.

Matt G. (Chicago, IL)

WNF R.I.P

Dan Rafael
  (3:37 PM)

Exactly. Total bummer.

Dan (Brooklyn, NY)

Any gossip buzzing about in the media room that you'd like to share, sir?

Dan Rafael
  (3:38 PM)

Cameron Dunkin mentioned to me that one fight in mind is Steven Luevano vs. Rocky Juarez. It would be over the weight in a nontitle fight but it's a good matchup, one I would like to see.

Mark (Chicago)

As an unbiased sports reporter, you have to be pulling for someone tomorrow night? Who?

Dan Rafael
  (3:39 PM)

I pull for two things on fight night -- good fight, no controversy. I couldn't care less who wins.

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

In the Fight Credential Blog, Billy Dib was described as a "highlight reel fighter". I've never seem him, but didn't you say he was less than exciting?

Dan Rafael
  (3:40 PM)

That was is a wrong description. I have seen him several tims. He's agony.

mike costa rica

dan, who is the referee for the fight and was palvik going to fight if earl morton was the referee?

Dan Rafael
  (3:40 PM)

It has just been announced that Benji Esteves is the new ref for the main event. But had Morton stayed, obviously Pavlik would have fought.

Greg P (Staten Island,NY)

Dan, even though Pavlik is THE one moving up doesn't he seem like the bigger man?

Dan Rafael
  (3:41 PM)

Pavlik is a little taller than Hopkins.

Josh

What's the latest word on who will be Paul Williams's Nov. opponent?

Dan Rafael
  (3:41 PM)

Likely Verno Phillips, but not for Verno's tiitle.

Joe (Pensacola, FL)

D-Nice, nice to be able to talk to you again at the Tarver-Dawson weigh-in King Freak! What did you think of the promotion/attendance of the fight. I had balcony seats and they moved me ringside to fill in the TV seats!

Dan Rafael
  (3:43 PM)

The Showtime part of the promotion -- to entice people to watch -- was great. The local promotion from the hotel and Gary Shaw and Tarver's company was not as strong. The tickets were WAY overpriced and I was told they only sold about 700 or 750 tickets to a room that holds about 1,900. Great matchup, really disappointing promotion and crowd.

Matt G. (Chicago, IL)

Why would Pavlik even agree to a coin to see who enters the ring first? Isn't he the attraction?

Dan Rafael
  (3:43 PM)

Probably because he doesn't care about the petty stuff and because he also respects BHop.

Pittsburgh, PA

Is there a real possibility that Dawson will fight Jermain Taylor if he wins? I would find that fight to be incredibly exciting.

Dan Rafael
  (3:44 PM)

I think it's possible. It's an obvious fight for Dawson to face the Taylor-Lacy winner.

Kyle (Indianapolis)

What percentage do you give Lennox Lewis to return to face the Klitchsko's?

Dan Rafael
  (3:44 PM)

5%.

Tommy(Detroit)

Ok fair enough on Mark's question, but does one over the other winning have a greater impact? You would think Pavlik winning is better overall being younger but you could argue that if Bhop wins and Roy can take care of biz, that could spark interest as well.

Dan Rafael
  (3:45 PM)

Of course, it is better for the overall sport if Pavlik wins because he's young and he's a big attraction.

Jim (Tacoma, WA)

Can you envision Pavlik fighting Chad Dawson sometime in 2009? I think that would be an outstanding fight.

Dan Rafael
  (3:46 PM)

If built properly, it would be a major fight.

Dave (Mtl)

Is Danny Jacobs nearly as good as he thinks he is? The kid has a good record and is active, but i am afraid his mouth is his greatest accomplishment so far...

Dan Rafael
  (3:47 PM)

I have been at many of his fights and talked to him a bunch of times and he has not at all come off like a big talker at all.

Tomas(texas)

who would you like to see Vitali fight besides his brother of course ;)?

Dan Rafael
  (3:47 PM)

I guess Valuev would be the fight.

Mark (NYC)

What's your prediction for Mijares vs. Darchinyan?

Dan Rafael
  (3:48 PM)

I like watching both guys but I have to go with Mijares. Too much skill and a decent chin. I think he'll play with Darchinyan and win going away like he did with Arce.

Ryan (clearfield Utah

What is the most action packed round you have ever seen in the middle weight divison

Dan Rafael
  (3:48 PM)

Ever hear of Hagler-Hearns?

Hal (Memphis)

Is there any point in writing to someone to save WNF? If so, who do we write?

Dan Rafael
  (3:48 PM)

Don't waste your time. It's dead dude.

Tony (Orlando)

Is Valuev-Holyfield a done deal yet? Are you stoked for the fight?

blake (arkansas)

any chance of a paul williams -pavilk fight at middle anytime soon? i would love that fight.

Dan Rafael
  (3:50 PM)

It is not a done deal, just one of the possibilities for Valuev. Why would anyone be stoked for an Evander fight at this point?

Keith H (Seattle, WA)

I don't understand Don King. First, he had Devon Alexander on ice until your blog. Now, he's threatening legal action if anyone employs Nate Campbell. I thought he was supposed to cause more fights to be held, not prevent them. Your thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (3:52 PM)

Whatever the reason, he has at least offered Devon two fights, and that's a good thing. As for Campbell, he's looking out for his interests even though he has very little chance of successfully challenging a bankruptcy.

Mike NJ

I'll be there tomorrow night. Over/under 10,000 people in the house?

Dan Rafael
  (3:52 PM)

Over.

Dan (Nutley, NJ)

Since the two best guys in the heavyweight division won't fight each other, who can eleviate that logjam at the top? Do you give Haye any shot against either, or do we just have to wait for one of them to retire?

Dan Rafael
  (3:52 PM)

It's a bit of a mess but we're stuck until one loses or retires. I would make both big favorites over Haye.

Erik (Atlanta, Ga.)

A lot of people are saying Peter quit because of open scoring. Will this finally lead to the end of open scoring?

Dan Rafael
  (3:53 PM)

Open scoring sucks, as I have said and written many times. But in the case of that fight I don't think open scoring specifically caused him to quit. He knew he was getting crushed. The open scoring only confirmed it.

Seattle, WA

How about Paul Williams fighting Jermain Taylor; possible? How do you think would win?

Dan Rafael
  (3:54 PM)

It's a very unlikely fight since they are both Al Haymon and it makes no sense.

Geoff - Burlington, ON

Getting excited for Bute-Andrade next week....I say big unanimous decision winfor Bute, but the threat of one big punch looms as a real danger....you?

Dan Rafael
  (3:54 PM)

What you said.

Bill (NYC)

What % chance do you give these fighters of being PBF's next opponent: De la Hoya, Pacquiao, Margarito, Cotto, Williams, a tune-up opponent?

Dan Rafael
  (3:55 PM)

Aside from sending in the same question 50 freaking times, you're a moron because M********* is retired and there is no next opponent right now. Oh, and by the way, you're banned dude.

Dan (Nutley, NJ)

In his chat yesterday, Pavlik said that he might fight at heavyweight before he retires. You've also mentioned this previously. How soon do you think this could happen? Are we talking years down the road, if ever?

Dan Rafael
  (3:56 PM)

I saw that and it vindicates the abuse I have taken from some you Freaks about it. If it ever happens, it's going to be several years.

BANISHMENT

Bill eaten in a New York minute - thanks Dan

Billy (Patchogue, NY)

It seems like the media is starting to catch onto the story of Pavlik. A knockout of Hopkins moves him closer to that next step of superstardom (i.e. transcending the sport). Agree?

Dan Rafael
  (3:57 PM)

A knockout would be a massive statement.

Joe (NYC)

Over/under 250,000 buys tomorrow night?

Dan Rafael
  (3:57 PM)

Over.

Pat (Peoria, IL)

If Williams fights Phillips non-title does that mean it will be at middle?

Dan Rafael
  (3:58 PM)

No, junior middle.

Edward (East Orange)

Be honest...what was your reaction when Peter got blown out of the water last week

Dan Rafael
  (3:58 PM)

I had picked Klitschko but I was surprised it was utterly onesided.

Tim (Gardner, IL)

Do agree with Uncle Burt when he says he would rank Whitaker higher than PBF for all time?

Dan Rafael
  (3:59 PM)

In the immortal words of our broadcast hero: Absolutely.

Berndawg

Buy or sell that Margarito/Mosley happens in first quarter of 2009?

Dan Rafael
  (4:00 PM)

Sell.

Jeff (New York)

Over/Under 17,000 fans for CALZAGHE-JONES???

Dan Rafael
  (4:00 PM)

Under.

Dan Rafael
  (4:01 PM)

Richard Schaefer has sat down beside me, so if you have a question go for it.

Joe (NYC)

How likely is Glen Johnson to get his deserved rematch with Dawson?

Dan Rafael
  (4:02 PM)

I think it is unlikely but I would like to see it.

Rich (NC)

What is Schaefer's reaction to all the haters for DLH-Pacman?

Dan Rafael
  (4:03 PM)

He says they'll buy the PPV anyway. That's what makes a mega event -- that people talk about it.

Joe (NYC)

How aggresive does GBP plan to be with Kirkland?

Dan Rafael
  (4:04 PM)

Very. Richard says he is ready to fight anyone. They plan to put him on later this year -- either under Hatton-Paulie or Oscar-Pacquiao.

Steve (Hartford)

Is Dawson close to cracking your Top 20 p4p list

Dan Rafael
  (4:04 PM)

Yes, he will next week when they come out.

Mikey (Levittown, NY)

Ask Richard about Nate Campbell and tell him we want Marquez-Campbell first and then Juan Diaz can have the winner!

Dan Rafael
  (4:05 PM)

Richard says once his legal situation is cleared up and he said he spoke to both Diaz and Marquez and both are willing to fight Nate. But the legal situation has to be cleared up first.

Ali (Glasgow,Scotland)

Dan could you ask Richard if they plan to use Wembley staduim for a future Hatton or Haye fight please please please ask him ?

Dan Rafael
  (4:06 PM)

He says they are having discussions with Wembley about such a fight and discussions with HBO about logistics of doing a PPV overseas.

Dan Rafael
  (4:07 PM)

Richard says Mosley would lilke to get back in soon -- Jan or Feb -- but the Margarito fight he thinks is unlikely. Richard said Shane is more than willing to fight either Berto or Paul Williams.

Rick, Marina, Ca

Tell Richard they should put Kirkland on DLH-Pacman, That would be a awesome card with Juama, Kirland, Ortiz, and of course the Mega Fight, you'll definitly get more bang for you Buck.

Dan Rafael
  (4:08 PM)

I'll mention it to him.

STEVE (NY)

MOSLEY vs WILLIAMS, MAKE IT NOW!!!

Greg(Los Angeles)

How about Zab vs Mosley in January?

Dan Rafael
  (4:10 PM)

Not happening.

Dan Rafael
  (4:11 PM)

Richard has stepped away for a meeting, but you guys had some good questions and he appreciated the chance to talk to you.

rob (jersey)

ooohh Mosley/Paul Williams - SOLD!

Dan Rafael
  (4:12 PM)

A lot of you really like that fight.

Ryan (Fairport, NY)

Dantastic! Please ask Richard if he forsees a Wlad Klitschko-Haye matchup in the Spring of '09?

Dan Rafael
  (4:13 PM)

That is a fight that has been discussed.

MIKE (PHILLY)

ARE THERE STILL SEATS AVAILABLE FOR THE FIGHT TOMORROW?

Dan Rafael
  (4:13 PM)

Yes, but not many.

Ali (Glasgow,Scotland)

Richard was cool to talk to the freaks we appreciated that he would answer our crazy questions :)

Jose (Fort Worth, Texas)

Can you ask Richard is he can sign me to GBP. Im currently 0-0.

Dan Rafael
  (4:15 PM)

He said you sound like a good prospect.

JQ (Roswell, NM)

Any chance Juanma undercard a rematch with Ponce De Leon?

Dan Rafael
  (4:16 PM)

No chance that rematch happens on that card. What would be the point anyway?

Dan (Nutley, NJ)

I know you've been to AC a bunch of times. Have you ever gotten a sandwich at The White House? If you haven't, you should.

Dan Rafael
  (4:17 PM)

The White House rules!

rob (jersey)

For exposure sake - wouldn't Devon Alexander prefer the opener of Cunningham/Adamek to China - or does it not matter to him?

Dan Rafael
  (4:20 PM)

I think he will be on both cards.

Mike(New York)

I saw that you wrote that the winner of Torres-Holt will fight Timothy Bradley.Hows each of those fights turn out?

Dan Rafael
  (4:21 PM)

I have no idea but I want to see them!

JOEL JULIO

Hi dad, I know you are busy. Just wanted to say hi!

Dan Rafael
  (4:21 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child. Hi. Go train for your title fight.

Charles (Philly)

Showtime deserves a lot of credit for making Holt-Torres III WITH a mandatory fight against Bradley for the winner. I like this negotiating approach much better than the one they took with Tarver....

Dan Rafael
  (4:22 PM)

I couldn't agree more. That said, at least we got the Dawson-Tarver fight also,

Dan Rafael
  (4:23 PM)

Someone asked who the HBO lineup was and Kery Davis is here and said it was Lampley, Merchant and Emanuel.

Jim (Tacoma, WA)

What's your overall opinion on Steven Luevano? Any news on a rematch with Mario Santiago if he beats Dib?

Dan Rafael
  (4:26 PM)

Steven is a very good and skilled fighter and the nicest kid in the world. Quiet, respectful but can really fight. I know Santiago would love a rematch but I doubt it will happen unless forced as a mandatory. Luevano's eventual mandatory looks like it will be Gamboa, which is an interesting fight.

Jess, L.A.

Do you think the Klitchskos are worthy of being mentioned with the alltime great heavyweights?

Dan Rafael
  (4:26 PM)

Let's not get carried away.

Mike NJ

Where is the press room? Is it in Boardwalk Hall?

Dan Rafael
  (4:28 PM)

No, it's in Caesars.

Ronak (NY)

Can Antonio Tarver make any noise in boxing?

Dan Rafael
  (4:29 PM)

He can still talk so he can still make noise!

Tim (Gardner, IL)

Are you excited for Molitor/Caballero fight? And will it be televised?

Dan Rafael
  (4:30 PM)

It's a real fight fans' matchup and will be live on Showtime.

Mark (NYC)

Why isn't Winky Wright in the top ten in any of your divisional rankings? Is he still fighting Abraham in early '09, and you do you like in that fight?

Dan Rafael
  (4:31 PM)

Winky is out of the divisionals because the general rule (not in stone but general) is that if you dont fight for a year you're dropped.

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

I scanned the schedule and might have missed it, but anything new on Jorge Linares and his return?

Dan Rafael
  (4:32 PM)

Unfortunately, nothing.

John (denver)

Dan, who would you favor in a Margarito/Pavlik match?

Dan Rafael
  (4:32 PM)

Ummm, Pavlik.

Jason (NYC)

Does Roy Jones feel bitter about losing to Tarver twice?

Dan Rafael
  (4:33 PM)

I have spoken to Roy about that topic and bitter is not the right word. He knows he lost and that's just the way it is.

Ignacio J. (PR)

Although Juanma is between third and fifth at 122 in terms of recognized champion, is he the best fighter in the division?

Dan Rafael
  (4:34 PM)

I don't think so at the moment, but he's the one with the one with the biggest upside.

Tony (DC)

Is there a reason Emanuel wasn't in Vital's corner last weekend?

Dan Rafael
  (4:35 PM)

Maybe because he isn't Vitali's trainer?

blake (arkansas)

what time is the weigh in? espn news?

Dan Rafael
  (4:36 PM)

On scale at 5:15 but I don't think we are showing it live. But I am sure there will be highlights and it is available on ESPN.com and HBO.com.

Nate (Seattle)

DTM, how many blogs do you plan on posting for RJJ between now and the fight?

BEN Omaha NE

Dan-o-mite can you give me some background on the "Swamp Donkey"?

Dan Rafael
  (4:37 PM)

Several. They'll roll out sometime next week and I'll talk to Roy every couple of days to talk about his camp is going. It's going to be really cool.

Tony (DC)

Didn't Emanuel train both Klitschkos?

Dan Rafael
  (4:38 PM)

NO.

Gerardo (Tempe, AZ)

I saw the Hasegawa-Valdez fight on YouTube and it looks to me that Hasegawa hit Valdez in the back of the head hard TWICE...and it was ignored. Your thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (4:38 PM)

I saw it also and I don't think that is the case. I thought the stoppage was fine and Valdez was in bad shape stumbling and not really throwing anything back of merit.

Mikey (Levittown, NY)

In terms of negative reaction to a fight because (some of) the public perceived it to be a mismatch, is the public reaction to DLH-Pac similar to when Hagler-Leonard was signed?

Dan Rafael
  (4:40 PM)

When Leonard fought Hagler a lot of my colleagues who covered that fight told me wide public opinion was that Leonard was going to be seriously injured.

blake (ark)

will you attend the taylor lacy fight? if so i hope you enjoy country music.

Dan Rafael
  (4:40 PM)

I am planning to attend even though I am not a country music fan. I hope the fine folks of Nashville won't hold that against me.

Andrew (NY)

Dan, How do we fix this mess known as the heavyweight division?

Dan Rafael
  (4:44 PM)

I wish I knew. I have no answers for that one.

Franko (NY)

Isn't it distracting conducting this chat in the media room?

Dan Rafael
  (4:44 PM)

Maybe a little but it's fun. A lot of the boxing folks know I am doing it so they stop by to see what the Freaks have to say.

Dan Rafael
  (4:45 PM)

Sugar Shane Mosley is here, just sat down at the next table with Richard Schaefer, Kery Davis and Eric Gomez.

Andrew (NY)

Any chance we can Strum fight Pavlik or is that not going down?

Dan Rafael
  (4:49 PM)

Bob Arum is here and he says no because Sturm's promoter, Peter Kohl, won't give him Sturm for Pavlik because he doesn't want to get Sturm's "ass kicked."

Paul B (NY, NY)

Ask The sugar-man who his #1 target is for next fight

Dan Rafael
  (4:49 PM)

He wants Margarito.

Dan Rafael
  (4:51 PM)

Kelly Pavlik has entered the press room.

Dan Rafael
  (4:53 PM)

There is some discussion here in the press room about maybe Berto-Shane early next year. I think we may see that.

Erik (Atlanta, Ga.)

Straight up! Pavlik will you KO Bernard? Yes or No?

Dan Rafael
  (4:53 PM)

I say no.

Dan Rafael
  (4:57 PM)

Shane is here and he says he thinks the Berto fight will happen, but Richard and HBO and the Berto people will crunch the numbers and see what they come up with. Shane is enthusiastic about that fight.

David (H-town, tx)

Berto-Shane would be a great fight for Mosely. It would give him a much better chance than with Margarito. I think Shane beats Berto.

Nate (Seattle)

Good for shane, bad for berto!

Dan Rafael
  (4:58 PM)

OK, Freaks, I'm heading down to the weight in. If you want to hang tight I will come back and update you after the weight in at around 5:30.

Dan Rafael
  (5:20 PM)

OK, Freaks, I'm back. What a great weigh in!

Everardo (Chicago, IL)

Dan, if Hopkins weighed 160 lbs. at the official weigh-in tomorrow, could he fight for Pavlik's world middleweight title?

Dan Rafael
  (5:21 PM)

No, the fight is not a title fight. BHop was a170, Pavlik was 169 and the corwd was all Pavlik. Great Ohio turnout.

Erik (Atlanta, Ga.)

I actually like Berto in the upset... Shane looked like he lost a step in his last fight. Berto looks strong, fast, violent body puncher give me Berto in that one!

D (Phoenix)

Any interest from Sugar in avenging the Forrest loses? Is there less money there than with Berto?

Dan Rafael
  (5:22 PM)

Maybe more overall money in the pot, but Vernon would require a larger percentage than Berto. Shane has mentioned that fight but not really too seriously.

Steve (Hartford)

I thought Berto had to fight Collazo next?

Dan Rafael
  (5:22 PM)

It's possible he could get an exception.

Brandon (Arlington, VA)

If Pavlick KO's Hopkins, which has obviously never happened, does he become the face of boxing ala DLH and PBF before him?

Dan Rafael
  (5:23 PM)

I'm not sure he becomes that big but a KO of BHop is huge.

St. Louis MO

We want to see you fight in the midwest Kelly. Any plans to bring a big fight home?

Dan Rafael
  (5:23 PM)

Arum has talked about it but it has not happened. I hope it does because I would love to go to a fight there and see that crowd.

Dan Rafael
  (5:24 PM)

By the way -- Pavlik and Hopkins jawed at each other really good during the pose down, talking a lot of smack.

Dan Rafael
  (5:25 PM)

They were face to face and Hopkins said, "Four and a half years in the penatentary." Pavlik answered: "30 minutes into the fight, you're going back."

bk (philly)

will pavlik ever actually fight at middleweight again?

Dan Rafael
  (5:26 PM)

Many of us doubt that.

Dan Rafael
  (5:26 PM)

OK, Freaks, thanks for chatting. Hope you all enjoy the fight. Talk to you next week. Peace.