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November 7, 8:36 AM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (2:32 PM)

Greetings from New York, Freaks. Big fight tomorrow night with Calzaghe-Jones, which I am looking forward to. Make to check out all of our coverage including today's new notebook and this week's blogs and Jones diaries. Let's get to it.

Bert (Minneapolis)

D$- picking Jones? You must have some inside info from working on the articles w/ him?

Dan Rafael
  (2:33 PM)

I have talked to Roy quite a bit during this promotion and I spent some time with him in his hotel room yesterday but I have no inside info. I just made my pick like we all do. Not an easy fight at all and I sure wouldn't be surprised with a Joe win, but I just have a feeling about Roy.

Joe Petka (Philly)

Dan, the WBC said that Bradly may fight the winner of the Torres vs Holt WBO title match; however, the fight can ONLY be for Bradley?s WBC title. I though at least publically, the WBC is supposed to be pro-unification. What gives?

Dan Rafael
  (2:34 PM)

Probably typical WBC nonsense. They are not pro unification. They are pro WBC.

g(atl)

I can't envision Calzaghe being able to hit Jones with anything of consequence. Roy won't be scared of his power. Rj is going to win a unanimous decision.

Tom (Dallas, Texas)

Dan, do you still think there is a good chance HBO will show the Klitschko/Rahman fight? If not for sure another network would pick it up for American fight fans right?

Dan Rafael
  (2:35 PM)

I actually spent some time this afternoon with Ross Greenburg of HBO and he said they are probably going to do the fight if they can work it out. But it's not a deal yet.

Jorge (East Los Angeles)

Dan, Good to see our boy Alexander get a convincing win, have you seen or heard about the fight at all?

Dan Rafael
  (2:36 PM)

Just have heard he won, so good for him. I'm glad he is back in action and he likely will fight again on Dec. 11 on the Versus undercard.

Dom(Denver)

Dan, I know Roy might be the underdog, but why does he say that he has nothing left to prove? Seems to me there is a lot to prove, and Saturday gives him the chance to do that. Any worries that this maybe isn't the best way to think going in to a fight this big?

Dan Rafael
  (2:37 PM)

Roy doesn't have anything to prove. He has already done it all. Trust me - he wants this win bad.

Joe Petka (Philly)

Your article pointed out that Rahman will count as Klitscho's mandatory. Does that mean that he would have to worry about his next IBF mandatory until next December?

Dan Rafael
  (2:37 PM)

Nine months from Dec. 13.

Mark (Chicago)

Do you think Abraham pulling out of the fight with Marquez in October really was because of an illness, or does Marquez' statement about AA having trouble making weight have some validity?

Dan Rafael
  (2:38 PM)

I think he did have problems making weight but if that is why he pulled out I have no idea.

Andrew Golota (China)

Dan, it was business as usual today. I quit on my stool.

Dan Rafael
  (2:39 PM)

Absolutely pathetic. Can we be done with Golota now? At least now there is no chance of Valuev-Golota.

Paul B (NY, NY)

DTM- Thanks for another great notebook. Is it me or has WBC hit a new low with the sanctioning fee b.s. with Pavlik? Seems ludicrous...

Dan Rafael
  (2:39 PM)

They are insane. I hope none of their guys pay sanctioning fees and they are all stripped and there are no more WBC titleholders.

Dave, San Jose

When does any fighter in history have the speed Jones did in his prime?

Dan Rafael
  (2:40 PM)

I really can't say. To me,prime Roy Jones - meaning Roy as a middleweight and super middleweight champion -- was the fastest fighter I ever saw.

Mike Indianapolis

Whats your feelings on Vitali vs gomez? Is it set?

Dan Rafael
  (2:41 PM)

It's not set but it has been ordered. So if they dont make a deal there will be a purse bid soon.

bill (pgh)

does Golota's performance today mean we are going to see Valuev-Holyfield?

Dan Rafael
  (2:41 PM)

Almost a certainty.

David (houston)

WOW how bout that darchinyan fight!!! Do we get to see a Nonito rematch this year? Vic has improved his defensive skills very much...

Dan Rafael
  (2:41 PM)

Very doubtful there will be a rematch at this time. The promoters hate each other and Nonito has other options and does not need Vic.

Serg

Dan, I recently watch Jones' last 3 comeback fights again. I got the feeling that he wanted to go all 12 rounds in those fights, to me it looked as if he could have finished them all off at some point. Do you agree?

Dan Rafael
  (2:43 PM)

He may have been being careful but I think if Roy knew he could finish them he would have. Sometimes you need to give the other guy credit for hanging in there.

Nate (Seattle)

I think the WBC forgot to charge Kelly Pavlik a fee for going to the grocery store...whats wrong with them?

Dan Rafael
  (2:43 PM)

I think they also forgot to charge him for flushing the toilet.

Seattle, WA

Are you excited for Taylor-Lacy?

Dan Rafael
  (2:44 PM)

I am looking forward to it. I think it will be a pretty good fight and I will be in Nashville for the bout next Thursday.

Tony(Tampa)

Whats up Dan, Buy or sell. Calzaghe-Jones PPV #'s will be north of Pavlik-Hopkins.

Dan Rafael
  (2:45 PM)

Definitely more, but that won't be hard to do.

WBC

For a guy who hasn't paid his sanctioning fee yet, you are throwing our name around a lot in your notebook and this chat. We'll assume that the check's in the mail....

Dan Rafael
  (2:46 PM)

I'll get right on that.

Brent, Toronto

Dan, nice to hear Gamboa getting a title shot. What can you tell us about Elio Rojas? Will he be able to compete with Gamboa?

Cowboy Ron (Piston, PA)

Hey Dan, did you hear that MMA Live will be live from Vegas and might be on SportsCenter? Will you do the same from Calzaghe-Jones?

Dan Rafael
  (2:48 PM)

Rojas is a good fighter, a Dominican kid who lives in NY. He was buried by Don King but one of his best prospects. He beat Hector Velasquez in an eliminator off tv on the undercard of the Campbell-Guzman fight that didnt happen in Sept. He's a very solid opponent and could give Gamboa a lot of problems if he can his power.

Birdman (Bristol, CT)

I think that Roy Jones' most impressive win is against James Toney. What do you think?

Dan Rafael
  (2:49 PM)

That is certainly up there, but I also give Roy a lot of credit for a shutout fo Reggie Johnson, a near shutout of Ruiz and sucking it up and winning the first Tarver fight on his worst night.

Greg P (Staten Island,NY)

Dan, how close is Shane/Marg to being finalized?

Dan Rafael
  (2:49 PM)

Very close. The fight is going to happen.

Michael (Roxbury, NJ)

Dan great job on 1st take this morning. In honor of yesterday being the 15th anniversary, is it fair to say that the weirdest thing EVER to happen in a major title fight was FAN MAN? And were you there?

Dan Rafael
  (2:51 PM)

Thanks. I did several TV appearances today. I was not at Fan Man -- I am not that old! I was in college when that fight happened and I remember it well. But that has to be the craziest thing ever in a fight, including the ear bite.

Paul (Los Angeles)

Dan, Is Judah in with a game opponent this weekend?

Dan Rafael
  (2:51 PM)

Ernest Johnson is a good fighter but much smaller than Judah so I do not give him much of a chance unless Judah totally took him for granted.

Mario (Bell Gardens, CA)

Danaconda, rumor has it that Margarito wants the fight with Mosley but wants to fight him at Staples Center in L.A. Have you heard the same? Do you think this is possible?

Dan Rafael
  (2:52 PM)

Staples of course would something the promoters would look at it since Shane is from LA and Margs has a lot of Hispanic fans in LA, so I'msure the promoters are talking about it as an option.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

Dan, initial thoughts on Mosely-Margarito assuming it gets done.

Dan Rafael
  (2:53 PM)

Can't wait!!!

Gerardo, Chicago, IL

Dan are they stll working on Rocky J versus Luevano?

Dan Rafael
  (2:54 PM)

It is being discussed as far as I know.

Fred (Detroit, MI)

Dan, The undercard to me looks attrocious. With the way the economy is going I have to pick nd choose my PPV's, what do you think of the overall card?

Dan Rafael
  (2:55 PM)

I think it's bad, I won't lie. But the main event is obviously a big, important, interesting fight.

Nathan (Raleigh, NC)

For your money, what boxer's career has provided the most excitement round for round, dollar for dollar?

Dan Rafael
  (2:55 PM)

Gatti.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

Dan, Thank goodness Mosely-Mayarga got bumped from PPV. Good fight but I was there and it was barely 1/2 full. Considering how bad Pavlik-Hopkins did, those PPV numbers would have been atrocious.

Dan Rafael
  (2:56 PM)

Margarito-Mosley was never conceived as a PPV fight.

mike costa rica

dan, any new word on that split doubleheader on feb 21 with pavlik and cotto??

Dan Rafael
  (2:56 PM)

Just that it is under discussion.

Derek ( Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Dan, I beleive SS Mosley can outbox TT Margarito for a decision. Am I off base?

Dan Rafael
  (2:57 PM)

I can see that.

Don (LA)

What's the vibe like in NYC for the fight? Is there any hype at all?

Dan Rafael
  (2:58 PM)

It's hard to tell because this is such a big city with so much going on and a lot of the fight people are spread around at different hotels. But it has gotten a lot of media coverage here in the papers.

Greg P (Staten Island,NY)

Dan, just cracked open a corona to get comfortable for the rest of the chat!!

Dan Rafael
  (2:58 PM)

Don't get too comfy because I will to cut this one a little short so I can get down to MSG for the weigh in.

JKGaucho (DC)

Dan, I have to disagree with you on your Hall of Fame blog this week. Just as in baseball, you are either a HOFer or you are not. The only thing that can happen from waiting is that someone who should not get in gets in and causes you to reconsider someone based on a mistake. This just creates mistake after mistake.

Dan Rafael
  (2:59 PM)

When you are granted a vote, you can vote how you want. My vote, my way.

Jon (DC)

Who do you contact to try and get free tickets for what will be a papered house? Dead serious about this question.

Dan Rafael
  (2:59 PM)

To tell you the truth, I have no idea.

Pancho, Los Mochis

Dan, I wasn't too impressed with Korobov, didn't seem like a blue-chip prospect to me.

Dan Rafael
  (3:00 PM)

I wouldn't read too much into a pro debut. The kid is a good fighter, extremely accomplished and will be moved quickly.

Jorge (East Los Angeles)

Dan, I read "Four Kings" by Kimball and let me tell you it's a phenominal read. Have u had a chance to read it yet? Thoughts? Freaks, this is a must read for any boxing fan!

Dan Rafael
  (3:02 PM)

I got a copoy recently and have read a little but it looks fantastic. I had the opportunity to go to a roundtable on the book in AC a couple of weeks ago where George, Emanuel Steward, Larry Merchant and Bob Arum recounted their stories of those fights and it was great. If you are a fan of those fighters -- SRL, Hearns, Hagler, Duran -- it is a must-read.

rob (jersey)

Are they holding the weigh-in at the Wamu theater next door?

Dan Rafael
  (3:03 PM)

No, the weigh in is on the arena main floor.

Nate (Seattle)

Speaking of weigh ins, what time is the weigh in?

Dan Rafael
  (3:03 PM)

4:05 pm.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

Dan, I hope tomorrow's fight is entertaining. It is my birthday and I've got about 30 people coming over to watch. I've been hyping the fight for weeks and if it's a snoozer I'll lose credibilty and the chance to convert some more freaks.

Dan Rafael
  (3:04 PM)

Good luck.

Gene (South Carolina)

I think Margarito is taking a big risk by fighting, Mosley could create problems for him. What are the chances we get a Cotto rematch if Margarito loses?

Dan Rafael
  (3:06 PM)

What's wrong with fighters taking chances? If he did lose to Shane, the rematch with Cotto would not happen in the summer.

Dominic (San Francisco)

I can't wait for Saturday! Dan, are you still going with Abraham over Marquez?

Dan Rafael
  (3:07 PM)

As much as I like Raul personally, I dont give him much of a chance at all. So yes, still Abraham over Marquez.

Joe: San Francisco, CA

Dan, I've been reading that boxing budgets will be cut at HBO. Do you think this means we see HBO get more aggressive with the amount of $$$ they pay for a fight/card? Or will they cut back on the number of cards?

Dan Rafael
  (3:08 PM)

From what I know, the budget is not being cut.

blake (ark)

weigh in on espn news?

Dan Rafael
  (3:10 PM)

Not to my knowlege, not live anyway, but I believe it will be streamed live on HBO.com/boxing.

Kent - St Catharines

Dan have you had a change to see "The Love Child's" tile losing effort yet? If so how did he look?

Dan Rafael
  (3:11 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child. I have not seen the full fight, just pieces of the bout, But I expect the DVD any day, maybe waiting for me when I get home. By all accounts, even from his own team, he lost the fight. Competitive but fell short.

D (Phoenix)

What are you expecting crowd-wise, more pro Jones or pro Calzaghe or neutral?

Dan Rafael
  (3:13 PM)

I think it will be a pro Jones crowd. My understanding is that the turnout from the UK is light, maybe only 2,000 or so. Between the economy and team Calzaghe's ineptitude with distributing tickets not that many are making the trip.

Jess (CA)

How much money Did Don King stiff Roy Jones out of for the Trinidad fight?

Dan Rafael
  (3:14 PM)

Millions from what I understand.

Umus (MA)

Any Bernard Hopkins' sightings this week in New York?

Dan Rafael
  (3:14 PM)

Yup, I just saw BHop in the press room before coming up to my hotel room to do this chat.

Kevin (VA Beach)

Dan, I'm driving 4 hours to get home and buy the Roy Jones ppv on Saturday, though unfortunately I won't be able to make it on time for Abraham-Marquez. Does this still qualify me for freak status?

Dan Rafael
  (3:15 PM)

Fear not -- if you want to see Abraham that bad, most cable systems will offer the ppv on a delayed basis later Saturday or on Sunday.

Artie (Alexandria, va)

They made a big deal on 24/7 about Calzaghe going to Little Italy in NY, and his name appears to be Italian. Has he ever lived in Italy?

Dan Rafael
  (3:16 PM)

No, but I believe Enzo did at one time.

Joe (PA)

Does Povetkin get the next shot after Rahman at Klitschko? Or does he have to wait.

Dan Rafael
  (3:16 PM)

He will have to wait.

Dan Rafael
  (3:17 PM)

Showtime does not have the rights to those fight to license to ESPN Classic. Simple as that. Most of those fights belong to Don King.

Roxanne (Cumberland, RI)

Dan, be honest, do you ever do the chat in your boxers? All the girls down here at SportsStarts Bar And Grill watned to know!

Dan Rafael
  (3:18 PM)

Dude, get a life.

Eddie (Reseda, CA)

DTM, it's a tough economic environment. I got laid off from work and I'm going to get evicted any day now. Luckily my 6 year-old's grandmother sent him $50 in the mail for his birthday so I can afford the pay-per-view. Does this give me upper-level freak status?

Dan Rafael
  (3:19 PM)

It makes you a moron.

Kent - St Catharines

Dan kudos to you and ESPN for all the great articles, blogs, etc. After reading the Augusta article it got me thinking as to whether or not it is possible for him to win an alphabet trinket or not? He seems to almost always been competitive in his fights. However seems to enjoy clowning around and entertaining then putting everything into just winning. Can you see him ever winning a title at anytime?

Dan Rafael
  (3:20 PM)

I really doubt it, especially at this late stage of his career.

Nathan (Raleigh, NC)

I'm really interested to get your take on Molitor/Caballero.

Dan Rafael
  (3:21 PM)

Really hardcore fans' fight and I am interested in it. Really happy Showtime picked it up. Molitor has been dominant at home, but Caballero has great size for the division.

Mike (chicago)

Any word on JuanMa's opponent for 12/6

Dan Rafael
  (3:22 PM)

Still talking about Sergio Medina. There was some talk about Antonio Escalante, but apparently he hurt his hand in his most recent fight. Nothing is done yet.

Barack (Chicago, IL)

Dan, did you do your civic duty and vote on Tuesday?

Dan Rafael
  (3:23 PM)

I was at the poll around 7:30 am with my wife. I always vote.

Eddies Son (Reseda, CA)

Daddy can I please have my money back from Grandma?

Steve (NYC)

How could RJJ be so tone deaf to the economy in promoting this fight? $150 for the last row of the Garden?

Dan Rafael
  (3:23 PM)

The tickets are grossly overpriced and the promoters are learning a hard lesson.

Joe(NJ)

How far off is Boxrec already having Cotto/Michael Jennings up? I heard it's a possibility, but it seems they jumped the gun a bit. You hear anything about it?

Dan Rafael
  (3:24 PM)

Idiots. Plain and simple. Do not rely on the boxrec schedule. It's a joke.

Greg P (Staten Island,NY)

Dan, what's going on with Campbell's next fight...have they soughted out his problems?

Dan Rafael
  (3:24 PM)

Not yet.

Josh (Atlanta, GA)

The fight purse is a 50/50 split, but are the PPV sales also a 50/50 split?

Dan Rafael
  (3:25 PM)

Every dollar out of the fight is split 50-50.

Rob (NYC)

What size gloves to light heavyweights wear?

Dan Rafael
  (3:25 PM)

10 ounces.

Rui (Nutley, NJ)

Is Roy going to rap coming into the ring tomorrow night?

Dan Rafael
  (3:26 PM)

Read today's RJ diary please.

Bryan (Orlando, FL)

Dan, do you know the date or venue of the Gamboa-Rojas fight?

Dan Rafael
  (3:27 PM)

Way too son for that. They don't even have a deal yet.

Adam (Brooklyn, NY)

Dan, Here's something I always wondered about, does Roy have to shave his beard before he's able to get in the ring? Is having a big beard like Kimbo legal in boxing?

Dan Rafael
  (3:28 PM)

I believe Roy will shave down before the fight.

R!

Herman Ngoudjo vs. Juan Urango, nice should be a solid fight -- could be war. Holt, Torres, Alexander, Paulie, Hatton -- 140 is loaded!!!!

Dan Rafael
  (3:29 PM)

Lots of good fights at 140 even if there is no mega fight.

Steve ? KC, MO

Dan- As always great notebook and I loved the Roy Jones Jr blogs. As far as the sanction fees the WBC wants from Pavlik and Pacquiao, how much will that cost each fighter?

Dan Rafael
  (3:30 PM)

There will be a final Roy diary tomorrow where he goes into his game plan a bit. Interesting stuff.

Roy Jones Jr.

I grew that beard in honor of Dan the Man!

Mike, South Dakota

I heard B.Concepcion was a possibility for JMLopez.

Dan Rafael
  (3:30 PM)

Yes, he is also possible.

Dan Rafael
  (3:30 PM)

Hate to do this Freaks, but I need to cut this short today and get down to MSG for the weigh in. I hope you enjoy the fight and I will talk to you next week from Nashville. Peace.