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January 2, 7:09 AM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Buzzmaster
  (11:30 AM)

Dan Rafael will be to chat about all the latest news from inside the ring. Keep sending your questions and check back at noon ET for the answers!

Dan Rafael
  (12:00 PM)

Greetings, Fight Freaks to a new year of chats! We did 57 of them last year and we'll do this every week this year also (with some late-night Rafael After Dark chats mixed in, of course). I hope you all enjoyed the year-end awards and blogs. Let's get right to it.

Kev Fairfax, VA

Sir Dan, Loved the blog. If Pac-Man beats Hatton, would that be a bigger win than Marquez's victory over Casamayor?

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

Of course it would. Manny beating Pacquiao would be him winning the legit junior welter title to make him the first fighter ever to be the lineal champ in four divisions (112, 126, 130 and 140). Also, Hatton is fresher at this stage of his career than Casamayor was when Marquez beat him.

Aziz (Newcastle, Uk)

DTM!! I hope you had a brilliant New Year. Any news on Winky-Williams, lots of stuff getting spread about that fight. Much appreciated

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

The fight is likely to happen in April on HBO.

Michael (Harrisburg Pa)

Dan, I know that this is probably a dumb question... But, why doesn't ESPN show old HBO fights?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

Because ESPN does not have those rights. They do have rights to some fights that were on HBO like the Bowe-Holyfield bouts, but they are licensed through Main Events and ESPN that version or has had the fights re-called.

John (ATL GA)

This years FOY must have been a really tough call for you. Cotto-Margo was an epic Mexico-PR battle, while RM-Izzy was an unbelieveable ending to an epic trilogy.

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

It wasn't really that hard of a call. I believe Izzy-Marquez stands out as the clear No. 1 with a lot of other outstanding fights well behind it.

Charles (Philly)

Does this WBA "review" of Valuev-Holyfield mean anything, or does the WBA just want to read its name in the press?

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

It means very little. At best, they will order a rematch and we can all slash our wristst and bleed out, which might be more fun that watching a sequel.

Tommy (Dallas, Texas)

Dan, first off great blog on the wish list for 2009 hopefully most of it comes true for a great Boxing Year in 2009. I heard Owen Beck pulled out of the Solis fight for Friday Night Fights next week. Is this true and is there a replacement I was looking forward to seeing Solis in action.

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

Glad you liked the wish list. Yes, Beck is out, but Solis will still be on. He is fighting Kevin Burnett in the opener of the first FNF of the year next week.

joe

how bout we see a chad dawson vs. paul williams fight at 168? and who do you think will win

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

First off, that fight isn't happening and Dawson's people say he isn't moving down. If you want to fight Chad, you go to 175. However, IF it happened at 168, I would go with Chad. I think he's a little too fast and strong for Paul at that weight.

Daian, Miami

Dan, I like you pick as prospect of the year but I think Angulo or Gamboa would've been a better pick since they are going to get title shot first

Dan Rafael
  (12:07 PM)

The prospect of the year pick is not about who fights for a title first. It's about a long-term career and stardom. Angulo and Gamboa are both obviously very talented guys but my personal belief (and that of many others I consulted with) believe Victor Ortiz has the better long-term outlook.

Kent - St Catharines

Happy New Year Dan. Thanks for the Year End awards (which always gives me the chance to find a few fights I haven't seen or heard of thanks to your insight)and your wish list blog provided me with a few good laughs. Here's looking for a fantastic fight year in 2009. Cheers

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

Thanks. That means a lot because I don't have to do those stories. I do them for the readers and boxing lovers.

Jon (DC)

Dan, I disagree with you that Showtime's start to 2009 is lackluster. Except for the Kid Diamond fight, the fights are very solid. Not HBO good, but HBO has Dawson-Tarver II which is the worst card so far.

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

HBO's early 09 sked is fantastic. Even if you hate the Dawson-Tarver rematch, which I agree is nothing to get too excited about, the rest of the sked so far is terrific. Showtime's sked pales. It has only two main shows scheduled and while both are solid fights, Darchinyan-Arce and Holt-Bradley, neither blows me away or is THAT big of a fight.

Jon (SF)

Dan, not to be overly critical, but your Contender blogs are gone when the Contender is no longer on ESPN. Have you watched them?

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

The Contender blog being absent has nothing to do with the change in network. Frankly, the reason is because it came on at a terrible time of year. It came around the DLH-Pacquiao fight and the year-end wrapups and there was simply not time to watch them right away. I am still two episodes behind, in part because of the holidays.

Jon (DC)

I read that Montiel vs. Donaire was on Showtime. True or False?

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

It is supposed to be on Showtime as a special edition of ShoBox on March 14.

Matt (Minneapolis)

Dan, assuming Angulo beats Mayorga, how quick will Gary shaw move him along? Will they look for a title fight this year?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

If Perro looks good against Mayorga I think it's pretty likely he will get some sort of title bout this year.

Ricardo (Bronx, NY)

Dan, you have a worst Decision of the year award? If its not Valuev/Holyfield then who?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

I named a number of other awards in my blog a couple of days ago, so go check it out. Included in there is robbery of the year, which is, of course, Valuev-Holyfield.

Justin

Dan the UK, Steve Bunce, and their fans on Setanta are making a lot of noise about Carl Froch. I've seen him very little, and he seems like a solid fighter. Have you seen him a fair amount, and what do you make of him?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

I have seen almost every one of Carl's pro fights. He's a tough guy with a great chin and an appealing style. I think he's one of the top super middles in the world and his fight with Pascal last month was terrific. Jermain Taylor is his mandatory challenger and I hope that fight happens.

Kelby (Omaha)

Happy New Year Dan. Has the Duddy/Hearns fights been completely cancelled?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

Yes, at least for now.

Andrew (Charlotte)

If Berto defeats Collazo, do you think Berto and Clottey will fight next?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

No. Clottey will likely face Kermit Cintron in a mandatory. Bob Arum told me on New Year's Eve that he wants to put that fight on the Feb. 21 PPV undercard in New York, where Cotto faces Jennings.

Mike (Bay Area)

Speaking of Super Middles... Andre Ward, how soon can we see him getting big name fights?

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

I expect his next fight to be against a known opponent, perhaps Sakio Bika or Allan Green or Fulgencio Zuniga, somebody like that.

Peter (LA)

If De La Hoya mistakenly decides not to retire, who do you think he will he fight next and when?

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

As I have said for ages, I think he will eventually face JC Chavez Jr., maybe in the fall of '09.

Chris (Hartford)

Happy New Year Dan! When will the Tarver-Dawson site be announced? I would love to go back to a live fight in person so i am praying that Foxwoods lands it

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

Gary Shaw is working on a site, although he has told me that Foxwoods was in the running.

rob (jersey)

Danaconda - no wish of Pavlik/Abraham on your blog - have you given up hope?

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

It's just not going to happen, so I am not even thinking about it.

Seattle, WA

Is Odlanier Solis a former Gold Medalist?

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

Yes, he won a gold in 2004 along with Gamboa and several other Cubans.

Randy (Cincinnati, OH)

do you think the Sakata fight was stopped early? there were only a couple seconds left in the round. I think he should have been allowed to go to his corner and come out for the next round.

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

I saw it. It was a good stoppgae. The ref didn't know how much time was left and Sakata was clearly hurt.

Carlos (Funky Town, TX)

Happy New Year Dan!! Do you think that Pacquiao can gain enough main stream hype to carry PPV revenue in the U.S.?

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

He already does dude.

Dibs NYC

Dan, is it possible that you can give a life long ban in 2009 to anyone who askes a Joey Gilbert question ?

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

I will take that under strong consideration and you are the first to ask one about him, so guess what?

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

OK, I'll give you a second chance and not ban you -- YET. I'm in a good new year's mood.

Greg (Dallas)

Danny Boy, when are we getting another notebook out of you? I mean, you deserve the holiday break and all, but us fight freaks need some good gossip to chew on...especially when there are no big fights on!

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

I actually have a ton of stuff that I ended up with over the holiday so I may try to knock one out for the early part of next week. And I have some very interesting stuff for you.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

Dan, thanks for chatting with us week in and week out. I can't remember that last time you took a Friday off, not even over the holidays. We appreciate it, especially those of us who have had to work every friday recently. Makes the day go much quicker.

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

Well there were 57 chats last year, so I didn't miss many Fridays.

david reyes, pawtucket, ri

Happy New years Dan.. Great job with your boxing news and i greatly apreciate it because it's not only great but ACCURATE unlike other websites. Yes i know the COTTO fight don't belong on PPV but if Clottey/Cintron, Calderon and Juanma are on the card as is being said, than thumbs up to Arum for doing a great job with the card. Any good fights coming over to FOXWOODS or MOHEGAN soon??

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

Calderon and Juan Ma are not going to be on that card, but if Clottey-Cintron gets done for the show it will help it a lot. Arum also will put Matvey Korobov on the ppv and is trying to do an Anthony Peterson-Juli Diaz fight. Diaz, I am told, is balking, so if he doesn't take it, Arum said he would get another quality opponent for Peterson.

Michael: (Burbank, CA)

I heard that ticket sales are going well for Margarito/Mosley. Do you think this success will cause other matches of this calibre to have the same pricing structure? Could we ever see prices like this for a fight of this magnitude in Vegas?

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

Arum says there are only about 1200 tickets left out of 12,000 for that fight. He said sales are so good they will probably open the upper tier of the arena. Pricing is sensitive and the promoters are realizing that, so yes, I think that could happen.

Michael (Toronto)

DTM, for the split-site PPV, whose blowout win would you attend in person -- Cotto's or Pavlik's? And why?

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

Probably Pavlik. He's defending the real middleweight title. I think Rubio is a better fight than Jennings and it's always cool to go to a popular fighter's hometown to see the scene.

Matt (WI)

Dan in you opinion, What was the best fight of 08?

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

How about you look at the freakin' main boxing page where you will see the giant story that has the fight of the year?

Michael: (Burbank, CA)

I'm happy I'll be getting a chance to see Cotto and Pavlik's comeback matches and I understand why it's being done in this way, but is there anything else positive that comes from these Top Rank PPV for the sport of boxing and its fans?

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Well, hopefully the fights are good and, looking at it as the glass is half full, you get to see a few notable fighters and fights on the undercard.

Joe (Gainesville, FL)

Loved the end-of-the-year awards and agree with most (I love El Perro). I was at the Seminole Hard Rock for Miranda's KO of Banks. It was absolutely amazing. Definitely knockout of the year.

Luke (Danbury, CT)

To Chris from Hartford...the schedule shows that Delvin Rod is fighting Issac H in a rematch at Mohegan in early March.

Joe, RI

So if Abraham won't fight Pavlik. And Strum won't fight Abraham, are we stuck with 3 middleweight champs for the next several years? (If you really want to count Strum that is)

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

Likely, Pavlik will end up facing Sturm.

BANISHMENT

Matt with a cheese-head - 1st of '09

BANISHMENT

Hey Matty! Happy New Year.....

Michael: (Burbank, CA)

Not that we didn't know this already but how good is it to be Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer? It seems like half of the time when you need comments from them they're on International vacations.

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

Phones work internationally.

J.Mel: Conway PA

I don't see any versus cards on schedule, Whats going on?

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Versus will have the live Contender finale, but beyond that the boxing is up in the air. From what I am told, they are still waiting for the final budget for the year before they can make boxing plans, so hopefully in the next month or two they will know what money they have and we'll see fights.

Greg (Dallas)

Care to share any of that "interesting stuff" now, Dan? Or are you going to be a tease?

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

I think I'm going to be a tease.

Henry (Columbus)

"we can all slash our wristst and bleed out, which might be more fun that watching a sequel"... Early frontrunner for quote of the year!

Josh (Lumberton TX)

Hey dan, Do you see a BHOP vs Dawson fight on the Horizon after dawson beats tarver? If it did happen who wins

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

Hopkins has said to my face multiple times that the fight does not interest him. So that said, it seems doubtful.

Brian, Canada

Hi Dan, I am a big fan of Alexander Dimitrenko and I want to know what you think of him. And do you think this is his break-out year?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

He's got excellent size and can punch a bit. I didn't think he looked in particularly good shape in his last fight. But based on the division and its lack of depth and his promotional ties, you have to figure he will get some sort of opportunity this year, perhaps an elimination fight.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

Dan, for most of the year it looked like Gamboa was a good candidate for Prospect of the year, what happened?

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

His defenisve liabilities are too great to make him the prospect of the year. But he is still a top-notch prospect and one of the most exciting fighters around. If he wins on FNF next week, he'll be in line to face Elio Rojas for an interim title.

Sal (Chicago)

IF, Mosely beats Margs, who does he fight next? Cotto is gonna fight Margs, so who else is there? Berto, Clottey, Manny?

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

If Mosley does win, I could see maybe a Berto fight since it was so close before Margarito-Mosley got made. And if Mosley was coming off a win over MArgarito and Berto coming off a win over Collazo, it would be an even bigger fight.

Joe (Gainesville, FL)

The Mag's story on Berto was great. Every two weeks we boxing fans hope for a mention of our sport and were treated to a profile of a potential superstar.

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

I haven't had a chance to read the story yet, but Tim Struby, who wrote the piece, has been following Berto for a couple of years. I've heard it was an excellent piece.

Carl (newcastle, uk)

Hey Dan. Im wondering why hatton-paquiao would be in vegas? wembley could hold 80k,surely they would make more money.

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

For a fight to be on US PPV, where the real money is, the fight has to be in the US and Vegas still is the biggest and best place for those sorts of fights. Period.

Ant (UK)

Bit stupid to say Gamboas defensive liabilites are too great when last year Amir Khan was voted as top prospect

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

Yeah, and I learned my lesson wise guy.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

Happy New Year Dan, Let's say Floyd didn't announce his retirement, but just took a year off after a busy 2007. Where would you have him on your P4P rankings? He would have to be below Pacquiao right? Maybe even further down.

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

I think with the kind of year Manny had and what would have been a year of inactivity for Mayweather, I would have moved Pacquiao to No. 1.

Sal (Chicago)

A look into the future, could you ever see Angulo vs Margs... It would be classic no?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

I could see it at some point, sure.

Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)

Dan, I enjoy ESPN's "Ringside" with Brian Kenny, Bert R. Sugar and other noted guests. Have you, or will you, be doing any episodes in the future? And if you could choose either a fighter or subject for the show what would it be?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

I have been on before but not in awhile. If I could pick a subject, I would want to do something like great fights of this decade, since I was ringside for most of them and know all of the players personally.

Mikey (Levittown, NY)

With Marquez-Diaz being in Texas and Luevano-Juarez not being on that card, could Kirkland, who is from Texas, end up as the co-feature that night?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

You are a smart Freak. Yes, that is possible.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

Happy New Year Dan, who would you guess will be Paul Williams next opponent?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Winky Wright.

chris

floyd mayweather could come back as P4P champion emeritus, at least if the WBC were involved

Michael (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Whats your round of the year? Torres/Holt?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Looks like someone who didn't bother to look at the year-end awards stories is going to be the first banishment of the new year.

Matt (portland, OR)

Happy New Year Road Warrior Danimal! Is the Sergio Martinez vs. Joe Greene going to be on tv live? And who do you think that winner of that fight will end up facing next?

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

Yes, it will open the Jan. 17 HBO card. The winner will be Vernon Forrest's mandatory.

Michael (Toronto)

Speaking of the WBC, is there any chance we could get somebody from a sanctioning body to do a SportsNation chat? It would be nice for them to hear the depth of the Freaks' frustration.

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

Trust me, it would be no fun. I have spoken with them at length many times in person and it is like smashing your skull against concrete.

Don King

Dan, can't you wait until I sign Loma...Loma...the Russian Olympian...ONLY IN AMERICA (where's my Russian flag)

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

Love it.

Kevin (Washington, DC)

How could you pick Torres/Holt Rd 1 for Round of the year when you had so many breathtaking rounds to choose from in Holyfield/Valuev?

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

It was such a hard call.

Dan (Fort Worth, TX)

Dan,I read in this chat one time and you said Argenis Mendes was the best unknown prospect. What is your opinion on him now? Can he be a world champion?

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

Argenis has been a little disappointing and suffered a tight split decision loss two fights ago. Top Rank released him. He came back and won in a solid performance on the Joan Guzman-Ameth Diaz undercard from a couple of weeks ago. I watched the fight and he looked pretty good. He's still only 22, so he has time on his side.

chris (NEW YORK)

Dan, Ive been trying to get the hbo ppv verion of Hopkins-Trinidad with all the televised undercard fight with it. But it's extremely hard to find. Any suggestions? or websites?

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

Do you post in message boards looking to trade?

Billy (Patchogue, NY)

What the hell is going on with Jorge Linares? He captures my imagination last July and has had a fight since? When are we going to see him again?

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

I wish I knew.

Diego (Puerto Rico

Dan i know that Carlos quintana got ko in the first round of the rematch but do you fee he deserve a trilogy with williams based onthe fact that he won the first time they met.

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

At this point, I don't really see the point. But I wouldn't be totally opposed to it. I think, however, Williams has bigger and better plans. It would be hard to get a network to buy that third fight. The networks didn't even really want the first two.

Gerardo (Tempe, AZ)

Dan, chatting on iPhone somewhere between TX and AZ (I think there is a state in between, but not sure). Any word on the Margarito-Mosley undercard? Great wishlist, BTW!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

At the moment, the undercard is not finalized but Robert Guerrero may be on there in his first fight with Golden Boy. Also, Golden Boy prospects like Craig McEwan and Danny Garcia are supposed to be on it.

Brooks (Cleveland)

Happy New Year Dan - Just wanted to follow up on a comment from earlier, do you know why Pavlik-Abraham won't happen? Is it $ issues or does Top Rank not want to risk it? (I assume the Top Rank sid b/c Abraham has said many times he wants it and Pavlik has said many times he'll fight whatever Top Rank puts in front of him).

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

Top Rank and Pavlik's management simply are not interested at this time. I assume it is because they know it's a brutally tough fight and they think Sturm is much easier (which he is).

Chick Walker

Buy/Sell...RJJ in a "going away" fight in '09 in P-Cola.

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

I think Roy will fight again in 2009. Where? No idea.

Jeff (Redondo Beach, CA)

Happy New Year Dan. Thanks for the great blogs, notebooks, and chats in 2008. Here's to a great 2009!

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

Thanks to a longtime Freak.

Steven M. Westjordan Utah

people are saying that the fight between oscar and manny was fixed, what do you think about this

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

I think anyone who says that is a complete moron and should be removed from the gene pool.

Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)

Dan, Great "Wish List!" I'm curious about your wish for Israel Vasquez. Back when Sugar Ray Leonard suffered his detached retina there was a universal outcry for him to retire because of the injury. And it seemed to be the same for other fighters that suffered the same injury. Why isn't there the same concern today for Vasquez?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

Medical science with regard to that injury has come a long way since Ray's day. Many fighters have suffered various kinds of retina injuries over the years and returned with no issues to boxing.

Marc (philly)

Hypothetically if Roman Gonzalez fought Ivan Calderon, who would you pick?

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

Tremendous fight. Hard to say but maybe because Calderon is a little older now and even though he's terrific, he has lost a step, and Gonzalez is such a good puncher and seems to also have some skills, maybe Gonzalez via knockout in a fight he was losing on points before turning the tide. I'd love to see it.

Michael: (Burbank, CA)

How is the Thomas and Mack Center in competition with the MGM Grand for the Hatton/Pacman fight? Can't the casinos offer much more even though it's a smaller venue?

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

If Hatton-Pacquiao is at Thomas & Mack it would be because of the involvement of one of the casinos without its own major arena -- Wynn, Caesars, Planet Hollywood, one of them.

Duff (Abington,MA)

are we gonna get your decade awards after next year?

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

How about you let me know get through this year first?

Guanoman (Puerto Rico)

dan what the latest on JMLopez? if he does fight penalosa does that means Eric Morel fights for a vacant title at 118?

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

JM Lopez probably will fight on HBO on BAD in April. Penalosa has been offered the fight. Morel will fight for the belt at 118, be it against Penalosa as a mandatory or for the vacant title.

Paul B (NY, NY)

Happy New Ywar, DTM! Will Punisher Winky be at 160? Also, do you care to share an opinion or is it too early to comment?

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

If they fight, I am told it will be at 160.

Daian, Miami

Dani, Is Gamboa-Caballero death? what happened?

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

Apparently, there was not much interest from the networks. Caballero's people tell me they will honor his IBF mandatory and it likely will be in late March.

Duff (Abington,MA)

I watched Roman Gonzalez KO Gejon with that left uppercut- left hook to the body combo that was absolutely brutal. I can't wait to see Gonzalez on American TV

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

I agree. If a strawweight is ever going to be on US TV these days, he's the guy because he's such a great puncher.

Brock (Belleville, IL)

The more I thing about Margo/Mosley, the more I give Shane a chance to pull it off. I mean he is more skilled, faster, has some pop, and a nice chin himself. Your prediction?

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

I have not made a prediction yet and wont until the week of the fight.

Mrs. DTM, at work

Happy New Year to all the freaks!

Michael (Toronto)

Just wanted to give props to Marc from Philly for asking an excellent question that didn't even involve a certain cruiserweight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

I think Marc from Philly and USS have had a lovers breakup.

Tim (CA)

What big fights are coming to Atlantic City in 2009?

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

Right now, nothing is booked for AC in the new year, but I'm sure you will see some fights there, as always.

Aaron (Dighton, MA)

Do you agree that Glen Johnson has the potential to give Calzaghe fits if they were to fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

Yes, but I would certainly still favor Joe.

Armando (Nj)

Hi Dan - happy new year! Will Mormeck fight again in 09? He's always made for some pretty good action fights

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

He's supposed to be fighting Firat Arslan for his belt in France in March.

Andrew (Cleveland, OH)

I would love to see Marquez-Pacquiao III, but I think any higher than 135 lbs. and Marquez is biting off more than he can chew. Less than or at 135 lbs. I got Marquez all the way! Do you agree? Any thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (1:01 PM)

I think if Pacquiao can be sucessful at 135 and above why can't JMM? If there is going to be a third fight, it's going to have to be above 135 because Pacquiao isn't going to go as low as 135 again.

Greg P (Staten Island,NY)

Dan, any news on the retirement front...Joe C or BHOP?

Dan Rafael
  (1:02 PM)

Nothing new at this point other than the same stuff we've been hearing and reading for the past few months.

Luis, Elk Grove Village, IL

Happy New Year Dan! Does JMM have enough power to keep Juan Diaz off of him? If not, I see Diaz' pace potentially being too much for him.

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

That is one of the big questions about the fight, especially since JMM is getting a bit older now. I think it's going to be a terrific fight because Marquez is solid on defense and can counter punch so well while Diaz comes forward and is not that big of a puncher.

Andrew ( Phoenix, Arizona)

Happy new year Dan, Do you think a fight between Pacquio and Mayweather Jr. its possible?

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

Yes.

Kyle (Indianapolis)

Is there any boxing websites that you hold in high regard that the Fight Freaks should check out?

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

ESPN.com/boxing

rob (jersey)

Dan could you speculate on something? Pac-Man/PBF - 140 or 147?

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

I think IF the fight happened, it would likely be with a 147 max. Perhaps they could negotiate Mayweather down a pound or two, but it doesn't matter all that much. Neither guy is a true 147 anyway. Manny was only 142 against Oscar and got to only 148 on the night of the fight. Mayweather makes weight pretty easily.

BANISHMENT

www.kylecomewithme.com

steve (syracuse)

did you watch the rocky marathon yesterday?

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

Actually, my wife and I have a friend visiting us for a few days and we did watch some of it last night.

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

Picked it up about halfway through Rocky V.

Nick (NYC)

Dan - in your opinion, has Winky had a HOF worthy career?

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

I'm on the fence, but probably.

Big Handle (TX)

If De La Hoya retires and Mayweather chooses to stay retired, will they both be eligible at the same time for the HOF? Or does the 5 year period start running when you announce retirement rather than when you last fought?

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

If they are both done, Mayweather would be on the year before Oscar because his last fight was in 2007 and Oscar's would have been in 2008.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

Amazing how everyone wanted to see if Pacquiao would still be as fast at 135 against Diaz and now he will probably never fight that low again. Pretty remarkable jump in 6 months.

Big M (Atlanta)

OK, I know I've missed alot, but can you give us details about the "financial mess" Nate Campbell is in? I thought he was good about his money, kept his day for a long time and was finally getting the big bucks!!

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

Do a search for my story.

todd (ky)

Do you think Andre Berto will fight the top welterweights this year?

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

If he beats Collazo, a solid top 10 welter, I do think Berto will find himself in with a top welter this year.

Joe (Gainesville, FL)

And Happy New Year to you, Mrs. DTM! Wish I could say it in Thai.

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

Mrs. DTM would have loved that.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

If Marquez loses to Diaz, do you think that rules out a potential third fight with Pacquiao?

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

It would in the immediate future.

Christopher (Staten Island)

Dan, what a joy it was to watch the Roberto Duran - Ken Buchanan fight from 1972 on ESPN. Duran was a dynamo that fight. Must see for all freaks, I am so happy they showed that on ESPN. Who you got at Lightweight primes, Duran or Pacman?

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

Duran against any lightweight during his prime. End of discussion.

Greg P (Staten Island,NY)

Dan, does G Johnson have a mandatory shot against anyone...will they fight him?

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

Glen is the mandatory for the Diaconu-Branco winner and I believe either would fight Glen, who would likely have to go overseas for that kind of fight.

T-Rubble (Buffalo)

Any chance that Joe Mesi's failed political career opens a door back into the ring??? And any chance he ever becomes the champ he was slated to become???

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

I wouldn't be surprised to see Joe try fight again. Him winning a title is unlikely because who's going to give him the shot?

javier (Puerto Rico)

wiil daniel santos ever defend his title?

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

There has been talk of him fighting in Japan in February. But Bob Arum also mentioned to me that he and Don King are speaking (or will speak) about Santos possibly defending his belt against Yuri Foreman.

Carlos (Funky Town, TX)

Dan I grew up in the late 80's and 90's and only remember Duran as the guy who quit against Sugar Ray. Was he the Mike Tyson (dominate) at lightweight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

At lightweight, he had no peer.

Eric (Tampa, FL)

Dan, what happened to Glen Johnson earlier in his career which left him with so many losses but now, he seems to have matured into a great fighter later in his career?

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

Glen lost some fights, obviously, but several of his losses came overseas or in another guy's hometown where he was robbed. I have seen some of them, too, so it's not just Glen saying he was robbed, He was robbed against Ottke, for example. He was robbed in LA against Julio Gonzalez.

Jorge (Sun Diego)

Dan i am a huge fan of Erik Morales since i was very little (i am 14) and i read on ESPN deportes that Morales is coming back with declarations from Morales himself, any info on that?

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

Erik has been saying for some time that he was going to fight again. But I will believe it when I see it considering how heavy I hear he is.

Tony (DC)

Would Bernard Hopkins have any chance to beat either Klitschko?

Dan Rafael
  (1:17 PM)

Everyone knows the drugs in DC are good, but here is more evidence.

Paul B (NY, NY)

DanO: a bit confused about one of your comments earlier. I didn't think Mormeck or Arslan have a belt. Did you mean Guillermo Jones?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

Yes, my bad, I meant Guillero Jones is supposed to be defending against Mormeck in France in March. Good catch.

Joel Julio

A little New Year's love, pops?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child. Just remember son -- no southpaws in '09.

Marion Berry

Tony i told you to stay off the computer!

Patrick, Pittsburgh, PA

Maybe a bit premature, but buy or sell Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto?

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

Maybe someday but not even a remote though right now.

Jeff (South Dakota)

Thanks, Dan for your great work on the year end awards--On the prospect list I didn't see Roman Gonzalez listed but yet you mentioned him in a recent blog & I read Eric Raskens mention him. prospect or past that??

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

He is past that stage. Gonzalez has a world title. To clarify the prospect list -- if you have a world title, are scheduled to fight for a world title or are already ranked in my top 10 in your division, you are a contender, not a prospect.

Nick (NYC)

Go Giants!

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

Exactly.

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

Hey Eric from Tampa, you dope -- you have submitted your question like 100 times yet are you too dumb to look at the transcript and see I have already answered it?

Kinoba (GA)

Hello Dan - is there any news on Chris John fighting here in the US> thanks for your consideration

Dan Rafael
  (1:25 PM)

Nothing.

Pancho, Los Mochis

Any word on Pitalua vs. Valero location/date?

Dan Rafael
  (1:25 PM)

Little birdie told me maybe in Mexico in March on a Chavez Jr. ppv card.

Colin(Eden Prairie, MN)

According to ESPN's schedule, Jose Luis Castillo is fighting an opponent TBA on Azteca in January.Any idea who he might be fighting? Do you think Castillo has anything left?

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

He will be on that card but not in the main event, which is not made yet. He has nothing left.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Tavoris Cloud not on the Prospect List?

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

I consider him a contender after waxing Julio Gonzalez and moving near a mandatory position. Plus, he only fought twice last year.

Choco, New Jersey

Have you seen Japanese sensation Koki Kameda in action - is he anything to get excited about?

Dan Rafael
  (1:28 PM)

I've seen him several times. Good fighter but nothing to get overly excited about. Also been very inactive.

Duff (Abington,MA)

Have you seen Delvin Rodriguez- Isaac Hlatshwayo I? Was it a screw job against D Rod or was it just a difficult fight to score?

Dan Rafael
  (1:28 PM)

I watched it live on the Internet. I had Hlatshwayo winning close.

Sal (Chicago)

If Floyd comes back and loses, will his layoff be used as an excuse?

Dan Rafael
  (1:30 PM)

What do you think?

Choco, New Jersey

Hear anything new on Lucien Bute's next fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:30 PM)

Maybe Mads Larsen.

MO - Detroit, MI

What is next for Ronald Hearns?

Dan Rafael
  (1:31 PM)

He'll fight on the Jan. 17 Berto-Collazo undercard, although his bout is not scheduled to be part of the HBO broadcast.

Chief M......EYA Clw Florida

Mr. R., Happy New Year! I know Joe Cortez made a bad mistake as you noted. But I've always thought he was one of the best Referees. Is he on your "bad list" permanently or does he have a chance to get back into your "good graces?"

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

Hey, everyone makes a mistake. I still think Cortez is an elite referee. Just not on that night.

Joel (OC)

What do you think of the rumor that Nacho Beristain fixed the Pacquaio-Oscar fight by throwing in the towel even though Oscar could continue in order to preserve the prospect of a third Pacquiao-Marquez fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:33 PM)

I think some people have way too much time on their hands. Utterly moronic.

Jason (TX)

Buy or Sell, If Shane Beats Margarito Floyd vs. Shane in April / May Timeframe?

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

Sell all day.

Ricardo (Bronx, NY)

Dan your work is certainly HOF caliber, and if/when you are bestowed that honor. If you could have anyone profesionally who would you want inducting you?

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

Wow, I have never given that a single thought. If that honor happens some day, then I would figure it out.

Nick ( Perkiomenville Pa )

Can people please give this Oscar/Pac fight fix stuff a rest already.... The Golden Boy just got waxed plan and simple, there was absolutely no reason for that fight to go on any longer seriously!

Bill (Muncie)

When someone gets Banished, how long is that in effect?

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

Do you really want to find out?

Edge

Have you bought my DVD yet Dan?

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

Not yet, but I will.

Jason (TX)

Thanks Dan! Getting a post on your chat was one of my New Years Resolutions!

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

LOL! Congrats!

John (ATL GA)

Hey Dan, have you heard, every single DLH fight was fixed. Just ask the Oscar Haters!

Matt (Washington, DC)

Hey Dan, I guess it's looking more and more like Klitschko-Arreola? Am I the only Nightmare fan who thinks Chris has way more to gain by taking that two fights or so from now - test himself against a top 15 heavyweight, which he's never done, and build up hype and HBO/Kellerman love so it can actually be a fight people pay attention to.

Dan Rafael
  (1:38 PM)

Right now, I don't really see Klitschko-Arreola being very competitive. I just do not think Arreola is ready yet. I like Cris, have nothing against him whatsoever. I am just saying my opinion.

John (ATL GA)

Is Wlad-Areola gonna happen?

Dan Rafael
  (1:39 PM)

Very possibly.

Zach MPLS

Dan how are u going to handle the fact that the jurgen brahmer-rubin williams fight is off?

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

Probably cry myself to sleep every night for the next month or two. Mayben even three.

Mark (LV,NV)

Calzaghe comes off as an arrogant jerk, is he like in person ?

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

No. Joe is a pretty cool guy in person. He is not a big fan of talking to the press and sometimes seems to get frustrated with it, but he knows it's part of the job and he does it. Despite my criticism of Joe for some things he said recently, I actually like the guy.

Brian (Scottsdale, AZ)

Given Arce's problem with southpaws and all the damage he's taken through his exciting career, I'm scared for him against Darchiniyan. I could see Arce getting KO'd in six rounds or less. Your thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

I'm glad the fight is happening, but it's about a year-plus too late as far as I am concerned. I think Vic will wax Arce.

Marc (Las Vegas)

Happy New Years Dan! For good reason we typically see the mega fights take place at Staples, MSG, or one of a few places here in Vegas. What are some of your favorite small venues you have been to in your career covering fights?

Dan Rafael
  (1:46 PM)

There are a lot. I enjoy going to the small club show in Glen Burnie, Md., even though I haven't been in awhile. The Theater at MSG is great for fights. The room at the Palms in Vegas is fantastic for boxing. That's where Dawson-Tarver and Clottey-Judah took place. I love the Hard Rock resort arena in Hollywood, Fla., which is awesome for smaller fights. There are lots of excellent venues that don't have to seat 10,000 or 15,000.

mrmarksmith

Dan, IF Chris Arreola trained hard and got in exceptional shape what kind of chance would he really have against Wlad?

Dan Rafael
  (1:48 PM)

Better than he would looking how he has in recent fights.

daian, Miami

who is the leading candidate for propect of the year in 2009

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

I think there are several from the list from this week who will be strong candidate. I think a guy like Daniel Jacobs could be a front runner.

Vincent, NY

Buy or Sell: Malignaggi a titlest again in 2009.

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

I'm not even sure if Paulie wants to keep fighting, so we'll have to see. But if he decides to fight, I would think he could land an opportunity.

Dipen, London

Where do you think Kermit Cintron will be by the end of 2009? And how highly do you rate him after the two margarito defeats?

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

Check the rankings I do every single week. That said, if he loses to Clottey, he's probably done at or near the top of the sport and becomes a gate-keeper type.

Rob (Cincinnati, OH)

Dan, I was bored last weekend and went through a lot of your old chats. In 2006, you said that you would shave your beard if B-Hop fought again after whipping Tarver. Did you ever keep your word on that? Has the statute of limitations expired?

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

Expired.

Matt (Washington, DC)

Does Holt-Bradley being a Showtime fight make it less likely it will feed into an eventual Pacquiao matchup considering Pac-Man is an HBO guy and has other HBO guys like Hatton, Mayweather, Marquez, and Diaz as possibilities?

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

Not at all. Arum promotes Holt and could make a Pacquiao fight in five minutes if he wanted to. The question will be is the winner somebody the public wants to see Manny fight and how much money can it generate?

Jon (Los Angeles)

Paulie might want to quit boxing? Is that due to his hands or his desire? Or both?

Dan Rafael
  (1:56 PM)

The injuries to his hands have really taken their toll.

Michael (Toronto)

Has Malignaggi actually said that he wants to retire or is thinking about it?

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

He has said he is thinking about it.

Mayo, New Jersey

Loved what you wished for the Magic Man in your blog. After reading the previous post, don't you think a Judah-Malignaggi is a big fight for the 140 division?

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

Judah-Paulie would be an attraction fight in NYC. I wouldn't mind seeing that, why not?

Billy (Patchogue, NY)

I know the fight did great on PPV and it turned out to be a classic, but if Margarito loses to Mosley, isn't the luster sorta gone from a rematch with Cotto?

Dan Rafael
  (1:59 PM)

Sure it does, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't still be successful, even if not as successful as it might be with a Margarito win over Mosley.

Oprah

Hey Dan who wins Adamek vs Macrinelli ?

Dan Rafael
  (1:59 PM)

If it happened, I would have to go with Adamek -- good puncher with great chin. Macc good puncher, but no chin.

Fred (NV)

Was Pacman the recognized 126lbs champion?

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

By anyone who actually knows anything about boxing, yes.

Chief M......EYA Clw Florida

Mr. Rafael, I enjoy Steve Farhood on Showtime and I know he's a friend of yours. Does he write for a newspaper/magazine outside of his Showtime duties?

Dan Rafael
  (2:01 PM)

Steve pens regular stories and columns for Boxing Monthly, which is published in the UK but available in some places in the US.

Adam - Jackson, MS

DTM - Are you going to Biloxi for HBO's card?

Dan Rafael
  (2:04 PM)

No, I am not planning to go to that show. One of the reasons is because the night before I will be in Bristol to be the studio guest on "Friday Night Fights."

Dan Rafael
  (2:06 PM)

OK, Freaks, great way to start 2009. Remember, Friday Night Fights kicks off its new season next week, which really is when the new year of boxing starts. Hope you all had a great New Years. Talk to you next week. Peace.