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February 20, 6:49 AM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (11:22 AM)

Greetings from New York City, Fight Freaks. I'm here for tomorrow's Miguel Cotto-Michael Jennings fight. Plenty to discuss today with an excellent FNF show tonight and this weekend's ppv card with Cotto and Pavlik. Make sure you check out this week's blog and today's notebook. The question queue is already loaded so I figured I'd get started a few minutes early today. Be sure to tune into First Take at 11:35 am, ESPNews at 2:50 and tonight's FNF on ESPN2, where we'll be previewing tomorrow night's PPV. Let's get to it.

VINCE (CLEVELAND, OHIO)

Do you feel as I do, that Margarito's victory over Cotto is tainted? Or do you think Margarito was just the better fighter that night.

Dan Rafael
  (11:26 AM)

I have no proof, but I do believe he fought with loaded wraps against Cotto. Say whatever you want but that is my opinion. He got against Mosley. In life, forget boxing, if you get caught doing someething, chances are it is not the first time you've done it.

Dan Rafael
  (11:26 AM)

I have no proof, but I do believe he fought with loaded wraps against Cotto. Say whatever you want but that is my opinion. He got against Mosley. In life, forget boxing, if you get caught doing someething, chances are it is not the first time you've done it.

Dan Rafael
  (11:26 AM)

I have no proof, but I do believe he fought with loaded wraps against Cotto. Say whatever you want but that is my opinion. He got against Mosley. In life, forget boxing, if you get caught doing someething, chances are it is not the first time you've done it.

Kyle (Indianapolis)

What did you think about this season of the Contender? Personally, I thought this was the least competitive season and it was hard watch.

Dan Rafael
  (11:29 AM)

I've liked it but it's not as good as last year. I feel that being in Singapore hurt bedause the interaction with their family is not there. It's seemed rushed a bit with not as much time to get to know the guys. And I still hate edited fights and Versus is not showing the uncut fight like ESPN did last year. But I think Tony Danza has done a good job with what he's been given to work with and I think there are some talented guys in the tourney.

Dan Rafael
  (11:29 AM)

I've liked it but it's not as good as last year. I feel that being in Singapore hurt bedause the interaction with their family is not there. It's seemed rushed a bit with not as much time to get to know the guys. And I still hate edited fights and Versus is not showing the uncut fight like ESPN did last year. But I think Tony Danza has done a good job with what he's been given to work with and I think there are some talented guys in the tourney.

Sam (San Diego, California)

Dan, great notebook today. At this point are you like me and would you rather see David Haye have to fight his way into a mandatory and Wlad go ahead and fight Arreola? Haye and his management must be fools it will take him almost 2 years to get a Mandatory spot instead of getting a free shot at two Heavyweight Belts. I am sick of his talk.

Dan Rafael
  (11:31 AM)

Haye and Adam Booth are under the false impression that they are somehow owed a title shot. Haye was a terrific cruiserweight but at heavyweight he has no accomplishment, so when you get served a title shot on a silver platter when you bring less to the table than your opponent (Klitschko), you are not in the driver's seat. They seem to have a hard time understanding that. Booth screwed up the talks so badly that he has turned it over to Richard Schaefer, who is Haye's American promoter. If anyone can salvage it, it's Schaefer.

Chick Walker

Just bought tix to HBO's BAD in March - question on LC....given the set-backs he's faced does he still profile as a superstar in your opinion?

Dan Rafael
  (11:32 AM)

I don't think super star, but I do think Joel Julio can win the fight and make for entertaining TV fights.

Josh, San Diego, CA

Do you agree with the HBO crew last week that boxing should institute instant replay? You wouldn't need to use it for much (cuts/knockdowns caused by punch or butt etc.) and you could use it in between rounds.

Dan Rafael
  (11:33 AM)

I have said many times replay should be used in certain instances as long as it can be determined before the next round starts so there is no more than a one-minute break.

Ryan (Lawrence, PA)

Dan, heading to Youngstown tomorrow, is there anyone on the undercard (besides Cotto on the big screen) that I should be excited to see? Thanks.

Dan Rafael
  (11:33 AM)

Mainly local club guys. Other than Pavlik, it's an undercard filled with unknowns.

Steve(CT)

Any chance Dawson/Tarver ends up on the Winky/Paul W card?

Dan Rafael
  (11:34 AM)

No chance. Simply too much money to put that on the same card, not to mention different promoters.

MIKE(NC)

Hey Dan...Do you think there is any possiblility that the Povetkin-Estrada fight will be nationally televised??

Dan Rafael
  (11:34 AM)

Unlikely in the US.

Enrique : Carlsbad, CA

Dano mano, With Margo suspended, if Cotto wins tomorrow.. who do you think his next opponent is? I would love to see the Mosley rematch.

Dan Rafael
  (11:35 AM)

I wouldnt hold your breath for a Mosley rematch right now. I think more likely it could be a Clottey or Cintron or Berto or a Collazo before Mosley.

Chris, Chicago

Do you think Cotto's team will be taking a close look at Jennings wraps?

Dan Rafael
  (11:36 AM)

You would think.

Peter (NYC)

You can get tix for Cotto/Duddy for $50 at msg sat. For that price it is worth it.

Andrew (Indy, IN)

Dan, It was nice to see Alfonso Gomez in the Notebook. What do you think about a Gomez vs. Cintron bout at Welterweight?

Dan Rafael
  (11:36 AM)

Couldn't care less.

Khalil, Atlanta, GA

Dan, is there any chance Dawson-Tarver II gets canceled instead of postponed? Also, what's up next for Vanes Martirosyan?

Dan Rafael
  (11:37 AM)

No, the fight will happen based on Tarver's contract with Dawson from the first fight. Vanes just fought a couple of weeks ago so nothing yet set for his next fight.

Justin (New York)

Assuming Pavlik takes care of business tomorrow night, who's next for him?

Dan Rafael
  (11:40 AM)

There's a lot of talk about Abraham but I don't see it next. I think Arum will try to do something like Duddy if Duddy looks decent tomorrow.

Allen Boston

Dan: What are the chances of the following scenario. Cotto knocks out Jennings Saturday. Manny beats hatton convincingly in May. Cotto then fights Cintron in June and wins easily. Cotto and Manny meet sometime later in the year?

Dan Rafael
  (11:41 AM)

Absolutely a legitimate scenario.

Sean, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Dan, going to the Friday Night Fights card tonight. Am I going to see anything in the ring other than 1 sided beat downs? I though the R. Guttierrez fight would at least be close (shame it was scrapped).

Dan Rafael
  (11:42 AM)

You probably will see beatdowns, but that's fun too sometimes.

Zach MPLS

Dan, in your notebook blib about the Forrest-Martinez fight you quote Gary Shaw as saying theres a "minor chance" of the bout happening which fight was he talking about?

Dan Rafael
  (11:43 AM)

Forrest-Whitaker.

Jimmy (Philadelphia)

Dan, followed Cintron's career since his seventh pro fight. you think he's been as badly exposed as an extremely limited fighter who will wilt under pressure? or was Saturday just a bad style matchup?

Dan Rafael
  (11:44 AM)

Limited fighter with poor mental toughness.

Randy (Cincinnati, OH)

would Showtime approve Charles Whitaker for a fight with Forrest?

Dan Rafael
  (11:44 AM)

I would be surprised and disgusted.

Dan Rafael
  (11:44 AM)

OK, guys, take a minute and pop on ESPN2 right now and I will be back in a couple of minutes.

Charles (Philly)

Do you have a pick in the Ross-Hino Contender final? It looked like Ross was walking through the competition, but it's hard to tell from an edited fight. (Also, Versus mistakenly gave away the result of the second semifinal during a commercial break on Wed. before the fight was over.)

Dan Rafael
  (11:49 AM)

I think Ross has better class and more experience. I am picking him.

chris (stillwater ok)

Your the man Dan. You don't fit the freaks around your ESPN gig. You fit ESPN around the freaks.

Dan Rafael
  (11:52 AM)

You are right. Freaks first, national TV second.

jack, fort collins

dan, what are your thoughts on victor ortiz's fight with mike arnoutis? i think its a tough fight for him. mighty mike may not be agressive, but he does have some skills and could exploit victors agression.

Dan Rafael
  (11:53 AM)

I like it a lot. I think it's a legit test for both guys and a lot better than Vivian Harris would have bden.

Dan Rafael
  (11:54 AM)

I like it a lot. I think it's a legit test for both guys and a lot better than Vivian Harris would have bden.

Dan Rafael
  (11:54 AM)

I like it a lot. I think it's a legit test for both guys and a lot better than Vivian Harris would have bden.

Mario (Htown TX)

Hey Dan, is there a venue for the Lightweight tourney yet? I can't wait for that weekend will be driving to Austin that Sat and coming back on Sunday and attending Wrestle mania :)

Dan Rafael
  (11:56 AM)

Nice. It is indeed in Austin, although I can't recall the name of the arena. Excellent show.

Greg P (Staten Island,NY)

Dan, would 1 loss at 140 in 09 even a close one be the end of big $$$ fights for Nate Campbell's career?

Dan Rafael
  (11:57 AM)

A loss for Nate at his age would be a significant setback for sure and he knows that.

Korrey-NYC

D-Nice, I understand boxing is a business. I do. But how the hell can a clown like Duddy get a title shot whne he struggled life and death to beat Anthony Bonsante from the Contender. Pavlik will kill him and frankly it would do nothing for Pavlik's reputation. He needs to fight Abraham.

Dan Rafael
  (11:58 AM)

You answered your own question. It's a business. Duddy brings fans and money. Period.

Charles (Philly)

Will Versus at least show Wednesday's fight(s) live?

Dan Rafael
  (11:59 AM)

Yes.

Jim (Long Island)

Have you heard anything about Pavlik-Mora if Pavlik wins tomorrow night?

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

Yes, Arum and Wald have discussed it. It is one of the various possibilities for Pavlik. Perhaps on Showtime.

Mike (San Diego, CA)

Assuming Pavlik wins, tomorrow and lets say he fights Duddy in the summer and wins that, do you see a Pavlik-PWill fight at the end of 09?

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

Very doubtful at this point it seems to me.

Eric (Columbus, OH)

I read that tomorrow's PPV is priced @ $45 even with the Peterson cancelation and the promotion of a 4-rounder to the opener. Make this card $10 less and I would probably buy it easy. I wonder, is Arum still going to blame the economy for the PPV's failure (if it fails) when the quality of these co-main events (if not main draws) isn't equal to a normal PPV card? I'd be interested in your opinion, Dan. Thanks!

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

Quit complaining. It is what it is and nobody was buying it for Peterson anyway. You either buy or dont. Arum can do whatever the hell he wants. It is not your right or anyone's to be able to watch a fight. If you dont like the price, you dont buy it. PPV is part of our life as boxing fans. Accept it.

Chris (Greensboro NC)

Just saw you on first take. Why do they never do any research before the interview you?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

I have no idea what happened there. That was just not good.

Gerardo, Chicago, IL

Dan. Your Notebook said Cotto is considering leaving Top Rank. Is this totally from Arums comments on Margarito? What's the scoop? Anything else the Freaks should know?

Dan Rafael
  (12:07 PM)

Yes, Cotto's unhappiness is stemming from Arum's support of Margarito I believe. However, Cotto still has quite a bit of time left on his deal.

Tommy (Cincy)

Yikes, Dan the Man is holding a no-tolerance chat today, Freaks! No complaining, and no stupid questions! Capiche?!

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

And I'm even more annoyed because the damn wireless in this hotel sucks so bad that I am on a dial up connection!

David (houston)

Not to keep bringing it up but if Margarito wants to try and say he knew nothing and the mistake was all on his trainer, why would he not come out on tv and say to everyone he is firing his trainer and wants nothing to do wih him again for ruining his career? That would at least make his lame excuse more believable...

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

You are right. The reason is probably because Margarito is full of crap because he knows he cheated.

John (San Fran)

Dan, what happened on First Take? I am sitting here in the my TV-less office and would have watched if I could.

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

I was taken by surprise when I was asked if tomorrow's PPV was a playoff and that maybe if Cotto and Pavlik win they would face each other. Huh?

Brian (san diego, ca)

any undercard fights on the Adamek-Banks fight that will be televised?

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

Yes, Lorenzo-Miranda in a middle eliminator.

Brody (Sarasota, FL)

Who is calling the Pavlik and Cotto fights?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

I've been asked this a lot so I checked with the trusty Bat Phone. Al Bernstein and Charlie Steiner will call the action in NYC and Nick Charles and Ray Mancini will call the action in Youngstown.

Four Guys

We are upset that Tarver-Dawson II was postponed.

Aziz (Newcastle,UK)

DTM!! could you please clear my confusion? as JMM-Diaz has the WBO trinket, will their mandatory be the winner of Barrera-Khan? Many thanks

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

To my knowledge that has not been determined.

First Take

Is Tyson coming out of retirment to face Hopkins?

Luis Jose (LA, CA)

There are rumors going around that Oscar De La Hoya planted the plaster in Margarito's gloves, in part to distract people from investigating whether he took a dive in the fight against Pacquiao and in part because of his jealousy over Margarito's appeal to true Mexican fight fans. Thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

My thoughts are that you are moron.

First Take

Dan, we've gotta ask you the question that the world is wanting answered. When will Lennox give Tyson his rematch?

Banishment

I got first dibs on First Take!

Doug, TX

How do you think Chris Brown would fair in the welterweight division?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

Against a man or a woman?

Mike (B-town)

Dan, What's the word on Jhonny Gonzalez, Is he going to japan for a title shot?

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

Likely. There is a purse bid and I think it's today.

First Take:

Is the Cinco de Mayo fight finalized between Oscar De La Hoya and Sugar Ray Leonard yet?

Pat (West Seneca)

Dan - am I crazy for thinking that Eddie Chambers will beat Sam Peters convincingly?

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

No and that's why it's an interesting fight. I can see Sam being outboxed easily or him smashing Chambers.

Tomas(Tx)

what can you tell us about carl froch? never seen him fight before

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

I've seen most of Froch's pro fights. Good fighter, entertaining style, excellent chi n and solid power. He's not the fastest. I think him and Taylor should be a very solid fight.

Bry SF

Will the Alvarado-Alexander fight happen? If not, who are the other names being mention to face Alvarao? I thought Showtime will televise the Peterson-Blain fight

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Alvarado may still wind up on April 25 on the HBO undercard but not against Alexander. Top Rank said thanks, but no thanks, to Alexander as an opponent. Peterson-Blain is likley to land on April 4 in Montreal and open the Showtime telecast.

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

I watched the Martinez/Cintron fight and can't get over Max harping on the knee and the ten count. Plenty of fighters have gotten up before ten and not continued. RJJ, Tyson, etc. I know Cintron was hurt that bad, but he wasn't too excited about getting up.

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

To me, whether his knee was up or not made NO difference. The referee, Frank Santore, clearly said "10." That means the fight is OVER. Period.

Aaron Pryor

What TIME is it?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

My understanding is that it is Hawk Time.

Steiny (NYC)

Cotto v Jennings. Who will come out on top?

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

Obviously, I like Cotto big. I also like Pavlik but in a little tougher of a fight.

Dave, San Jose

Would you rather watch women's boxing at the olympics or John Ruiz?

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

John Ruiz -- in a 15-rounder.

Yorkis (Philly)

Why are Povetkin's people putting him in with Estrada? He should win, but couldn't he also get outboxed?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

He has to fight someone and Estrada posed zero danger in terms of power. They were also the top amateurs in their heyday but didn't meet, so it will get good hype overseas.

Greg P (Staten Island,NY)

Dan, dial up must be killing you!

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

It is.

Yorkis (Philly)

How would Forrest Whittaker feel about a Forrest-Whittaker fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Maybe he could be the special guest referee?

Paul (Philly)

Hi Dan - i had the pleasure of meeting Meldrick Taylor in person at a restaurant last week - he gave me his autograph and i got a picture with him - he's really a nice guy, but it's obvious that he's had some effects from all of the wars he was in - my question for you - should he be in the HOF? I looked up his record and while his career was over before he was 30 he was a 2 division champ, gold medalist and beat buddy mcgirt, had an all time classic against chavez which he would of won if not for 2 more seconds - his worst loss came against terry norris who was naturally bigger than him - what are your thoughts on his career - would love to get your take

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

I do think Meldrick deserves serious consideration.

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

OK, Freaks, between the dial up and the 1 pm weigh in for the TV bouts tomorrow, I gotta cut this one a little short. Hope you enjoy the show tomorrow and tonight's FNF. Talk to you next week from Houston, where I will be covering Marquez-Diaz. Peace.