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March 20, 7:06 AM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (11:59 AM)

Greetings, Fight Freaks! Welcome to our weekly get together. The huge notebook is up so read it and check the schedule before asking and remember there is plenty of boxing this weekend, including the Klitschko-Gomez fight (now on ESPN Classic live instead of ESPN) and, if you care, Roy Jones fights Saturday night. Let's get to it.

Matt (Seattle, WA)

My initial excitement for the lightweight card is fading fast with so many marquee names dropping out. Except for the main event, is your enthusiasm waning a bit too? At least we'll have a good bantamweight scrap!

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

I was disappointed that Barrios fell out, but I think we now have a more meaningful fight on the April 4 card now that Escobedo is in, so I have no issue with that. I was disappointed Casamayor was injured, but injuries are part of all sports. I know Golden Boy is out there trying to make the best replacement fight it can on short notice. I am still looking forward to the card because the main event is good (Valero-Pitalua) and I am always excited to see Katsidis in action.

Corey (Petersburg, WV)

Dan, any further word on Adamek-B-Hop on July 11? or is HBO waiting on PBF and holding that date?

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

Right now everything is in a bit of limbo as far as I know. I am sure it will work out one way or the other in the next week or two.

Eric (Omaha, NE)

Dan - My Birthday is July 11th. Am I going to AC to see Hopkins/Adamek or Vegas to see the return of FM Jr?

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

Stay tuned Freak.

Sean (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Is the Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL still the leader for the site of the Berto fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

It is one possibility.

Andres (Chula Vista, CA)

Any idea who Mares might be fighting on May 2? Probably not a step up in opposition since he's had such a huge layoff right?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

That fight won't be on the ppv and is just a fight for Mares to shake off the rust of a long layoff, so I wouldn't be expecting him to face a top opponent. Hopefully, at least someone who can go some rounds and make it a solid scrap.

Joel (NY)

Dan, what happened to Brandeis Prescott for the April 17th Shobox card?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

He is out because he suffered an injury in his last fight on ESPN2 a few weeks ago.

Joel (NY)

Dan, whats your pick for Jones Jr.-Shieka tomorrow night

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

Jones is way faster than Omar and way better. But Omar can punch. Roy SHOULD win, but who the hell knows at this point.

Robbie (Denton, Tx)

Is the Cotto-Clottey a fight a done deal? I will be in NY the weekend of the 13th and would love to go to that fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

It's not 100 percent done but it will happen. Bob Arum has been away so it has not gotten done, but I spoke to Clottey's manager, Vinny Scolpino, yesterday and he said they were going to wrap things up on their end in the next few days he thought. HBO is already on board. Arum needs to just wrap things up officially with his fighters. But the fight will happen.

Rick, Marina, Ca

Whats up Dano, Im glad to hear Mayweather wants to comeback and fight worthy opponent and Dachy vs Agbeko is getting done.

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

Both good pieces of news for the Freaks.

SL (NY)

OVER/UNDER 5 ROUNDS FOR VITALI?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

I'm going with over.

Eugene (Atlantic City, NJ)

Why did the tomorrow's HW titlefight get bubmped from ESPN to ESPN Classic?

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

It is a timing issue. The window on ESPN was 5-6:30 pm ET. The Germans agreed with that. A few days ago when everyone was going over things in a production meeting the Germans said the fight wouldn't be able to fit in that window and since ESPN has a contractual obligation to start its coverage of the NCAA wrestling championships at 6:30, the fight had to move to Classic, which could accomodate it live. Nobody at ESPN is happy about it, but the promoters brought it on themselves by making one promise when they made the deal and then not being able to deliver on the fighters being in the ring at a certain time. And since ESPN is not the primary broadcaster (i.e. the ones paying a ton of money for it), it had no legs to stand on to insist it go at a certain time. So it's on Classic live and that's the way it is. Be happy it's at least there.

Daniel (SF)

What happened to make ESPN dump the fight to ESPN Classic? I was hoping to watch this in HD, but Classic doesn't come in HD.

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

Just so you know, even if it had stayed on ESPN, the fight would not have been televised in HD.

Pat (NY)

I dont understand guys like Abner Mares who dont take a fight for a year or so. This is your job, how do you support yourself if you dont go to work for a year?

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

He had a torn retina and was injured and unable to fight. That's the reason and it's a pretty good one.

WBA

You have been just assigned to fight for WORLD INTERIM REGULAR SUPER CHAMPION CHAT CHAMPIONSHIP EMERITUS IN RECESS

Nick (Queens,NY)

Dan- Thanks for the chats. Do you have any idea of the date of the NYC stop for the Hatton vs. Manny media tour? I really wanna go to this but I haven't heard anything. Thanks!

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

There will not be a New York media appearance.

Joe (Stamford, CT)

If you had to guess, how high do you think HBO would be willing to go for Floyd to put the fight on WCB? Would they go higher than, say, 5 million?

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

I think HBO is having just those sorts of internal discussions right now.

Chris ( Highlands, NJ)

DTM, Is Haye going to sign the friggin contract and fight Wlad or was all of that talk just hot air?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

They say the fight will get done and it probably will but this whole negotiation has been a cluster...

mrmarksmith

Mr.R., Outside of the 3-4000+ fight collection you have who do you know of anyone with a bigger/better collection?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

I have way more than 4,000 fights, but, yes, I have friends with much larger collections that I trade with.

Cory (DALLAS)

D$, PBF wants to come back this summer and Sugar Shane doesn't have an opponent. Could you do all the freaks a favor and pass that along to the powers that be!

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

I'm pretty sure they all know.

Tanner (Philly, PA)

What are the chances of Hopkins fighting Adameck at the Wachovia Specturm in Philadelphia? It was site of Rocky 1, and it's due to get demolished in the fall.

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

I would say it is unlikely. If the fight happens, I think it would be in Newark or Atlantic City.

ESPN First Take

Is Floyd Mayweahter Jr. looking to take on the winner of the Vitali Klitschko/Juan Carlos Gomez fight?

Slick, Philly

Dan, Could Floyd possibly get close to the money he made with DLH in a mega fight with Manny?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

Sure.

Daian, Miami

Am I the one your going to kiss if that card gets done June 27?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

No. (Read my blog from the other day if you don't get it).

Joe (Stamford, CT)

Over/under 60,000 buys for RJJ tomorrow night?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

Under. Way under.

Jay (DC)

DTM, I just saw Corrales vs Castillo 1 for the first time. What a fight! Unbelievable fight!

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

I think we have established that, no?

Mikey (Levittown, NY)

Dan, if Floyd fights on HBO, would his opponent be a Malinaggi, Delvin Rodriguez, Holt/Bradley winner, Collazo type opponent or could they afford a bigger name?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

Those all sound like guys that would be on a list.

Pat (NY)

Good win for Afolabi. He's a fun fighter to watch. Do you know who he's targeting next?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

He has a mandatory against Ramirez.

Matt (Brooklyn)

Great card last Saturday!!! 5 exciting fights for $25. And you were right about the commentary...solid not a lot of hot air. Warren needs to do more PPVs.

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

I agree. It was an excellent show and certainly worth the money.

Andres (Chula Vista, CA)

I love Mayweather and hate PPV. So, the idea of him fighting on HBO WCB is a great but at the same time I don't want this to be a repeat of what happened last year with Cotto and DLH. If the compromise of getting a great fighter on WCB is to get fights like Cotto-Gomez and DLH-Forbes then I hope HBO just passes.

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

It's a balancing act no doubt. It's about the kind of fight and how much it costs. I do think it would be worth having Floyd back on live HBO for the right price even if not against a top fighter, but I don't think it is at the expense of a seriously good fight like Adamek-Hopkins if it came down to making a choice.

B.J. Flores (Pensacola, FL)

That's good news on your low PPV projection for tomorrow night, Dan. I prefer to fight in relative obscurity against overmatched opponents.

David (Hercules, CA)

Roy Jones Jr. vs. Omar Sheika is an awesome fight...in 1999

Pat (NY)

How can he have a mandatory already? I thought he had one year to fulfill his obligations?

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

Afolabi is interim titleholder. Ramirez is the titleholder and he must make a mandatory against Afolabi.

Chief M......EYA Clw Florida

Mr. Rafael, Do a fighter's cornermen and trainers get paid a flat fee for each fight or a percentage of the fighter's purse?

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

It all depends on the deal the fighter makes with his team. Both scenarios are possible.

Bime (Taunton Ma.)

D-Money... where can i buy some fight dvds, cuase i dvr every fight on tv, but then my dvr gets full & i lose them...

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

Dude burn them to DVD before you lose them and set your DVR so that nothing is lost until you erase it yourself. Duh.

Eric (Omaha, NE)

Do you think Citron will claim to be "head-butted" again after Angulo knocks him out?

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

Probably. Or hit with a low blow.

Daian, Miami

at what time is the fight tomorrow? 5 0r 7 pm?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

Once again I will repeat this: Klitschko-Gomez is live on Classic at 6 pm ET and then on delay at 7 pm on ESPN2. It is also live at 6 ET on ESPN360.com? Got it?

Joe (Stamford, CT)

Excellent job in your blog citing MAB's courage last week, and stating that Robert Guerrero should take note. That is a point that needs to be echoed.

Flemming (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Afolabi a contender for KO of the year? I know I liked it........

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

Definitely on the early list.

Rick (Paterson)

Raging Bull vs. King Kong, can't wait, who do you got??

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

Sick fight. Can't wait. I literally had a dream about it last night. It was weird. It was like a 35-round fight that Vic won and it happened outside.

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

I'm serious about the dream by the way. But there were no little people in it dancing and talking backwards like on Twin Peaks.

Tim (Des Moines, IA)

Dan, what happened to Roman Karmazin on Saturday's Azteca America card?

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

Not sure if they found a new opponent for him, but Antwun Echols, I am told, was not approved by California officials for the fight.

Banishment

We need to review Jay's freak status for just seeing Corrales vs. Castillo I

Chris M. (Ontario)

DTM, I have always been curious, what is/are your all-time favorite piece(s) of fight poster art, and why?

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

I have a massive collection so it's hard to pick one. But one of my favorites is this little obscure poster for Roy Jones-Julio Gonzalez. It was made for the Korean neighborhoods in LA and the co-feature between Erik Morales and Injin Chi was put on top to look like the main event with Jones and Gonzalez on it smaller. And it's all in Korean. I love that poster. But there are tons that I love.

John (San Fran)

Dan Madness, who do you have winning the tourney? Are there office pools at ESPN that everyone joins?

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

I assume there is a pool at ESPN but since I live and work in Northern Virginia I have no idea what is up in Bristol with that.

Andres (Chula Vista, CA)

I think it's a calculated risk for Golden Boy to match their top young guns against solid East Euro fighters like Dzinziruk and Kotelnik, but after looking at their records on boxrec, I actually think that both Kirkland and Ortiz will win. I know the fights aren't finalized, but who would you pick if the fights were to happen?

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

I don't disagree with you but they are very interesting matchups. I spoke this morning to their German promoter and was told both fights are on track and there are no real issues in the negotiations.

Kyle (Indianapolis)

I really enjoyed the PPV last Saturday, it was well worth 25.00 and there lots of great KOs! Good card to purchase.

James (Warminster, PA)

Is Taras Bidenko the best heavyweight that no one has ever heard about?

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

No. He is not even the best heavyweight people haven't heard of.

Justin (Springfield, NJ)

Dan: Is there any truth to the Arthur Abraham-Vernon Forrest talk, or is the more likely fight Forrest-Martinez?

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

There have been discussions about Abraham-Forrest this summer on Showtime but it's just small talk right now.

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

I spoke to someone on Abraham's team this week and they said he was willing to come to the US for that kind of fight.

Nigel ohio

Dan, if Money Mayweather does fight on HBO July 11th, will they still find a place for the proposed BHop-Adamek fight or could it move to Showtime?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

I suppose anything is possible but I am not sure Showtime has that kind of budget for that fight or if Hopkins/Golden Boy would go to Showtime.

Mike (Ohio)

Dan, do Kevin Johnson or Peter Quillan have anything lined up?

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

Nope.

Joel (NY)

Dan, read your notebook today about Latimore-Spinks, you think Showtime would be interested for the May 2nd bout?

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

It's possible I suppose. I know it won't take much money to buy that show.

bill (carmel, ny)

i guess if someone had to beat binghampton (my wife is an alumni too) it might as well be duke.

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

If your wife is an alum like I am, her husband should know how to spell it -- Binghamton.

Nick (Harrisburg, PA)

Dan...i propose a new measuring stick for measuring ones freak status... The Freak-o-meter 0.1 to 10.0

Courtney (Atlanta, GA)

Hey Dan, I thought HBO was changing a new leaf this year and not allowing fighters to take tune up fights on their network; like they did with Cotto and Pavlik. So why allow Mayweather one when HBO has all the levarage?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

Well first off, HBO hasn't taken a Mayweather fight yet. They have no opponent and have no set dollar figure, so settle down. HBO is also a television company driven by stars and attractive television shows and movies. If the powers that be think spending x dollars on an event like a Mayweather comeback is worth it for the rating they believe it will deliver then they will do it. If 95% of HBO's fights are quality matchups, I don't think it's a big deal to let Mayweather, a star fighter, have a comeback fight against a reasonable opponent knowing that after that you will get a mega fight.

Nigel (Ohio)

Dan, who do you see as tune-up opponents for PBF? Are Nate Campbell or Joel Cassamoyer possible opponents?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

I doubt Casamayor but would not be surprised if Nate's name wasn't in the picture.

Armando (Nj)

Dan - ive watched a few of Gomez's fights and i don't think people realize what a slick boxer he can be - he has good footwork and handspeed - i think Vitali has his hands full tomorrow night - do you agree?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

I think his skills and southpaw style could definitely give Vitali some issues.

Joel

Does Rolando Reyes provide as interesting matchup for Julio Diaz on April 4th as Casamayor would of?

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

It's obviously not as strong as Casamayor but he is a reasonable opponent as a late sub, sure.

Banishment

We need to review Joel (NY)'s freak status for suggesting a Cory Spinks fight should be on TV.

Nigel (Ohio)

Really, we are 3 monthes into the year and HBO has delivered four great cards and have at least four great cards on paper lined up, can we at least congratulate Greenburg and company on a job well done, plus it is PBF a top 20 all-time fighter and one of the few true stars of the sport!

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

Agreed.

Pat (NY)

When do you think Frank Warren and Amir Khan will exercise their mandatory with Marquez? End of the year?

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

He is not yet the official mandatory. Marquez isn't going to be dictated to anyway. He can give up the belt if need be. He's going to take the biggest and best fights and not worry about a sanctioning organization, especially the WBO, which allowed Hamed to duck him relentlessly for years.

RIchard Schaefer

Dan, it looks like we'll have to split the June 27 HBO tripleheader. I'll take a rain-check on that kiss. Thank you.

James Angus (Great Britain)

Was was a bigger embarrassment to my country, Gary Lockett or Michael Jennings?

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

Hey, at least they both tried. I blame the WBO, which appointed these unqualified fighters as mandatory challengers.

nigel (Ohio)

Dan, what are your thoughts on the undercard for the Pacman-Hatton fight, even though it is not as bad as some past undercards, I am still disappointed as it seems to lack the quality of match-ups the promoters said they would deliver?

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

It's still a work in progress but I have no issue with Luevano-Concepcion, which I think should be fun. And Kirkland against anyone is exciting. Let's see what they do with the rest of it. I am told Alvarado may be back on in an eight-rounder with Lara in a four-rounder. Let's see what they make officially before critiquing it.

Neil (Ohio)

Why is Chris Byrd fighting again? He seems like such a great guy, it's sad to see him go down that road. And if a network wants to pay for a Cory Spinks fight they should just come to my house and brodcast my grass growing for free instead.

Patrick (Mexico)

Danno, Why the love for Duke? They're like the Ruiz of college hoops.

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

You want to be banned? I've been a Duke fans for more than 20 years.

Nick (NYC)

Dan - in retrospect do you think that you promoted Mijares to your top 10 p4p a bit too prematurely? I've seen a couple of his fights, and even in his wins, he really wasnt that impressive. Im just wondering what you ever saw in him when i think someone like Chad Dawson is far more deserving of top 10 status at this stage. Thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

Not at all. Mijares had the resume to back it up -- two very solid wins over Kawashima, a beat down of Arce, an excellent win over Navarro and Munoz. He was fighting at a very high level against good opponents.

Kyle (Indianapolis)

If you were matchmaker which fight would you want to see PBF in at the end of the year: Manny or Shane or Cotto???

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

I'll take any of them but in terms of my own personal preference, I want to see Manny, Shane, Cotto in that order. But I love them all.

Tom (Cincinnati, OH)

Dan, did you see that Congressman yesterday stealing your bit when he said that AIG stood for "Arrogant, Incompetent, and Greedy"? Maybe AIG can be a new sanctioning body!

Courtney (Atlanta, GA)

I felt like I just got reprimanded from my teacher, but point well taken.

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

Class dismissed.

Tim (Lincoln)

Is there anything in talks for Rigondeaux's debut? How far do you think he makes it as a pro starting this late?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

Nothing specific yet that I am aware of. But he will turn pro. How he does? No idea. But I am told he may be trained by his idol, Pernell Whitaker.

Joe (Stamford, CT)

Is the reason that the proposed Guzman fight on the Cotto undercard won't be televised that he's still on HBO/Showtime s*** list, or simply that he's going to face an inferior opponent?

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

HBO's June 13 telecast will only be one bout. Simple as that.

Randy (NYC)

As a fan of Pavlik for a few years now, I'm disappointed with how his future is being directed. I understand fighting mandatory fights, but his advisers are making him look like he is ducking people like Abraham. I doubt Pavlik objects to who is in the ring with him

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

Pavlik's reign has been a disappointment but part of the reason is because he lacks quality opponents. But you are right -- guys like Abraham and even Sturm are quality opponents and there seems to be no real effort to seriously make the fights. If you want to get down to it, Taylor's reign was more impressive so far even though he was ripped for his opponents. But at least he defended the title against Hopkins and Wright in addition to lesser guys like Spinks and Ouma, who at least had been titleholders in smaller divisions. Pavlik's first two defenses were against Lockett and Rubio, who are not nearly as good as Taylor's opponents. And then Pavlik got smashed in a nontitle bout by Hopkins and is now going to face Mora, a smaller guy who held a title briefly in a lower weight division. I do give Pavlik credit though for his rematch win over Taylor, which was only a nontitle bout because Taylor's contract allowed it to be.

Justin (Springfield, NJ)

Is Nate Campbell still expected to ink a deal with Golden Boy?

Dan Rafael
  (12:55 PM)

Yes.

Ryan (Cleveland)

I saw on First Take today that Pavlik isn't ducking Abraham...he is waiting on one of the Klitschko brothers, Pacman, or possibly Mayweather for a higher profile fight.

Rick, Marina, Ca

I talk so much boxing at work, that my co worker wants to order the Pacman-Hatton fight and have pizza and beer, this is a guy who has no knowledge of the sweet science, but Ive talked to him about how good Pacman is that he wants to see him fight. Hopefully I converted another freak.

Dan Rafael
  (12:55 PM)

Keep it up.

Jeff (NH)

I really like collazo for a Mayweather comback fight. This was my first thought when I heard a comeback was in the works.

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

I guess it's possible.

Brandon (Florida)

Dan the question all us freaks want to know. We know you're getting the RJJ PPV because you're the king freak, but what ya gonna do when the MMA fights are being shown?

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

Go take a dump.

Jimmy (Arlington, Va)

Why doesn't B Hops want to fight Chad Dawson?

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

Why would he? High risk, low reward.

Brian (New York, NY)

DTM - What do you think of the preposed Berto-Urango fight? Step forward or step back from the Collazo fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

I think it's an interesting fight. Solid match.

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

Dan, Floyd has always put down Shane, even called him a sparring partner after he helped DLH. Does Floyd realize how hollow this sounds due to the fact Shane fought Cotto and Margarito. Guys Floyd chose not to fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

Floyd lives in his own world. Mosley has accomplished way more at welterweight than Mayweather has.

Ryan (Cleveland)

I may be more into poop humor than most...but that "Go take a dump" comment has me crying at my desk.

Randy (NYC)

completely agree. Pavlik is still young and he can still turn things around with names like abraham, sturm, winky, and Williams. If he could walk through that hell he could walk right into the HOF

Jake (NY)

Did Roy Jones Jr give his thoughts on why he was so bad vs Calzaghe??

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

He claims it was the cut and that he got out of his game after he scored the knockdown because he got away from the basics. Uh huh.

JP (Columbus, OH)

LOL, the first "take a dump" reference in Freak Chat history.

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

You are right. It may not be the last if the they inflict more combo boxing / MMA cards on me.

Gomez

What a brawl Segura-Canchilla II was!!! I think a trilogy is a must between those two, they were exchanging bombs throughout, shame it ended that way. The announcers mentioned the winner would be in line for Calderon -- does this mean we get Segura vs Iron Boy in a classic brawler vs boxer, Mexico vs Puerto Rico match up?

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

That was a spectacular fight, a gem most people didn't see. But it's on youtube so you should check it out.

Steve (NYC)

Dawn is a low reward for Hopkins and yet Sturm is a big reward for Pavlik?

Dan Rafael
  (1:02 PM)

Bernard has done everything a fighter can do in his career. He has been the very best, won multiple championships in multiple divisions, made huge money and created a legacy no matter what happens. Pavlik hasn't done that and beating a top 3 middleweight would help him.

Nick (Raleigh)

Berto-Urango is a very solid fight, I think Berto wins the decision and then is ready for an elite fighter...Berto vs Winner of Cotto-Clottey next fall?? That would be a sweet fight

chris (stillwater ok)

Duke and Binghamton in the first round. What are the odds?

Dan Rafael
  (1:02 PM)

I almost died when I saw the brackets come up last Sunday. I was in shock. I am still not over it.

Jon (DC)

Congrats to the California commission for not approving Echols. It is about time that someone said no.

Jeff (NH)

The freaks have their prayer answered! Vic against Abeko, this ones gonna be a war! it will be weird to see Vic be in a fight where he has the better boxing skills.

Rob (Halifax, Canada)

I know its signed and they had a press conference and all but is there any chance Areolla gets pulled from the 11th if Haye negotiations go to the pooper?(keeping with the theme)

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

I do not think that is going to happen.

dave (detroit)

Dan, how good is Pitalua? Can he last into the late rounds with Valero?

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

He's an excellent puncher, has a good chin and is very solid.

Patrick (Mexico)

The Mexican commentators had the line of the the night during the Canchilla-Segura fight: the WBA drops around titles like a balding man drops hair.

javier (Puerto Rico)

any truth don king is interested in making mayorga vs santos in may.

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

First I hear of it, but good for him if he can make it. Not the most appealing fight but whatever.

Pancho, Los Mochis

Dan, I disagree with your assessment of Abraham vs. Simon. Simon was giving Arthur everything he could handle in a very competative fight. I had the fight even going into round 11. Simon even had Abraham hurt in round 8 or 7!

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

Simon did hurt Abraham a couple of times (round 9 as I recall) but I thought Abraham won the fight handily.

Jon (DC)

Dan, I looked under the couch and found 10 bucks. Now if I only had a TV network I could buy Spinks-Lattimore.

Mike (Ohio)

Dan, I see DiBella signed Mack recently. Any chance he fights one of DiBella's other light heavies in Glen Johnson or Shaun George?

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

That is one of the reasons why DiBella signed him -- because he is active in the division and Mack fits in nicely with those sorts of opponents or with Allan Green or with Jermain Taylor down the road.

Jeff (NH)

I get a lot of flack for defending Valero on the espn message boards, I really need you to back me up that he will one day be P4P

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

Sorry dude, you're not getting any help from me. Valero is an exciting guy to watch but I do not view him as a p4p caliber fighter.

Tim (Lincoln)

Is there anything in talks for Rigondeaux's debut? How far do you think he makes it as a pro starting this late?

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

How many times you gonna ask a question I already answered? Banishment? Where are you when I need you.

Travis (Washington, DC)

Is Leonard Ellerbe going to man up and take you to dinner now that it's nearly official that Floyd is coming back?

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

Funny enough, I reminded Leonard of our little friendly wager yesterday.

Ace (Neverland, Peter Panville)

End of Summer Dream Card! Vic - Kong Cotto - Mayweather Pavlik - Abraham Taylor - Kessler Adamek - Hopkins Vitali - Wladimar

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

Nice. The PPV will cost $999.95.

Guanoman (Puerto Rico)

Dan do you feel the jonh people will be wiiling to fight juarez in texas again. or would you expect the Juarez vs jonh fight to land on the victor ortiz card in los angeles and then maybe kirkland and guerrero in texas.

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

I think John will fight anyone, anywhere as long as he can make the most money.

Ryan (Cleveland)

Banishment is taking a dump. He'll be out to get Tim in a minute.

Jacub (Worcester)

Everytime I see Lou Dibella on TV he seems like a hotheaded nut, but I met him at a fight last night and he seemed like a very relaxed and cool guy. Which one's closer to the truth?

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

Lou is a hothead nut about half the time and laid back cool guy the other half of the time!

Corey from(WestWick)

I don't know how many gamers are on this chat but the pic of the ea sports Fight night round 4 look sweet June 30th can't wait

JC

Who were you pulling for in the Duke-Binghamton game?

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

My heart was with Binghamton. Now that it is over, I can't say I am surprised with how it went. I am happy Duke is moving on and happy that Binghamton had a great run and played pretty well against Duke (other than the brual amount of early turnovers and poor free throw shooting).

Carl (TN)

Why isn't Hozumi Hasegawa ranked in your P4P list?

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

He's about a win away. I have seen many of his fights and he is a very good fighter and I was particularly impressed with his KO1 of Malinga last week.

Joe (philly)

Ace's card would be the wrestlemania of boxing; I can see it now, the losing Klischko brother would have their head shaven!

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

When is Corey going to learn to use punctuation? Maybe the Freaks can pitch in and buy him a Punctuations for Idiots book.

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

A lot of you could use it.

Commissioner Gordon

Du-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh! Dan-man, quick, we need word from the Bat Phone!

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

Relax.

Hector New York NY

If PBF Mayweather fought Sugar Ray Leonard...who would you pick?

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

SRL all the way. Just as fast, just as athletic, just as smart, but way better power and naturally bigger.

Javier (New York)

dan, what do you think of olimpic gold medallist felix diaz turning pro?

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

I don't.

Koichi: (New York, NY):

What are you thoughts on Kimbo Slice wanting to enter the world of pro boxing?

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

Complete joke. He'll get smashed by anyone with a pulse.

nigel (Ohio)

Dan, any chance we will see Daniel Jacobs on one of the GBP cards on BAD this summer?

Dan Rafael
  (1:17 PM)

I wouldn't be surprised at all. He has been discussed as a possible BAD fighter already.

Jon (DC)

Dan, Gomez weighed 230 and apparently didn't take his shirt off. If we didn't already, I think we now know the outcome of this fight.

Diego (Puerto Rico

Dan has montiel officially vacated the 115 title.I am going to the Carita Lopez fight next saturday and wanted to know is that fight is for the interim or vacant title

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

At the moment, I believe it is for an interim title. Montiel probably won't decide officially until after his April fight.

Stuart (Wales)

Is Enzo Mac. done as a top tier contender?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

I think so. I'd love to see Enzo be able to get back though. He is a really cool guy and I like him a lot.

Angel Soft

Dan, we are happy to announce that we will be sponsoring today's chat. Have a great time!

Zach MPLS

Dan, How the hell could Manny Stewart pass on a fight with Enzo Macc for $240,000 and take a much tougher fight for a 1/6 of the purse, and on top of that not even show up for the fight? As great as Manny HAS been i'd say he's losing it.

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

One of Manny's worst managerial calls ever. He knows it.

Nick (Harrisburg, PA)

Dan, how legit is Ronald Hearns? Could he become a top level fighter...or is it more in his name?

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

I think his fight against Yorgey coming up will answer a few questions.

Kevin (Houston, Texas)

Dan, who do you think wins a fight between Victor Ortiz and Amir Khan at 140 and why?

Dan Rafael
  (1:20 PM)

Ortiz would probably knock him out.

Fletch (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dan Rafael: (12:21 PM ET ) Sick fight. Can't wait. I literally had a dream about it last night. It was weird. It was like a 35-round fight that Vic won and it happened outside. That's why you are King Freak.

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

It was a really weird dream. I forgot to mention that it my dream Don King was the ring announcer.

Rob (Halifax, Canada)

I thought Sharp Aquois already sponsored these chats....or was it panasonic? ;)

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

Can't we have more than one?

Jeremiah (San diego)

Dan, with that many fights in your collection, who's gonna get them in your will. Please don't say your wife

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

I don't know, but not you.

david atlanta [via mobile]

i thought the matchmaking, commentating, and the roundtable were all tremendous on the khan card. Agree?

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

Yes, but it's no surprise to me because I have been watching Sky telecasts on tapes and DVDs for like 15 years.

JOEL JULIO

Hi Dad, my spirits are high again. Don't count me out!

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.

Neal Joliet, IL

I think this Mayweather summer issue is a VERY interesting one. HBO has spent the last three months delivering good fights on paper and largely avoiding Showcases in the near future (Hard to say what Tarver-Dawson 2 is). But if Floyd wants to fight on WCB and eat up a huge part of the pie, I wonder what kind of an opponent he has in mind. Reading the tea leaves, I think he wants a fight like his with Baldomir where he gets millions for easy work. I hope HBO stands firm in their new position and makes FLoyd actually fight someone

Chris Metler (Toronto)

Dan In Real Life, what was the most forgettable/disappointing 'superfight' you have ever covered, and why? Thanks!

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

Off the top of my head I would say Mosley-De La Hoya II. It was terrible fight, especially compared to the first fight, and a terrible decision. But even if you were OK with the decision like some were, the post fight press conference was the worst thing I have ever been at with Arum's ranting and Oscar's crying about corruption. I just have a bad taste in my mouth from that entire night.

Sal (Chicago)

How much does the ending of the fight dictate your opinion? I mean Coralles-Castillo was a great fight, but if it didn't end the way it did, just based off the fighting action, is it better than Vazquez-Marquez?

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

I believe that even without the 10th round, Corrales-Castillo 1 was already the best action fight I had ever been to or seen. The 10th round put it into the stratosphere. Of course, a dramatic ending is going to be part of how you mold your opinion, but that was a spectacular fight from round 1 until the stoppage.

Brooks (Cleveland)

Hey Dan, I don't understand why HBO would bump Adamek-BHOP for a Floyd tune-up where they pay him a lot for what is certain to be a mismatch. I would think that Adamek-BHOP would be cheaper and have better ratings. What do you think?

Dan Rafael
  (1:28 PM)

I'm not so sure it would have better ratings. But, as I have said before, there has been no decision made yet, so everyone needs to settle down and wait and see what happens.

Mike (NYC)

Why couldn't ESPN move the College Wrestling to ESPN Classic instead of moving the Boxing? The Boxing will do a better rating and definitely has more interest in terms of the public. Was there a reason why this wasn't or couldn't be done?

Dan Rafael
  (1:29 PM)

ESPN has a contractual obligation to the NCAA to have it on ESPN. Period.

JR ( Seoul)

What does Vic have to do for you to rank him in the top ten p4p? The fact he is not higher in your rankings seems ridiculous?

Dan Rafael
  (1:30 PM)

It's not ridiculous at all. He lost not long ago by brutal knockout and also had a draw in there, controversial or not. He has what I consider one really big win since that loss. If he beats Agbeko he will move up.

WBA

stop cursing at our organization or we will bump you to a CHAT SUPER CHAMPION and name Sports Guy a CHAT REGULAR CHAMPION.

rick chula vista,ca [via mobile]

dan whatever happened to ricardo williams?

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

He fights Saturday night.

Rex (Buffalo)

Did you hear that Paul Spadafora pulled out of his next fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

Yes. Who cares?

Randall (tampa)

Do you ever watch the british feeds of major american bouts? Alot of times the forien announcers see the fights differently than their american counter parts.

Dan Rafael
  (1:33 PM)

Of course, the same way I am sure our American broadcasters might see a fight with a Brit differently.

Gerardo, Chicago, IL

Dan. What ever happened to J. Santa Cruz? Isn't he with Golden Boy? Why isn't he being considered as a replacement in the Lightweight card?

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

He got drilled by Pitalua in the elimination bout in his last fight. He was offered the fight and was not near weight, from what I am told. But he was considered.

Chris (Kalamazoo, MI)

Dan, sorry for the tardiness, but AA and my recovery ranks first.

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

Weak excuse.

New York, NY

Who is slated to take on Alvarado on the May 2nd Undercard??

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

TBA.

Mark (Chicago)

As a big sports fan, this weekend's V. Klit seems to be at the wrong time. I would rather watch a good fight, and especially a free heavyweight title fight on ESPN, than any other sporting event...except the first weekend of March Madness. I hope the ratings aren't terrible and it doesn't deter those involved from trying to put more major fights on ESPN in the future.

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

It's called counter programming. Not everyone will be watching basketball.

Steve (NYC)

Why do boxers buy into the "super champion" crap?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

Because they like belts and apparently like to waste their money.

Ryan (Cleveland)

RAD this week? Rafael after dump?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike (Fairfax, VA)

You never answer this question. What is next for Zab Judah?

Dan Rafael
  (1:38 PM)

I don't get that question too often because most people couldn't care less. But there is nothing next for Zab at the moment. No news.

E.L. Trujillo (Mile High City)

Is JMM too risky of a fight for Floyd, Jr. this July?

Dan Rafael
  (1:39 PM)

Risky or not, that is not a fight HBO likely can afford for regular HBO. That is a PPV fight I am sure.

Walter (LA, CA)

Would you put it past the WBC if they countered the WBA's "Super Champion" with the WBC "Super Duper Champion"???

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

No.

Will (South Dakota)

Read Judah wanted Matthew Hatton. Any truth to that?

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

Don't know, care less.

Eric (Tampa, FL)

Cintron better be careful -- I hear Angulo "headbutts" real hard.

Keith H (Seattle, WA)

Zab has a mandatory with the shower door.

Dan Rafael
  (1:45 PM)

Boxing Bat Phone baby.

Dan Rafael
  (1:47 PM)

OK, Freaks, here ya go. The Boxing Bat Phone had our hothead friend Lou DiBella on the other end. He was calling to rave about his show last night in Worcsester, Mass., and also dropped in that the deal for Berto-Urango is "basically done." He said he is going to close a site deal in a few days and that it would either take place May 30 at the Hollywood, Fla., Hard Rock or a casino in Palm Springs, Calif. So there ya go.

WBC

Public Service Announcement, for all you people. It is: Kinda Champion, Regular Champion (with an interim possibility called Irregular Champion), Super Champion Super Duper Champion (great idea, Walter!), Paid-More-Money Champion, and, Lineal Champion (in which case there are additional fees for having multiple belts).

Daniel K (Toronto,Ont0

The Next Question involving Zab Judah name in it will lead to an AUTOMATIC Ban!!!

Dan Rafael
  (1:48 PM)

Daniel, you are now banned.

Patrick (Ft. Lauderdale)

DTM,as a journalist who takes his craft seriously, I know that you don't cheer for the fighters you cover, but knowing that Pacman is at the top of Pretty Boy's wish list when he returns, as well as the good it would do for boxing, don't you hope that Pac is victorious in May? Especially since we already saw Hatton-Mayweather.

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

I honestly do not care.

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

Can you call Lou back and strongly suggest Palm Springs?

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

I'll let him know.

Matt ( Lincoln, NE)

Durable Dan, will the Klitschko, Gomez fight have open scoring after the fourth and eighth rounds?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

I believe so.

Ricky (PA)

You don't care if Pac-Mayweather is made? Wow.

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

No, what I said is I don't care who wins Hatton-Pacquiao. Whatever happens, happens.

Ester Nicholson - Nashville, TN

Okay, I have no pride. I am a female ABSOLUTE boxing fan. Can I get comp tickets to the Hatton/Pacman fight in May?

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

No.

Armando (Nj)

Dan - your Don King in the bathtub story is a classic - what classic story can you tell us about a past interaction you've had with Arum?

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

Oh, so many stories to tell, not nearly enough time. Maybe I will save it for my book.

Eddie (The PG, ILLINOIS)

Love him or hate him, you have to give Vic some credit... He's fighting ALL top tier fighters! I for one have no problem with finally seeing a fighter take on all comers.

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

I don't think anyone questions Vic's desire to fight the best and his willingness to do so. All you have to do is look at his resume.

Daniel K (Toronto,Ont0

Am I really banned? Please no. please

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

You brought up Judah and said next to bring him up was banned. I am only living by what you said.

Joel (NY)

Dan, is Valero expected to KO Pitalua you think?

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

I think someone is getting knocked out. Both of them can really punch.

Josh (Danbury)

you've said that PBF-Pacman is one fight you'd realy want to see; if Pac loses, you won't see it - so how could you not care whether he wins? Your two statements completely contradict each other

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

Sure I want to see it but if it doesn't happen, I won't lose a wink of sleep. But I do not have an emotional investment in who wins, I can't or I wouldn't be able to do my job.

bill (carmel, ny)

dan, is your book something that is in progress or something you would like to do in the future?

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

Nothing in the works, I meant down the road.

Dan Rafael
  (1:56 PM)

By the way, for the Freaks who care, yesterday marked exactly nine years since I first came on the boxing beat at USA TODAY. Been a great ride so far.

Nick (NYC)

Dan, which of the following repeat questions bother you the most: 1. Why you don't like MMA 2. arguments regarding ODH career 3. When will PBF unretire 4. how many ricky hattons are there 5. is Mike Tyson coming back and can he be a contender again

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

In order with worst being first: 1, 2, 5, 3, 4.

joe (NYC)

For Bhop, Why is Dawson high risk, low reward, but Adamek isn't. I would think there would be just as much or more money for a Dawson fight. Do you think the Polish contingency would make that much of a difference in generating a purse?

Dan Rafael
  (1:58 PM)

Adamek brings something to the table Hopkins really wants: Another legitimate world championship in another division. At light heavy, BHop has been there, done that.

Ron (MA)

any idea why Versus doesn't air live cards anymore?

Dan Rafael
  (1:59 PM)

Budget most likely.

Dan Rafael
  (1:59 PM)

But that is not say it can't change.

bill (carmel, ny)

i'm a freak who has also enjoyed the ride, especially from the once a month hour chats at usatoday to the multi-hour chats at espn. thanks.

yorkis (philly)

Can I write the foreward for your future book?

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

No.

Gary: (Cranbury, NJ)

I can't stop watching Monte Barrett fall into the ring before the David Haye fight!!! How great was that?

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

Absolutely hilarious.

annoying fan

Do you think Mike Tyson would ever compete in MMA?

Gerardo (Los Angeles)

Dan, would you suggest getting the Chavez, Jr. PPV? Will it be as good as the PPV last week? I think it costs the same.

Dan Rafael
  (2:01 PM)

As we have been over about a million times here, I can't determine if you think a PPV is good to get or not because I don't know which fighters you like or what you think is a good matchup. But I always suggest that you round up your boys and chip in and it will cost very little.

Gerardo (Tempe, AZ)

Wow, I feel like a bad freak. I didn't know you had chats at USA Today.

Dan Rafael
  (2:02 PM)

I used to do it every now and then, a few times a month and before big fights. But not nearly as much or in depth as we do it here on ESPN.com.

bill (carmel, ny)

new chat rule: anyone who asks a question about tyson or MMA must post with a name of annoying fan.

Eric (North Hollywood, CA)

Is Cintron still claiming that he was headbutted? HAve you even asked him that question?

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

In Kermit's defense, he watched the video of the tape and now freely admits he was knocked down (I say out) with a punch, although he still believes he won the fight (at least that is what he says because in his heart he has to know he got his butt kicked).

Literary Police

One requesting to compose a foreword for another's book should first learn the proper spelling of "foreword".

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

Exactly.

Matt (CT)

Your monthly rankings in USA Today are what got me into boxing...thanks dan.

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

That's cool. I appreciate that.

Dan Rafael
  (2:04 PM)

OK, Freaks, hope you all enjoy the weekend and the fights. And don't forget -- the Klitschko fight is at 6 pm on Classic. Talk to you next week. Peace.