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April 10, 9:07 AM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (11:58 AM)

Greetings from Las Vegas, Fight Freaks. I'm here foro tomorrow's HBO show with Wright-Williams and Arreola-McCline. The new notebook is up as is a blog from yesterday and an updated schedule. So check 'em out and let's discuss all. Let's get to it.

Tim (Des Moines, IA)

Dan, predictions for Winky-PW? I'm looking for reasons to believe Winky can win and can't come up with any. He won't be as busy and doesn't have the power to keep PW off him. In his usual manner, is frustrating PW with his defense Winky's best bet?

Dan Rafael
  (11:59 AM)

I epxect a competitive fight but I think Williams, with his busy style, really long reach and youth, will outpoint Winky, say 8-4. But I DO NOT EVER count out Winkster. He's an old pro who has forgotten more boxing than Paul has known at this point. Winky could win by frustrating Paul and boxing him like Quintana did in his win over Williams.

Brock (Belleville, IL)

The St. Louis card is killing me. I wish we would get more boxing here but how is that gonna happen when there is no promotion for this card, the cards usually have Spinks, and it goes against Cards-Cubs?

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

Be thankful you have a notable show. Cubs and Cards play like 10 times a season. You can miss one. Relax.

Greg (Atlanta)

Dan did you see Toney vs. Fres Oquendo on Versus last night? I really think Toney is back in shape and can pose a threat once again to the Heavyweight division. How about John Ruiz vs. Toney?

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

I was in the air on my to Vegas and as much as I hate flying, it was better than watching a rerun of that horrible fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

And, yes, I had the upgrade.

Jon (DC)

Dan, say hello to the 15 people who bought tickets for me.

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

I can do so on an individual basis if you would like.

Chris Arreola

Is it legal to wrap my hands in McDonald's cheesburger wrapping? I have a ton of extras!

Loren (NJ)

Any early info on the un-televised Cotto-Clottey undercard?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

Nothing too specific but Matvey Korobov will be on.

Sam (Houston)

What do you think of the possibility of Roy and Adamek at Cruiser? Has anyone accomplished supermiddle,light heavy,heavy, & cruiserweight belts?

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

I ithink it has a chance to happen but it will depend on the TV network interest. Nobody has ever held all those titles.

Jon (DC)

Any word on who Cotto is going to choose as his trainer?

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

A big TBA.

Tony(Tampa)

Dan, Can McCline provide any test for Arreola or does Big Time have too much treadwear to be a threat.

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

Of course. I think it's a very dangerous fight for Arreola, but that said, McCline has always found a way to lose his biggest fights.

John, Denver

What happened to the Mayweather July comeback talk? Was it just that?

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

Still being thrown around but the more likely scenario has always been to come back in the fall against the biggest name available.

Kevin (St. Pete)

Has Cotto's uncle asked for a rematch yet?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

I'm not sure he can talk with the supposed broken jaw.

Serg (UK)

Dan, if the Tomasz Adamek-Roy Jones Jr fight happens, do you give Roy a chance?

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

If it happens, a big if, I'm not sure Roy has enough left for a hard, physical fight against a guy with a great chin and power, even if Roy is still faster than Adamek.

Kevin Providence

How much of a distraction is it for Cotto to get a new trainer now and is there a danger the fight with Clottey could be postponed?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

The fight is not being postponed at this time. It's two months away and I just received the media alert a few minutes ago announcing details of the press conference. Cotto, to me, is the kind of guy who really is able to block out distractions and focus on his fight. I do not think it's going to be a big issue by fight time.

Chris Metler

Poor Miguel Cotto.... he just can't help having guys throwing concrete at him!!!

Dennis (Miami, Fl)

do you think golden boy and top rank can make a fight between Mayweather Sr. and Freddie Roach? i would pay to see that one!

Joel (NY)

Dan, really enjoyed Lightweight Lightning, what was your opinion of that PPV?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

I thought it was a terrific PPV, even with the couple of changes to the lineup because of injuries. I loved the Escobedo-Hernandez fight. Valero looked spectacular. All the fight were interesting to varying degrees. Well worth the money. I wish some of those kinds of bouts were on bigger shows so the larger audience could see more good fights other than the main event.

Jeff (NH)

DTM,You know I love you and I hate to do this but, I TOLD YOU SO. Valeros the real deal, I knew his power was "next level" You almost made me doubt my love for Valero. So I'll ask you now future top 5 P4P?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

You didn't tell me anything. Nothing aganst Valero, but Pitalua made him look great. I am still not sold until he faces a more accomplished, known opponent. He did look good, but what he did to Pitalua won't necessarily translate against someone like Marquez or Pacquiao. He is not a top 5 p4p in my mind. I need to see a lot more against a better grade of opponent. One win over a marginal top 10 fighter does not a top 5 p4per make.

Joe (NYC)

Any idea who Ortiz will fight now that Kotelnik has dropped out? Also, classy quote by Schaeffer about Kotelnik's decision to fight Khan for more $$

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

They're looking around for Ortiz. I wouldn't be surprised if it was someone like Nate Campbell. That would be interesting. And, yes, I do give Richard a lot of credit for taking the high road.

Ricardo (Bronx, NY)

If I may on behalf of the freaks wanna thank warriors like Carlos Hernandez and Jesus Chavez who did nothing but fight their guts out in what was probably their last hurrah's they gave us their all, and it may not have always been enough at the bell, it was in our hearts. Great careers boys.

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

Well said.

Bert (Minneapolis)

D$- why is Arum protecting Pavlik so much lately? Putting him in w/ subpar fighters, on his own PPV. Arum does that w/ Chavez Jr, which is expected, but why w/ Pavlik?

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

There is no one for Pavlik to fight other than Abraham and that is coming in the fall it looks like.

Kelby (Omaha)

Jeff, Valero's chin was also higher than Cheech n Chong. It wouldnt take much to floor that chin ...until a change is made...

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

Exactly. If Valero keeps that chin up like that, he is a KO victim waiting to happen.

Tomas(Tx)

Given that both keep winning, can you see a chance of a Pavlik/Williams down the road?

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

Maybe. That fight was being negotiated last year but ran into some problems. I could see it happening down the road.

Saint (Orlando, FL)

Any truth to the rumor that the WBA will be naming Margarito "World Champion in Involuntary Recess"? ;)

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

I wouldn't put anything past the WBA.

Chief M......EYA Clw Florida

Mr. Rafael, Has Bob Arum commented yet on the Margacheato hand-wrap conclusions yet? And has Anbalonio himself tried to "explain" it any further?

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

No. On advice of the lawyers, Arum is not talking. And neither is Margarcheato.

Pain(Vegas)

I read somewhere they were thinking about Ortiz vs Stevie Forbes, please tell Schaeffer nobody wants to see Forbes stinking up the Joint against Ortiz.

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

I doubt HBO would approve that fight as a main event and would really disappointed if they did. I don't think we'll be seeing that one.

bill (pgh)

DTM- Please tell me if Valero fought Prescott it would be on HBO or SHO and not PPV.

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

Can't say who would air it, but that is a match Arum mentioned to me as something he would be interested in doing on July 25, when Valero next fights. I sort of doubt

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

Can't say who would air it, but that is a match Arum mentioned to me as something he would be interested in doing on July 25, when Valero next fights. I sort of doubt it happens then though.

Ki (huntsville, AL)

Dan, I'm slowly becoming a fan of james kirland....what do you know about it his next opponent? I've never heard of the cat.

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

He's the most exciting young fighter in the sport. He'll fight on May 2 on the Hatton-Pacman undercard and then again on HBO in early August. They're trying to finalize him against Dzindziruk, who has a 154 title.

Marc (claremont,)

Dan, with Oscar's press conference coming up are there any real clues that point to what his announcement will be?

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

My sources tell me he's retiring. I will ask Oscar that personally because I will see him in the press center after I chat.

Daian, Miami

Dani, I know we should not mix politics and sports but valero is an idiot for having Hugo Chavez on his chest

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

You said it, not me.

Jorge Anaheim, CA

JM Marquez vs. E. Valero, Will it happen?

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

Arum would like to do it but I think Golden Boy and Marquez have designs on a much bigger fight.

Joel (NY)

Dan, glad to hear Showtime picked up Ward/Miranda, do you think Ward will outbox Miranda that night?

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

If Ward boxes smart, he'll toy with Miranda.

Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)

Hey Dan, After all the tradgedy in Binghamton last week did you or your college friend know anyone involved or injured?

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

Thankfully, no. But I haven't lived there since early 2000.

Matt (Minneapolis)

What is the atmosphere like out there? Will the fight draw 5,000? Kind of a weird fight from a fan standpoint since neither guy has a big following.

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

Atmosphere? There is none. It's dead dude.

Tomas(Tx)

Any reason why A. Khan decided to move up in weight? Many bigger fights at 135. Having trouble making weight maybe?

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

Simple: A chance a title for good money. They have cherry picked the most vulnerable titleholder at the weight and are rolling the dice a little, same way Ortiz people hoped to do.

C0rey from(WestWick)

Dan I got Williams via 12rd decicison but I won't be to shocked if Wright pulls it out

Jon (DC)

Dan, do you agree with me that Mormeck at heavy is just a huge KO waiting to happen? He is way past his prime and was getting knocked down at cruiser.

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Agreed. But he probably sees Haye moving up and making a lot of money and getting a title shot and he had Haye down in a competitive fight.

Gary, Falls Church, VA

Dan - who do you think has the biggest shot at the upset - Hatton or Haye?

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Hatton.

Ryan (Cleveland)

Since nobody has mentioned Bradley-Holt...how about that first flash KO? and how did you see the fight? I had Bradley by two to four.

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

That was no flash knockdown. Bradley got planted with that shot. As for the fight, I had Bradley a comfortable winner, 115-111.

Jon (DC)

On top of the Mormeck question, what is going on with Guillermo Jones? I think he is the best at cruiser, but he is beyond inactive.

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

He's supposed to defend against Valery Brudov at some point this summer.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Dan the MAN - how about 'Taker and the Heartbreak Kid at WrestleMania, my man!!! Stole the show!!!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Fight of the year, by far. It was absolutely spectacular and worth the price of WrestleMania alone. I have watched it like 10 times since last weekend. Loved it. To of my favorites putting on a great show.

Zach MPLS

Dan, any plans to make Khan-Kotelnik a small ppv in the U.S? Also this must mean Khan is done at lightweight, right? He was always a big LW and I can't see him moving up and down again.

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

It's not a done deal yet, but it is likely to wind up as a small US PPV.

Tomas(Tx)

Bradley is steadily becoming one of my fave fighters. He might not be the hardest puncher but he always comes forward and makes entertaining fights. Wish him all the best

Matt (Minneapolis)

Are we going to see Linares on tv anytime this summer?

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

If you can get a Mexican dish, his next fight is on Televisa in May.

Corey from(WestWick)

That Arreola vs Mc Cline has upset all over it

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

You're not the only one saying that, which is what makes it an interesting fight.

Dennis (Miami, Fl)

Dan will you watch Mike Tyson's new autobiography that will hit theatres soon?

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

Yes, the trailer looks terrific.

Ed, Miami, Florida

What do you think of the young prospect Erislandy Lara???

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

Like him a lot. He's looked great on his ESPN fights. He'll be on the May 2 HBO PPV telecast in a four-rounder.

Pat (NY)

I dont know why people are dismissing Kotelnik. He has good skills good amature pedigree (i think he won the silver medal) and he is a tough guy. I think this is a tougher fight for Khan than some.

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

I agree but he is not a GREAT fighter and he is beatable. They're taking a shot.

Chris (Boston)

Any chance that Ola Afolabi, Huck or Troy Ross will be getting a title shot soon? Would rather see them then the ancients (Hopkins, RJJ) get a break.

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

Afolabi has an interim title and there has been a little talk about a possible Afolabi-Ross fight. Huck is defending his Euro title in May and probably will eventually get another world title shot.

Joel (NY)

Dan, I saw in your weekend scorecard, you said you'd like to see american tv for Pascal/Diaconu, would you expect Showtime to be interested if the fight was made?

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

Anything is posible but I have not heard anything specific about it.

Ricardo (Bronx, NY)

Dan what did you think of Julio Diaz losing to Reyes like that?

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

I was pretty shocked, especially since Diaz dominated the first few rounds. It was a bad, bad lost for Julio. Not sure he ever makes it back in a meaningful way.

Nick (Harrisburg, PA)

I think Breidis Prescott is pretty underrated. That's a bad match for Valero in my opinion...dude is a vicious combination puncher.

Ray, (Camden, NJ)

Dan, so you saying that Miranda can't knock Ward out?with Ward untested glass chin?you doubting Miranda power?

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

I don't doubt Miranda's power but to KO somebody you have to deliver that power and Ward is a smart fighter with great speed and solid defense.

Joel (Woodland, CA)

Coming from Vincente Escobedo's hometown I have followed his career and seen him live several times, but missed his bout with Hernandez. While I root for the hometown boy, he seems to lack the speed and warrior-spirit to be a legit top 10 lightweight. Did he show something more last Saturday or is Golden Boy trying to build Katsidis back up by sacrifing Vincente?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

I'm not sure how far he will go but do not ever say he lacks the warrior spirit, not after the rough fight with Hernandez last week. Vicente showed tremendous heart and warrior spirit.

kaseem (Trenton, NJ)

Dan, I saw the Tyson doc yesterday. Fantastic! I recommend it to all the freaks.

Matt (Minneapolis)

If Khan wins a strap and stays at 140 and Hatton were to lose could you see those two getting after it? They could sell out Wembley.

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

It could be huge. But a tough deal to make given the bad blood between Hatton and Warren.

Kevin (St. Pete)

Did you catch Adrade's post-fight interview? Seems like a real classy guy. I don't know if he can beat Bute in a rematch but I hope he gets a shot. I'd also love to see him fight Miranda. Seems like a fun fight for however long it would last.

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

Andrade is one of the nicest guys in the world, a real gentleman outside the ring. He will get a rematch with Bute since that was the official eliminator. And, yes, him and Miranda would be a brawl.

bruce torrance,ca

dano, what kind of chance do you give froch against taylor? thanks.

Sal (Chicago)

I know people got on Winky for simply outboxing Tito, but at that time Tito still had pop, why risk it?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Great chance. Carl has a great chin, supreme confidence and he's naturally bigger. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he beat Jermain.

Ricardo (Bronx, NY)

What a classy Canadian crowd on Saturday huh Dan? Cheering Andrade almost as loudly as Bute' in a fight where they were clearly clamoring for the rematch and perhaps in protest to what happened in the first fight. Was very impressed.

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

The Montreal fight fans are among the best, smartest in the world.

qadeer (newcastle, uk)

dtm!! great notebook, and if it happens, Ortiz v Campbell would be great!! i think that either would beat khan too..

Daian, Miami

Dan, What fights are on TV in the undercard for Hatton-Pac. Cant tell from the schedule

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

Kirkland-Walker, Soto-Gaudet, Korobov's fight and Lara's fight plus the main event. Five fights on TV.

Tomas(Tx)

Bailey's one punch KO was pretty sick. One of the best purest punchers today. Who does he got next and you think he could do some damage in the thick 140 lb division?

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

Bailey has always been a great puncher. When he won his title back in like 2000 or so, he put Gonzalez to sleep with a SICK first-round KO. His power is nothing new,. However, he gets hit and is not all that fast of skilled. But if he catches you, you are dead. He'll get a chance to fight either for Urango's title or a vacant title if Urango stays at welter after the Berto fight.

kaseem (Trenton, NJ)

Dan, have you ever seen anyone get rocked like Bradley did and proceed as if unaffected? He went right back to his gameplan. impressive.

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

It was very impressive. Timmy is supposed to be on FNF tonight and I'm sure that will be addressed.

Bill (Philly)

How excited are you for 24-7? Roach and Mayweather Sr. make it the best ever.

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

I am looking forward to it. For those who have forgotten, it premiers Saturday, a great HBO boxing night with 24/7, the live fights and the Thrilla in Manila documentary.

Gerardo (AZ)

Dan, any particular reason Schaefer is shutting down the doors on DLH/JCCjr?

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

It's not Richard, it's Oscar telling Richard he won't ever fight him.

Sherlock Holmes (Scottland Yard)

I am following up on the WBA's investigation of the Heavyweight fight between Holyfield and Vavlue, unfortuntely, the heavyweight division does not have a pulse. Seriously, what happened to that "investigation"?

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

There is no investigation. They're full of crap. Come on. You believe the WBA? You must be smoking weed, smoking crack, drinking vodka or doing all three at once.

Metty (Canada)

I've seen Benoit Gaudet fight on several Steve Molitor undercards in Ontario. Beat Barrera's cousin last time I saw him. He is pretty damn good for what he is, a very effective stick-and-mover. And like we saw against Guzman, Soto is susceptible to that. Who you got?

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

I still have Soto but I have also seen a few tapes of Gaudet from those Molitor undercards and your description is a good one. But Gaudet is no Guzman.

jack, fort collins

does devon alexander have an opponent yet?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

Not yet but you can assured it will be a stooge.

Nick (Harrisburg, PA)

WBA - Whiney Baby ***holes!

bill (pgh)

"You believe the WBA? You must be smoking weed, smoking crack, drinking vodka or doing all three at once" One for each judge at ringside.

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

Beautiful comment.

Ronak (NY)

Scale of 1-10, how excited are you for Klitschko vs Haye?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

7.

Dennis (Miami, Fl)

with this sunday being the 25th year anniversary of wrestlemania, what has been your best memory?? i cried myself to sleep when hogan lost to the ultimate warrior in mania 6

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

I was at No. 1 at MSG back in the day, so I remember the excitement I had as a young teenager going to the Garden and waiting to get in. It was awesome.

Rick (Paterson)

Danno: Is HBO doing anything with the July 11th date?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

TBA.

Dave, NJ

Hi Dan, I am actually in Vegas for the fight tomorrow. Is there a public weigh in today?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

Yes.

Corey from(WestWick)

Do see Jeff Lacy ever being a champ again

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

You never know, but it sure doesn't look good.

Chief M......EYA Clw Florida

Mr. R., during the introductions before the Holt/Bradley fight last week there was a pudgy guy that went to both corners to shake hands......it looked like Arturo Gatti......am I right???

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

That was him.

John, Denver

Great match at Wrestlemania for the dead man. The best of the streak.

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

By far. It was legendary! 18-0 next year!!!!!!!

Ricardo (Bronx, NY)

Hey Dan, you were at WM 1, which means you also got to hear a building chant Ali, Ali live...was that a building block to what ended up being your chosen career?

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

LOL, it had nothing to do with it. Frankly, I was more excited to see Mr. T and Billy Martin than Ali.

Zach MPLS

Dan, SHO has Spinks-Latimore on its website, but its not on your schedule. Not that anyone will watch.

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

It's on my sked and has been for over a week.

Duff (Abington, MA)

Any chance of us getting to see Roman Gonzalez on U.S. tv? I know most U.S. almost never show minimumweight fights, but El Chocolatito is just so much fun to watch.

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

Doubtful. There is zero market for Nicaraguan strawweights here. Sorry to say.

Grass

People would be more entertained watching me grow than a Spinks fight

Rick, Marina, Ca

Do you know Margocheato phone Freddy Roach 2 weeks ago and asked him to train him when the ban is lifted? Roach is still thinking about it.

Dan Rafael
  (12:55 PM)

I know.

Chris (Kalamazoo, MI)

Is the Mario Santiago fight on the Cotto undercard going to be televised? Any idea of his opponent?

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

Santiago's won't be on TV. Only one fight on HBO that night.

Nick (Harrisburg, PA)

Dan, I was curious, how in the world does it look from you end with comment after comment streaming thru? Is it like that scene from Bruce Almight where the mailbox just keeps filling up and you cant keep up with it?

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

It's hard.

Joel (NY)

Dan, who do you have in your official prediction tomorrow night for Arreola/McCline?

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

I'm taking Cris in a real struggle, but Jameel always finds a way to lose the big one.

E (Omaha)

D$$ - R.I.P Artie Curry, I loved your blog about him. Do you have a particular favorite story about him you'd like to share with the freaks?

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

Artie was a great guy and a friend. I'm going to really miss him. It won't be the same tomorrow night at ringside for many of us who loved him.

Sean (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Any word on when tix for Darchinian-Agbeko go on sale? Since the corpse of Don King is promoting it, I figure it will be 10 days before the fight, with little to no promotion.

Dan Rafael
  (1:01 PM)

No comment.

Rick (Paterson)

DTM; Is the Taker your all time fave wrestler? I'm ol skool and was also at WM1, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka rules! the matches with Roddy Piper were legendary

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

My two favorites are Superfly and Undertaker with Edge probably third.

E (Omaha)

Will they give Artie the 10 count before the main event tomorrow night?? Also, WM 3 with King Kong Bundy squashing the midgets was one of the funniest WM moments ever!

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

I would be shocked if they didn't give him the 10 bells. I'm sure HBO will acknowledge it on the air.

Rick, Marina, Ca

Any news on the ghost guerrero?

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

Probably back on June 12 on FNF.

Body (Tucson)

going to the fnf tonite. Is Oscar still gonna make an appearance since he's in vegas right now?

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

He's supposed to be ringside and will appear on FNF.

Mike (Tulsa, Ok)

RAD tomorrow night?

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

No. Freaks must learn that when I am ringside there is no RAD.

Luis (PR)

I can't wait for Vic-Agbeko. Not only becuase of the fight itself, but also becuase I can't wait to see what Vic has in store this time in terms of trash talking.

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

I love this fight. Love it.

Dave, NJ

Dan I have been reading reviews of the "Thrilla in manilla" doc that will air on HBO tomorrow. It sounds exactly like a sequal to their "One Nation-Divisible", with Frazier's side of the story being told.

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

It is outstanding. I saw part of the preview DVD HBO sent me. Haven't had a chance to see the whole thing, but from what I saw it looks terrific.

Ricardo (Bronx, NY)

Dan, what was your fight freak moment? Who gets the credit for reeling you into the sport?

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

I've always been a fight fan since I was a kid, but THE moment was when I covered my first live fight and Buddy McGirt caught George Heckley with a flush hot in about the ninth or 10th round and Heckley's blood landed dead in the middle of my notebook. That changed my life. I'm serious.

Rick, Marina, Ca

What time is the weigh in?

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

2:30 PT.

Ron (Pitts. PA)

DTM - What's your opinion of the Haye-Wlad contract? Doesn't it seem like Haye gives up a lot? Is it normal to have a double-rematch clause like this?

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

The Klitschkos have two options on a non-mandatory fight. That is actually better than what he would have had to give to Valuev or Chagaev. It's perfectly reasonable.

javier (Puerto Rico)

dan is the press conference to anounce the cotto vs clottey fight still on or will it be posponed because of cotto situation in court on monday.

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

As of this morning, it was on.

Joe: San Francisco, CA

Any truth to the rumor that the June 12th ESPN card with Guerrero could be in San Jose?

Dan Rafael
  (1:17 PM)

It probably will be there.

Jorge-Anaheim, CA

I am planning on going to IBHOF inductions in NY. Have you been? What do you recommend for the rookie?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

I'ev been many times but not in years because since I've been on the beat there is always a big fight that weekend that I am at. But it's a blast. Go to the collector's show on Saturday. I would always go there and buy posters and programs. Just enjoy yourself. Everyone is usually really cool and approachable.

Sergio/San Diego

have you told Buddy that story and does he remember that fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:20 PM)

I told Buddy once way back when when I ran into him in a NY hotel we were at. I was there for the fight and he was training Gatti for an HBO undercard fight. Buddy looked at me like I had four heads and then instead of calling me by my name, called me "Blood."

The Supreme Court (Washington D.C.)

Mr. Rafael......not to put you in an uncomfortable position, but you are always honest and upfront to your dedicated readers........has ESPPN dissolved or done away with their "Insider" designation/priviledge?

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

I honestly have no idea.

Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)

Speaking of approachable......as far as the major boxers out there today who goes out of their way to meet and greet and maybe take pics with their fans?

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

Most fighters are cool guys and like the fans. Sometimes it's too out of hand and they can't sign evrything or take pix with everyone but most guys are good about it.

Tim (Saint Paul, MN)

Did David Diaz retire after the Pacman loss?

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

No, he had knee surgery.

Mark (San marcos, Tx)

The "light weight lighting" in Austin was awesome. I never hear of big time fight coming to central Texas and I live in between Austin & San Antonio, do you know of any more Big Time fight coming this again?

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

There's a good chance the Kirkland HBO card in August will in Texas, and maybe Austin.

SK (California)

Am I the only one who was offended by Kendall Holt's lack of fighting spirit last week? Especially after his "heart" talk during fighter intros?

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

You were not the only one.

Peter(Philadelphia)

Having seen the documentary "Thrilla in Manilla' it is excellent. It looks like HBO purchased a copy of the UK produced movie and added a US narrator. Being a huge Ali-Frazier fan I learned something startling from this movie. A must watch!!

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

HBO did buy the UK docu.

David (Reno)

Dan - I think I'm going to show up in Vegas May 2nd w/o tickets. A few weeks ago you said you think there's a good chance to score well priced tickets. Do you still think that? Any update on tickets? Thanks!

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

I still think you'll be able to find a ticket when you are here reasonably priced.

nathan pearce ( cornwall, UK)

Hi Dan, I read your blogs and columns every week and you talk alot of sense compared to some british experts! Whats your view on Amir Khan moving up a weight for a title shot? in my opinion he has picked the only fighter within his weight range with a title that cant punch, warren gravey train strikes again!

Dan Rafael
  (1:25 PM)

Exactly. Warren and his team are smart. Other than a mistake from time to time, like Khan vs Prescott, they know how to pick the right opponents.

Erik (Austin, TX)

Speaking of fighters and their fans, I was at a local bar last Thursday and B-Hop came by to do a radio interview. The guy didn't take 1 picture with a fan or sign 1 autograph. I was pretty disappointed but is Hopkins usually like that?

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

Bernard is really hit or miss. Sometimes great with stuff like that, other times just won't do it.

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

Just a heads up freaks -- at 1:45 pm ET, flip on SportsCenter. I'll be on to talk a little about the fight this weekend and Oscar's announcement on Tuesday.

Andres (new york)

got any idea when the cotto vs clottey tickets will go on sale

Dan Rafael
  (1:28 PM)

Not sure but they will announce all the specifics at Tuesday's press conference in New York.

Jim (Tacoma, WA)

Is there still talk about Latimore-Spinks on Shobox?

Dan Rafael
  (1:29 PM)

It is a done deal. It is on ShoBox on April 24.

Body (Tucson)

What's up with the wbc giving Bradley an ultimatum on which belt he wants to defend?

Dan Rafael
  (1:30 PM)

The WBC is a bunch of (curse words). As long as Bradley agrees to fight the WBC mandatory, they should have no right to tell him cant keep the WBO belt also. But part is Tim's fault. They knew the deal going in. But the WBC is disgusting and sometimes makes the WBA look like great people. Screw all of them.

Jeremiah (San Diego)

any news on demarco?

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

Supposed to fight on the Agbeko-Darchinyan undercard in July on Showtime.

C.M. (Toronto)

What was the most memorable ring entrance you've ever witnessed/covered live, and what made it so special?

Dan Rafael
  (1:33 PM)

I've seen so many but one that stands out was Hamed's entrance for the Barrera fight when he flew over us but then didn't do his flip over the top rope.

Howard Cossell (ABC WW of Sports, Heaven)

Mister Rafael....you are the most eloquent, talented, and ubiquitously engaging of today's boxing scribes. when I was alive were you a fan of my great, incisive reporting and fight calling?

Dan Rafael
  (1:34 PM)

Not really. Overrated.

Milk Carton (Europe)

Has anyone seen Mikkel Kessler? His face stopped appearing on me

Jim Lampley (HBO)

And Evangelista picks up a cinder block, he's fighting fire with fire!

Josh (Lincoln, NE)

Do you know off the top of your head who has the reach advantage between Wink and Williams?

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

Williams has like an 82-inch reach, longer than most heavyweights.

Greg P (Staten Island,NY)

Dan, do you think BHOP's willingness to fight Williams is due to the huge size advantage he would have...as opposed to fighting Adamek who has the edge on him?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

Hopkins-Williams is not something that really interests me. If BHop wants a young guy let him fight Dawson, not a welterweight.

todd (sf, calif)

over or under on arreola weighing 245?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

Over.

Bert (Minneapolis)

Lt. Dan, does Chop Chop have anything left for tonight's fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:39 PM)

Doubtful.

Joe (Stamford, CT)

Over/under on tomorrow's attendance...2,000?

Dan Rafael
  (1:41 PM)

Definitely over. Lots of freebies.

Jackson, Boston

Any word on the Love Child?

Dan Rafael
  (1:41 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child. Nothing up. Licking his wounds after the Kirkland loss. Hopefully, he'll get back to work sooner than later.

Ron (OH)

True or False: If RJJ becomes cruiserweight champion, RJJ-BHOP 2 finally happens.

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

Don't know, care less.

Chris (NYC)

Pour out a little liquor for Artie Curry everyone. A great dude!

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

Amen.

Max Kellerman (Home)

Am I calling the fight tomorrow?

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

No. Larry, Lampley and Emanuel.

Carl (Baltimore)

Dan, I can't stop watching the Bailey knockout. My wife is telling me it is an addiction. I respond better than -p*rn. There is only one FNF.

Dan Rafael
  (1:45 PM)

It was a great knockout.

Dan Rafael
  (1:46 PM)

Ok, take five. I'll be right back after this SportsCenter phoner.

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

OK, Freaks, I'm back.

Ace san antonio tx [via mobile]

Hey dan does chris arreolla have the skill set to become heavyweight champion in the future?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

He has the power.

Joe: San Francisco, CA

I guess we can assume that the Sportscenter spot with you was recorded?

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

No, I did it live via phone from my hotel room.

C.M. (Canada)

Any chance HBO would put Valero-Reyes and Katsidis-Escobedo on a B.A.D. card? I think Katsidis is one of the few guys who could go a few rounds with Valero, and really push him as well.

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

I could see that card.

Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)

Dan, nice job on SportsCenter........damn Williams has a 10 inch reach advantage and an almmost 3 un. height advantage. I didn't know it was that bad......bad omen for Winky........esp. if his speed has slowed any!

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

Paul's physical attributes are a reason to like him in the fight.

Bradley Edwards (Richmond, VA)

Freddie Roach is reportedly still mulling over the request by Maragacheato to train him. What is Freddie possibly thinking?

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

I have no idea. I hope nothing comes of it.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

What's the latest on Joan Guzman, Dan? Will his failed weigh-in attempt against Nate Campbell forever ruin his career?

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

Guzman could wind up off TV under Cotto-Clottey just to get him a tune-up.

Pat (Rockville, MD)

Why can't Mike Jones get on TV? He has the type of style that viewers love. I saw him on Telemundo once, and I would much rather watch him fight than some of the tier-two Welterweights like Berto or Collazo who get TV time.

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

I wish he could. I've written before that it's a joke he can't get on ESPN2 or ShoBox.

Bert (Minneapolis)

Has Cotto always trained in Puerto Rico are was this just his uncle trying to muscle him?

Dan Rafael
  (1:56 PM)

Cotto has also trained in Florida.

darris detroit [via mobile]

What about berto vs kirkland

Dan Rafael
  (1:56 PM)

What about it? Different divisions and Berto is not moving up.

Bradley Edwards (Richmond, VA)

Mormeck to heavyweight. Talk about delusional thinking. He turns 37 this Summer and he's less than 6 feet in an era where 6 ft 2 guys are short.

Bert (Minneapolis)

Lt. Dan- I love the line in your rankings on Cotto. He's the Real welterweight that will fight Anyone. I hope Floyd read that.

jack, fort collins

i'm kind of bummed that roy jones is targeting adamek. i think adamek/johnson is a much more entertaining fight and boy does johnson deserve a big fight.

Dan Rafael
  (1:58 PM)

I don't disagree but if you're Adamek, the Jones fight is bigger money.

Metty (Canada)

Ever get the feeling that Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer really, really seem to respect each other? Both consummate businessmen who don't screw around for a second. The Golden Boy/Top Rank Cold War was just a footnote to what has become a wonderful working relationship between the two.

Dan Rafael
  (1:59 PM)

Good way to put it. I know Richard and Bob definitely respect each other and they do good business together. They also know that to put on the biggest fights, they need each other because the companies have fighters who mesh well with the other stable.

joe (NYC)

It really seems like the samctioning bodies compete to see who can be the most reprehensible

Allen Boston

Dan: I know that Abraham has a mandatory next, any chance that will be in the states?

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

No, it will be June 27 in Germany.

Sean (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

As to Metty's comment - Arum basically called Schaefer an escaped Nazi or Nazi collaborator (the infamous "Swiss Banker" comment) - doubt either have forgotten that, but there is $ to be made...

Dan Rafael
  (2:04 PM)

They have both said stupid things about each other in the heat of the moment.

Nick (Harrisburg, PA)

DTM...just got my tickets for Taylor-Froch...didn't realize how great of an undercard it has attached to it. I'm interested to hear your opinion of the British heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury.

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

I've seen one of his fights on tape. He's big. But I can't say yet if he is more Klitschko or more Tye Fields.

Josh (Lincoln, NE)

Arum kinda lives in his own world, doesn't he?

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

LOL. What gave you that idea?

Freaks

Sorry to hear about your friend Artie Curry. Sounds like the boxing world lost someone special.

Dan Rafael
  (2:06 PM)

It did.

Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)

Any word on who Cotto will have lined up to take over for Uncle Evangelista? Are we going to see a big name?

Dan Rafael
  (2:06 PM)

No word yet on a new trainer. In due time.

Dan Rafael
  (2:08 PM)

OK, Freaks, thanks for the chat. Check out the new notebook, blogs and updated schedule. Enjoy the fights this weekend. Talk you next Friday. Peace.