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December 23, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

Greetings Fight Freaks to our special pre-Christmas Wednesday chat, since there are no chats on Friday. Seems like I picked the right day given all that is going on with Pacquiao-Mayweather. So let's get to it.

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

OK, folks put on SportsCenter right now. I'll be going on to talk about the drug testing controversy in a minute, and then I'll be right back to chat with you.

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

I'll get to a question before the SportsCenter segment starts.

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

It's not that simple. Manny is willing to do blood testing but not the week of the fight, the day of the fight or at 4 a.m. Those sorts of things could happen under the way the US Anti Doping Agency runs things. He is willing to use a different company with a different protocal.

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

I understand both sides. I hope they compromise and work things out.

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

I have no idea but Arum mentions Malignaggi, Marquez and Yuri Foreman for Pacquiao. They pale.

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

OK, here we go. Put on SportsCenter.

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

Be right back.

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

I'm back.

Zack (Pittsburgh)

When looking at this situation overall I have to think Pac man will take the bigger PR hit. What do you think? Personally i see it as more him backing out then floyd which is dissapointing because i was really looking forward to this fight. Its a shame pac man wouldnt take a simple blood test to make it happen, big hit on pac's reputation in my eyes.

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

It's not a "simple" blood test. It means getting tested possibly on the day of the fight, the day before or in the middle of the night, etc...

Bryce (Fargo)

Hey Dan, We've all thought about how great the Mayweather Pacman fight would be for boxing, how significant could the damage be to boxing if the fight doesn't happen? Merry Christmas

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

The damage is incalcuable. This fight has so many people really, really excited who usually don't give a crap about boxing. If the sides blow up this fight, shame on all of them. It is horrible for the sport. It will be another reason for those who think the sport is dying to dump all over it. The PR hit to the sport is massive.

Joe (Detroit MI )

Dan, Pac not excepting the olympic style drug testing seems to raise a few eyebrows. Doesn't like needles?? Isn't that kind of a weak excuse for someone that's about to take part in the most lucrative fight ever known to man??

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

It is what it is.

David (Houston)

Why do rules have to change and revolve around mayweather? His family acts like a bunch of children and are a disgrace to boxing. I dont blame pac one bit. A post fight blood test should be sufficient enough.

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

I don't disagree. On the one hand, you have the Nevada commission, which adminsters testing the same for everyone for the last many, many years. The require urine testing before and after. Manny is willing to submit to blood tests too, just not the intrusive random 24/7 kind. I see both sides.

Marc (Washington DC)

Given Pacman's apprehension to agree to the tests, do you think he's actually taking PEDs?

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

I have absolutely no idea. I am not in his camp, I do not live with him. But I have no reason to believe that he does take anything illegal. The same goes for Floyd.

Ryan (NY)

Do you think its right that Manny is getting railroaded by the media about the olympic testing even though he never failed a single test given by nevada, and that its only huge news now because of what Mayweather Sr and a handfull of fighers are claimaing?

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

He's not being railroaded by anyone. The media reports I have read, and written, have simply explained the issues factually.

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

By the way, I have a new blog posted today.

Victor Abriam (Vallejo, CA)

If Manny Pacquiao accepts the Mayweather's Olympic style drug testing deal, who will be administering the test, the Nevada State Athletic Commission or the United States Anti-Doping Agency?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

it would be done by the USADA. I would imagine they would also be subject to the Nevada testing, which is urine tests.

Rafael (Delaware)

Pac will take a major hit if he does not agree now. ESPN even posted a picture of a ripped Pac next to this story. These days, it does not take much to arouse suspicion. Floyd proves, once again, that he is a master at pre-fight hype.

Malik (Philly)

If Floyd is so concerned about drug testing then why didn't he ask for this type of testing in some of his most recent bouts i.e. Marquez, De La Hoya, this dude is trying to find any excuse to make Pac look bad and back out of the fight...just do the standard urine test and get on with the fight...this is ridiculous

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

I have no idea. I think because his father, Floyd Sr., has been accusing Manny of using PEDs he convinced his son to insist on this kind of testing. The real cynic would say this was a deal breaker so Mayweather insisted on it knowing Pacman would not agree to it so Mayweather could get out of the fight. I'm not saying that is what I believe, but that has been suggested by some.

Rob (NYC)

Dan if the roles were reversed and Floyd was the one who wasn't agreeing to the drug test don't you think Arum and his PR people would be putting on the spin that Floyd is a coward.

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

Of course. That's what promoters do. The spin I have gotten from both sides is astounding.

vince (sacramento)

is it still possible to salvage the fight

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

When you have a fight that all in might generate $200 million or more I would say yes.

Darian (Chandler AZ)

So Schaefer is saying Manny is not willing to take a blood test within 30 days of the fight, you are saying within a week of teh fight and Roach is saying within 48 hrs of the fight.... which timeframe is more accurate or is it all of the above??

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

It's a fluid situation. To the best of my knowledge, Pacquiao would be ok with a set in-camp schedule of blood tests, just not the random 24/7 kind.

Matt (Boston)

PacMan needs to just squeeze his eyes shut and look the other way when the big bad needle comes into the room. Heck he can even use a hundred dollar bill from the $50 mil he'll get from the fight as a band-aid

John (SF)

Why cant Manny take the blood test after the fight? If there are substances that would be considered to be advantageous, shouldn't it show up after as well.

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

You would think, yes.

Juan Manuel Marquez (Mexico)

I would much rather have the commission take my blood over my main fluid supplement

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

Ahhh, a little light hearted stuff for a depressing chat.

Zack (Pittsburgh)

I agree that both fighters would take a hit, floyd has always been a rumored ducker and these circumstances would only ignite that perception more

Ross (Indianapolis)

Dan, I enjoyed your blog on Holmes' quotables. It blew me away how money-obsessed he sounds. Sounded like you get the man to do ANYTHING for a few bucks. Are all fighters that greedy, or just a select few?

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

I don't know if I would term Holmes greedy, but if he was going to get hit in the head as heavyweight champ, he damn well wanted to be paid for it, and I can't blame him. Many fighters are in it for the money. Why else get hit in the face and make the sacrifices they make? Glory is part of it, but money is the biggest part. One of the great things about boxing is they don't BS you. They say "it's about the money" instead of other athletes who say it's not when it really is.

Josh (Lincoln, NE)

Floyd Sr. isn't the only one that's said stuff about Pacquiao and PEDs. Malignaggi did too...

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

You're right but I don't think Floyd Jr. much cares what Malignaggi says. He's going to listen to what his father says more, especially now that they have patched things up.

Randy (Milwaukee)

Tell Ross from Indy $3.5 mill is a bit more than a few bucks. I loved how honest Holmes was.

Rick (South Carolina)

Dan,We have no reason to be suspicious? Pacman was struggling, and actually losing in my opinion, to Marquez not to long ago. All of a sudden he is pounding guys who are naturally 20 pounds heavier. Now he refuses to take Olympic testing. Nothing about that seems odd? It reminds me of baseball players who all of a sudden went from hitting 20 to 50 homeruns a year.

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

You're right, which is probably one of the reasons Floyd wants the more rigorous testing. In this day and age, it is unfortunate that you are often as an athlete guilty and have to prove your innocense instead of the other way around, but that is what many sports have come to because of cheaters like Barry Bonds and Marion Jones and so many others.

Bob (San Francisco)

I don't blame Floyd. I wouldn't want to have a loss on my record. Keep running Jr.

Stephen (St. Louis)

Just saw that the 1978 "Superman vs. Muhammed Ali" story will be reprinted by DC Comics next year. So some good news for us all.

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

Cool!! I have the original sitting right here in my office.

Chris (Holmdel, NJ)

Dan, as a Physician, I can assure you that 5 or 10 cc of blood will have absolutely no effect on physical performance even if performed on the day of the fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

You may be 100% right but if the fighters feels it will impact him you can't argue with somebody's emotion.

Matt (LA)

Always respect your opinion and I realize the issue may not be as simple as it seems, but perception is more important than reality and in a sports world hyper-vigilant about PEDs, Manny is doing irrepairable harm to his reputation by refusing Floyd's request.

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

I don't agree with that as long as he is willing to do blood testing. But it has to be a protocal each side can agree too. There are various kinds of blood testing. The USADA isn't the end-all, be-all.

Brendan (philadelphia, pa)

Dan, could this be a blessing in disguise? now the fight gets pushed back to the summer & it can be promoted properly.

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

I have thought of that as well, but it would still hurt boxing if it got called off because of this. And then they would still have to come to an agreement.

Harold (Brooklyn, NY)

Hey Dan! Mayweather is afraid of losing to a smaller, better fighter don't you think? Why else would this drug testing thing be such a deal breaker!!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

I have no idea, but it is.

Joe (Fresno, Calif.)

Is it mandated that both fighters have to take the test or part of the contract? How much blood is drawn with the olympic style?

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

Whatever drug testing they agree on would be spelled out specifically in the contract. Blood testing is usually just a simple vile of blood. It's not Dracula drains you.

Kris Krepps (GR)

When did Pac get this new conditioning coach?

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

Alex Ariza is the strength coach and has worked him for the past several years.

Walter ((LA, CA))

Over the weekend, I came up with the conspiracy theory that it's starting to look like Mayweather is trying to negotitate his way out of this fight. I don't think he thought Manny would fight in March so he tried to call a bluff and Pacquiao bought it. Then he said he wants a blood test to prove Manny's not on steroids. They said fine. I was telling my friends that Mayweather's camp will come up with something that'll make Manny change his mind and make him look bad in the process so he'll come out and say, "See! Manny didn't wanna fight me!" Unfortunately I've been pretty dead on. I hope there's some kind of middle ground and I hope there's a miscommunication.

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

That is a scenario I have heard and you are not the only one who believes it.

Jeff (Redondo Beach, CA)

Are the 2 sides negotiating right now or is it at a stand still?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

They have been going back and forth.

Joe (San Francisco, CA)

So, why did Clottey pull out of the fight against Rosales?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

Not happy with the money from what I understand.

Reid (Michigan)

Dan, it seems possible to me that this may all just be hype to build the fight. Nothing gets peoples attention like a good steroids in sports story. I wouldn't be surprised if they announce the fight is signed on christmas. I just dont see all this money being passed up for something like this.

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

I wish that is all it was but it's not. This is serious.

Matt (portland OR)

Dan gun to your head do you think the fight happens as planed on the 13th?

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

Yes but I have no way of knowing. I just keep coming back to the same thing: TOO MUCH FREAKIN' MONEY to let this thing blow up. Tens of millions of dollars. Way more than either man can make against anyone else by A LOT.

Tom (Washington State)

Dan, who took this disagreement public first? Ellerbee or Arum?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

Golden Boy issued a press release yesterday afternoon with comments from Richard Schaefer, Floyd and Leonard Ellerbe. Then Richard returned a call from me from earlier in the day. And then Leonard called me as well. I tried to contact Arum and Todd duBoef, neither would answer. Top Rank's PR people said they had no comment. Later in the evening, just before I went on ESPNEWS, Arum called me at home and we discussed it a little, but he wasn't as hardline as he was in the comments he gave to Floyd's hometown paper in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Kyle (Chicago, IL)

Mayweather has already agreed to Pacquiao's egregious demand of $10 million per pound over the limit. In turn, Pacquiao needs to agree to the Olympic testing. That is what negotiating is, both sides try to get as close to their demands as possible. I would have to believe Floyd's request is more reasonable and fair to the sport.

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

I don't disagree.

Jose Canseco (Undisclosed location)

Here's a new take, the fighters just be both mandated to take steroids...all's fair now right?

Peter (Philadelphia)

When is the latest the deal could be salvaged to keep the March 13th date? If March can't be salvaged are we looking at late summer due to Manny's political aspirations?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

If they are going to do the fight in March, they need this wrapped up next week at the latest so they can hold the kick off news conferences and get the ball rolling the first week of January. They need time to promote the event and to do the commercials and print materials and sponsor deals, deal with the tickets and let the fighters get to training camps. There is A LOT to do in a short window.

Travis (Kent, OH)

Dan this is not a fluid situation as stated above. They take less than 1 tablespoon of blood. The body normally contains around 380 tablespoons. That one tablespoon is also regenerated in up to an hour. Do your research.

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

I didn't say the amount of blood to be taken was a fluid situation (pardon the pun). I said the talks about when/how often was.

Corey (Columbia, MO)

Dan, in your opinion, is Mayweather's request something that Manny should grant?

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

I think blood testing is fine, but they have to both agree on how it will be conducted. If Manny is uncofortable with the way Floyd is asking for it to be done, negotiate it. Manny will have to make concessions and so too should Floyd.

PJ (Houston)

Dan, you have an impact on what the public believes. You are on the largest sports network. AND I TRULY BELIEVE - you think Mayweather is being unreasonable and lean toward Paq's explanation. Its a huge fight, and he is the undersized fighter. It truly can be mentally and physically detrimental for Paqman. Can you speak your opinion, or do you feel your career would be affected. Speak your mind man!

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

I always speak my mind and if you've ever read one blog or one chat or heard me on television you would know that. My opinion is that there is a compromise in the way in which drug testing should be conducted. It doesn't have to be the random 24/7 of the USADA. It can be done some other way that will still provide results.

James (Boston)

On a lighter note, who do you think wins the possible April matchup between Arreola-Adamek? I like Adamek by KO, but Chris is the bigger man and is a huge puncher. In any case, great fight...

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

If that fight actually got made, cool. I'd prefer seeing Adamek-Hopkins and Arreola-Tua, but hey, I'll take what I can get and that's an interesting match.

Khalil (Atlanta, GA)

Dan, if Manny agrees to blood testing, then Floyd's just gonna say he should give up his spleen or a kidney. Floyd's just gotta get in the ring and take his loss like a man.

ryan (atlantic city,nj)

i wanted to get your feelings on kelly pavlik.i am really down on him. i think its a joke that hes still the champ. can you give me 5 fights that will happen in 2010 that im gonna be excited about? thanx

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

Pavlik had a rough year, but he's not a joke. He fought twice, albeit against lesser competition but one was a mandatory. He had a serious medical issue. If you don't accept that, fine. But it is what it is. I hope he'll be back on track with more meaningful fights in 2010, but to call him a joke makes you look like an idiot.

Joe (PA)

Is HBO picking up Wladimir vs Eddie Chambers?

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

TBA.

dan (philly)

Do you think that GBP are making boxing look bad in general 1st blowing off Dallas Stadium and now putting drug accusatory press releases out to the media, for once we have all of sports attention and this is what you choose to put out there, it's embarrassing as a boxing fan, that today all I hear is boxers are all on drugs from coworker nonfans.

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

Golden Boy should have listened to the Dallas offer and gone to see the stadium. I would have loved to see the fight in a huge stadium. Think outside the box a little for the biggest fight in the sport. But the press release yesterday was GB stating its position on an issue that threatens the fight. I have no problem with that if they felt they couldn't make anymore headway negotiating it.

joe (nj)

does golden boy have the may 1st date for jmm and if so who might be his opponent

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

Yes, they have requested that date with the Nevada commission. The actual fight is TBA, although it will likely feature Marquez.

Brandon (Indy)

Dan, what will it take for Jermain Taylor to climb back to the top? I really liked him and thought he had potential but I feel he lacks the heart.

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

Jermain does not lack heart. That's crazy. However, I don't see him getting back on top. That ain't gonna happen as far as I can tell.

Mike (Tucson, az)

dan im freaking out here , "Tell me this is going to get done"

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

Settle down. You know what? A lot of things in life -- most things in life -- are lot more imnportant than if Manny and Floyd, two spoiled millionaires, fight. If they fight, great. I will be thrilled and enjoy it. If they don't? So be it. That's on them.

JD (DC)

Manny should just pay Larry Holmes to take the blood test for him. Wouldn't Holmes would do it for the right price?

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

LOL! Definitely.

Brian (East Lansing)

Brandon, Jermain has one of the biggest hearts in the game but he does fade after midway through the fight

Dhee (Louisiana)

Dan when will you change your pound for pound list to include Andre Ward?

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

The new list has been filed and will either appear later today or tomorrow. And, yes, Andre Ward is now in the top 20.

Ray (NYC)

I just saw the Dunne-Cordoba fight on YouTube. I don't think warrants fight of the year. That said, why doesn't Dunne appear on your ranking list for junior bantam, not even as a contender? Didn't he win a belt?

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

That was a sensational fight and is an FOY candidate for sure. Dunne did win a belt in that bout but then he got DESTROYED by Poonsawat.

Matt (portland, OR)

Nice article on Miranda and I love the call about Gossen's shirts. But does that mean Allen Grene i still next in line for the Super Six?

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

Joe Goose -- best shirs in the biz! What happens with a possible alternate in the Super Six is up in the air. I am told Showtime wants to do a box off match between Green and Bika to determine who would become an alternate, but the fight is not set and may not get done.

Hymie Myers (Philly)

How washed up is Kassim Ouma?

Dan Rafael
  (12:55 PM)

He's certainly on the backside of his career, but as an opponent for the untested Vanes Martirosyan in January, he's very, very dangerous.

Julius (Manila, Philippines)

What do you think is the best compromise for this drug testing hoopla?

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

Submit to the blood testing but come up with a reasonable schedule and no testing the day before or day of the fight.

Steve (Minneapolis)

All I can Say is that I am really dissapointed this is going to get dragged out. I still see this fight happening, but waiting is oh so painful.

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

You're right. They are on the verge of really angering the public, which would severely damage the sport if the fight is not made.

Jose (Lennox, CA)

I'm waiting to hear what Bing has to say about this blood testing issue.

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

I think he'd say why even test blood? All it does is cost the fighters money.

James (Boston)

Do think CW bout Zsolt Erdei-Giacobbe Fragomeni is FOTY candidate? It was back and forth action from the opening to closing bell and both fighters showed good sportsmanship at the end...

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

It was a good fight but not an FOY in my opinion.

Jay (Tampa)

The media will eventually blame Mayweather if fight does not happen because he is black.

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

I actually may blame you because you are stupid.

Tarek (Grand Rapids, MI)

What more can be said.... You make a great point, Dan. Put some kind of limitations on the drug-testing to accomadate both sides and leave it at that. Tell Mr. Arum and Mr. Schaefer to give me a call, I will moderate and make this thing happen!

Brendan (philadelphia, pa)

Dan, espn classic had corrales/castillo I on last friday night. I put it on at the bar I own & shut the music off

Dan Rafael
  (1:01 PM)

Nice. Best fight I've ever seen. Best fight I've ever covered from ringside.

Bing (Philly)

Dan, what am I getting for Christmas?

Dan Rafael
  (1:01 PM)

Why even celebrate Christmas? All that gift buying? All it does it cost fighters money.

Dan Rafael
  (1:02 PM)

The two have nothing to do with each other.

Shower Door ((Zab's bathroom))

I've never taken steroids and I kick some arm

Khalil (Atlanta, GA)

Dan, what are your thoughts on the proposed 40,000 $100 closed circuit tickets as opposed to hosting the fight in a larger venue?

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

Dumb. Why would you pay $100 for a closed circuit ticket when you can watch at home on a big screen in HD for probably $65? Are there that many dummies out there?

John (Phoenix)

ThunderDan, Is there any truth to the rumors about Soto wanting the winner of Demarco and Valero? I apologize about it being so far off, but I just love the sound of that. Thanks.

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

I think Soto would love that fight. I know Top Rank considered it had Valero been able to get into the US and be licensed in time for the Pac-Cotto undercard. That's a great fight, Soto against either of those guys.

Cory (Dallas)

Hartford sucks, we can all agree to that, even Arum and Floyd

Phillip (Los Angeles)

Bardly vs Marquez your thoughs???

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

Probably won't happen, but if I am Bradley I LOVE that fight.

Windir (Puerto Rico)

Hello Dan.What should happen if Pacman-Mayweather doesn't go as planned?

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

I would be able to move on with my life.

Steve (Boston, MA)

Dan, do you ever find out about something happening in the boxing world in the chat queue that you were previously unaware of?

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

No.

Adam (Mississippi)

ok dan can i least get some love for the love child????

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.

Jeff (Redondo Beach, CA)

By the way, thanks for doing a chat on Wednesday Dan. The freaks appreciate it!

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

Thanks. My pre-Christmas gift to the Freaks since there are no ESPN.com chats on Friday because it is Christmas.

Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)

Dan,Saw "Joe Buck Live" the other night. At first I thought you might've beeen off in your assessment of the show. But by the end of the show I was agreeing with you! Joe Buck never met a mirror he didn't like. Secondly the Floyd/Strahan/Wahlberg segment was the worst piece of fluff ever. And surprise "a movie star" shows up as a "surprise." Pre-planned and not even done well. I'm surprised they had an audience........I would've expected a laugh and clap track like on TV shows. It sucked!

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

I agree with every single thing you said.

Javier Vazquez (Bronx)

Hey Dan! I'm Back! How you feel about it?

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

I'm warming up to it. Welcome back, as long as you don't pitch relief in the Game 7 of the ALSC and give up another grand slam.

Soap on floor (Texas State Pen shower)

Yes James is still here.

Steve (Hartford)

Will Dawson wait until June to fight Pascal or take an interm fight in March or April?

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

Dawson won't take an interim fight.

Tyler (Memphis, TN)

Superman vs. Ali? What a joke! Wouldn't a jab by Kal-El break Ali's neck? Also, no blood testing for that fight...the needle couldn't pierce Superman's skin!

jack (UKiah, CA)

Quote from Mayweather " It leaves me with great doubt as to the level of fairness I would be facing in the ring that night." If he is really fair why he fought Marquez over the weight limit. He knows he's more comfortable on that weight. Mayweather doesn't know what he is talking about just like his father.

Bubba (ottawa il)

Dan, I thank you for not taking sides here. Its no secret am a mayweather guy, but love freddie roach also. So i will ask you, chances this thing gets done? 50-50?

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

As I said, I believe ultimately it will get done. If it doesn't they're all idiots.

chris (boston)

hey dan, seeing how this deal was put together so smoothly, which unlike how most maywether and pacman deals go, dont you think that something like this was bound to happen, it happens with both these fighters in every fight deal , i think that this fight will be made .

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

I'm not shocked at all. I've covered big fight negotiations too many times.

Edgar Hernandez (Austin)

Where would you have rather seen the fight MGM or Cowboy Stadium? Personally, as fan who has gone to the MGM, I think that Cowboy Stadium with it's 60 yard screen would have been much cooler.

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

I love the MGM. I love the staff there. It's like a second home to me I have stayed there so many times. But I would have LOVED to see Dallas get the fight and make this a true spectacle and be able to accomodate 100,000 fans instead of 17,000.

Banishment (Dan's basement)

Thanks Nick!!!! I was starving!!merry freakin christmas buddy!

Tyler (Memphis, TN)

I wish HBO was filming this negotiations like the Super Six 360 show on Showtime did, this stuff would be absolute gold for 24/7!

Norman (Los Angeles)

Accomodate 100,000 real fans not 17,000 rich people

Jess (DC)

Any chance Oscar comes out of retirement to fight Floyd if the Manny fight does not get done?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

Stop that.

Marcos (Mass)

What's good Dan? Is it true GBP is looking into Joan Guzman-Juan Diaz?

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

I have not heard that. If they are, shame on them. What a crapola fight. I would rather talk about rockey science with Bing. Pure garbage fight.

Phillip (Los Angeles)

Dan, people are saying Marquez is over the hill and on the decline. But it was not to long ago that he was number 2 on th p4p list. He lost to a all time great. How does that make him on the decline?

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

He's 36 and if he fought a the faster, slicker Bradley he'd also be out of his weight class. Marquez is a great fighter but needs to be mindful when picking opponents.

Lazer (Brooklyn. NY)

If this fight doesn't get made and I don't get to hear Liev schreiber's voice on 24/7 - I'm gonna be pissed.

Edgar Hernandez (Austin)

The fact that there's such a fuss over this testing shows how ridiculously big this fight is... What happens if it ends in a 1st round KO?

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

If the fight happens, a first-round KO is always possible. You watch the fight and take your chances. Whatever happens, happens.

Steve (Boston, MA)

What are your thoughts on Roy Jones trying to overturn his loss to Danny Green?

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

Poor, poor, poor delusional Roy.

Chris D. (Chicago)

What's your policy on rankings changes when a fighter is injured? I know it's not his fault, but it seems like Wladimir should be second to Vitali considering the former's lack of activity and the latter's throwback hyperactivity (and with live contenders, at least before they step in the ring).

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

Wlad has not had a long layoff. He hasn't fought since July and he'll be back in March. That is not a very, very long layoff for a heavyweight champion at all.

Matt (Newburyport, MA)

I'm curious, in all your time covering boxing, which potential "big" fight do you think had the toughest negotiations and ultimately got made?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

Lewis-Tyson, hands down.

Joe (San Jose)

Amir Khan vs Tim Bradley thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

Very interesting fight that I would love to see. BUT it's not ready to be made yet. It needs to be cooked a little.

Jeff (Redondo Beach, CA)

Was it the obvious purse split that made the Lewis-Tyson negotiation tough or any other factors?

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

No, it was the Showtime vs. HBO aspect and how they could jointly do a mega fight in which they each had one fighter under exclusive contract.

Dan (TX)

Dan love the name. Got big plans for Christmas?

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

My big plans: Work on the year-end awards.

PeteNice (Philly)

Dan, you got any good boxing movies/documentaries that I can use as stocking stuffers?

Dan Rafael
  (1:28 PM)

The Tyson docu is terrific and came out a couple of months ago on DVD. The Assault in the Ring docu that recently ran on HBO is also coming out.

Chris (NY, NY)

Dan, your attack cats are laying low today?

Dan Rafael
  (1:29 PM)

They sleeping. And they are tired of this drug testing talk.

Jim (MD)

This is a great quote:Holmes on the Tyson Fight:"He didn't knock me out. He knocked me down and the referee stepped over and said 'Don't get up, son.' I said, 'OK.'"

Dan Rafael
  (1:30 PM)

Gotta love those quotes from Larry in the blog.

chris (boston)

Any word on whats up next for P williams ? any chance they'll revisit palvik?

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

He just fought a very, very tough fight. I'm sure he's chilling for the holidays. Nothing specific in the works that I am aware of. Pavlik is there but the Williams side insists on a 50-50 deal. That probably won't happen, so they'll look elsewhere I guess.

Matt (portland, OR)

Speaking of Pavlik Williams do you know what the split was going to be for the fight? Is it that far off 50/50?

Dan Rafael
  (1:34 PM)

By understanding was that it was approx. 60-40 in Pavlik's favor. Since Pavlik is the champion and the bigger draw, it was appropriate.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Dan, have you read Dr. Johnny Benjamin's article in The Huffington Post yet?

Dan Rafael
  (1:34 PM)

I did see it because it showed up in my inbox since I was mentioned in it.

Nicky Drama (Stratford, CT)

Why wasn the Diaconu-Pascal fight taken off ESPN360? I was looking forward to it and was pretty dissapointed with a mention of it not being available.

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

We had some sort of technical issue because of the snow storm in Montreal and they couldn't take it. But we did air it the next night on ESPN Deportes.

Chaz (Ogden, Utah)

Does Myung Woo Yuh get your HOF vote? Never saw him, heard he was incredible...

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

I voted for him and detailed it in a blog a week or two ago, so go check it out.

Adam (Mississippi)

I promise this is the last time ill ask...Shawn Porter is fighting on ESPN Friday Night Fights in February. Any thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

I look forward to seeing him again. He's an impressive young prospect and nice kid.

Jamal Adam. (Philly.)

Why does Mayweather demand such ridiculous tests, which have never been used in other mega fights. On the same token how bad does it make Pacquiao look for refusing these tests?

Dan Rafael
  (1:39 PM)

There are issues on both ends. Mayweather is demanding a little too much. Like you said it's never been used for any other mega fight and it's not like Pacman has been caught before and wants to make sure it's ok. And then I see the aspect of well, if Manny has nothing to hide, just do the test. Both sides are hunkered down and I just hope they can compromise.

Joshtinpowers (Mt. Vernon, KY)

D-Raf, did you catch Tyson's cameo on SNL this past week? Word is, he's gonna be hosting Raw on 1/11--that has "entertaining trainwreck" written all over it.

Dan Rafael
  (1:41 PM)

Missed it but I never miss RAW!

Steven (Savannah, GA)

Any idea how much ticket prices might be for the Pacquiao/Mayweather Fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

If it gets made you're looking at top tickets with a face value of $2,500 with the cheapest tickets probably going for $500 with $100 closed circuit tickets.

Gary (Austin, Tex.)

In any other sport, fans and media would laugh the person asking for special treatment out of the arena. Especially if they are the self-proclaimed best. Can you imagine the backlash against Federer if he asked this of Nadal? Or against Peyton Manning if he asked it of Darrelle Revis?

Joe (Green Bay)

I'm no expert on negotiations but wouldn't it make sense to say "Fighters may be tested at any time between 8AM and 12AM between now and March 11th. Notice of the test need not be given.".

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

That makes sense but Mayweather is insisting on the USADA handle the testing and they do not have that rule.

joe (nj)

will you be covering the jan 23 card at the wamu theater

Dan Rafael
  (1:45 PM)

Yes, I plan to be there.

Joe (San Jose)

$100 closed circuit tix? ridiculous

Dan Rafael
  (1:45 PM)

I agree. Greedy.

Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)

Dan,.....just a thought (and a huge wish!) but how about ESPN2 gives you and Brian Kenny the hour before the FNF opener to talk boxing and take calls from the freaks???

Dan Rafael
  (1:47 PM)

That would be cool but highly unlikely. For what it is worth, I will be in studio with Brian for the Jan. 8 season premiere of FNF.

Jason (Atlanta)

This is the saddest chat I've ever participated in. Not your fault, just sayin'...

Dan Rafael
  (1:48 PM)

I don't subit the questions and comments.

Adam (Mississippi)

Whose on the card for Jan. 8th?

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

Have you ever checked the espn.com boxing schedule that I update daily? Maybe today you should give it a try.

Mike (Tampa)

Surprised by the very small crowd in Youngstown for Pavlik's fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

Not really given that it was just before the holidays in a very poor community and Pavlik was fighting a terrible opponent. He still drew more than Williams did in AC against a top opponent.

Bree (LA)

Is there anything Larry Holmes will not do for $3.5 million?

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

I do not believe so.

John (New Jersey)

Have you heard anything about Boardwalk Hall honoring Arturo Gatti? They got a statue of De La Hoya in front of Staples. Atlantic City should have one of "THUNDER"

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

That would be great.

Alex (Clev, OH)

Dano, I was at the Pavlik fight last weekend and even though it was a smaller crowd it was still electric. We are all hoping that Kelly brings a fight up to Cleveland!

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

I'd love to see a big Pavlik fight in Cleveland. Arum has talked about it. In fact, when the Hopkins fight came up they talked about it being there but it didn't work out.

Jesse (Texas)

This infuriates me to no end. I can understand if there was some precedent that Pac has been cheating. I do not believe its fair to say well Floyd agreed to the weight demands ($10 mil a pound over) so Pac has to agree to this. There is precedent in Floyd not making weight. Its almost as if Floyd is admitting somewhat that Pac is a monster and cannot believe he did damage to the guys decisioned.

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

Can't argue with that.

rich (brick, nj)

o... and did you think that paul williams really won that fight??? i thought he lost or at best a draw... williams was the only 1 i thought was hurt during the fight...

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

I had Sergio Martinez winning the fight by a point.

Donald (New Orleans)

This chat is the gift of all gifts to the Freaks. I wondered how I would get through the last day of the work week. One gets spoiled when Friday is taken for granted. The Freak Nation thanks you very much this year for this and all other chats. Happy Holidays!

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

Thanks.

Shower Door ((master bathroom))

Gimme 5 minutes with Manny & I'll draw blood!

Dan Rafael
  (1:56 PM)

Just saw that the parents of the Balloon Boy got jail time. Good. They deserve it.

muhammad (san francisco)

Hey Danomyte, with a fight this huge wouldn't Greenburg and the boys at HBO get involved to salvage it?

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

Trust me, Ross is trying.

Alex (Clev, OH)

Has this blood testing demand ever happened in a previous big fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

Not that I am aware of.

John (New Jersey)

Didn't they test Juan Manuel Marquez's urine by taking some of his saliva?

Dan Rafael
  (1:58 PM)

As my main man Norman Chad says, pay the man, Shirley!

Chris (London)

Freddie Roach just put in a 12 minute chat, what do you say to that?

Dan Rafael
  (1:59 PM)

That Freddie can't carry my jockstrap.

Jon (San Diego)

Isn't it kind of ironic that Pacquiao has never taken immunizations of any kind and doesnt take antibiotics and Ariza was only of late been able to get him take supplements and Ibuprofen that the Mayweather camp is accusing him of taking steroids? Pacquiao attributes his athleticism to the fact he has never taken drugs of any kind, and he has done the same for his kids. Anyone with half a brain knows Pacquiao is not on steroids.

James (Atlanta)

The only thing I can think of similar to this is that they also have to test Ricky Hatton's blood alcohol level before each fight...

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley.

Clutch Cargo (Long Beach)

I know this is an idiotic suggestion, but nothing seems too far-fetched at this point. Could they appoint an independent authority to basically monitor Mayweather and Pacquiao constantly throughout training came? Basically not let the guy out of his sight. They're going to have the 24/7 cameras there anyway, and both these guys are used to distractions.

Dan Rafael
  (2:01 PM)

That might work.

Big Nate (Philly)

Somebody call Floyd a waaaaaaaaaahhhhmbulance.

KennyMac (New York)

Dan, you're a consummate professional - always sharp, supremely knowledgeable, and generally unbiased. Yet, it's fairly easy from this chat to discern your opinions on pbf, pac, and this demand for stringent testing. i disagree with you - this is a very smart request by camp mayweather.

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

I have no issue with Mayweather asking for stringent testin, even if it goes against the Nevada protocal. But I do think there is room to compromise on the exact kind of testing.

Ray (Jersey City)

They found blood in Ricky Hatton's alcohol stream.

Dan (LA)

If they are going to test Manny's blood, let's have the IRS test Floyd's bank account.

Dan Rafael
  (2:04 PM)

LOL!

Chris (Kalamazoo, MI)

To heck with Bradley-Khan for now. Give me Bradley-Maidana. Bradley is a beast and I think Maidana power makes this an exciting fight.

Dan Rafael
  (2:07 PM)

Would love that fight.

brian (scottsdale, az)

I heard you on Sportscenter about 11am and loved how your first words were "everyone just calm down"... it's nice that you somehow keep a cool head when some were freaking out. Another reason I'm a big fan.

Dan Rafael
  (2:08 PM)

Thanks. Everyone does need to calm down.

BG (ESPN)

Dan, do you know where Sergio Martinez is headed next?

Dan Rafael
  (2:13 PM)

Nothing set right now. There's been mention of a Williams rematch. Martinez would also love to fight Pavlik, but nothing is set.

Reno (Springfield)

Wasn't it Pacquiaowho insisited on the March 13th date?

Dan Rafael
  (2:16 PM)

Yes, because of his campaign for office in the Philippines.

Sam (LA)

Are you as high on Daniel Jacobs as everyone else?

Dan Rafael
  (2:17 PM)

He's a very, very good prospect. He has a bright future.

Dan Rafael
  (2:18 PM)

OK, just got off the Bat Phone.

Dan Rafael
  (2:19 PM)

Trust me when I tell you this -- the sides are trying work this out with a compromise. So let's all take a deep breath and let them do their work. Hopefully, it will work out.

Gazillion (Dictionary)

Dan, do you plan on using me anymore when talking about how much money is at stake with the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight?

Dan Rafael
  (2:21 PM)

Yes. Hope that's ok.

John (Charleston, SC)

Speaking of prospects. Can you give the top 5 names you are considering for your prospect of the year, which would be similar to the invites to the Heisman Trophy ceremony?

Dan Rafael
  (2:22 PM)

No, you will just have to log on next week and read it for yourself. I will say this. The prospect of the year has been selected and I am going to interview him later today for the story.

Sam (Fairfax)

Dan, what did you do while you were snowed in? Did you break out the fight tapes? Any new DVD picks?

Dan Rafael
  (2:23 PM)

Surprisinly, I didn't.

Stew (Laveen AZ)

Manny must be blood doping, the REAL reason he doesn't want the USADA testing him!

Dan Rafael
  (2:24 PM)

You're not alone in that opinion.

Jeff (Redondo Beach, CA)

Dan, I just recently bought a bigger home and am going to buy more fight posters to frame. Which ones are your "white whale" that you have been searching for but still don't have?

Dan Rafael
  (2:25 PM)

There are a few but one I want is from the first Holyfield-Qawi fight. I know it exisits and have seen pictures of it. Just haven't been able to find one for a price I want to pay.

Brian (Brooklyn)

Dan, you're silly. You don't negotiate blood testing. The point of it being random is so that you can't plan around a timetable. This is common sense here Dan. Either you agree to the process or you don't. Call Pacman to the mat here, do you dislike PBF that much?

Dan Rafael
  (2:26 PM)

You can compromise on a lot of things. If you see it as black and white I feel sorry for your ignorance and inability to understand the real world.

Mike (Miami)

Hows Winky Wright-Sergio Mora sound? and does that have a chance of being made?

Dan Rafael
  (2:28 PM)

Sounds like sleepy time.

Roger (OH)

The first year-end award is for the Dumbest Freak of the Year, and the winner was a late entry. Bing from Philly is the winner!!!

Bing (Philly)

Thank you for the award. To celebrate, how about we all shift our attention to the real mega fight of 2010...Holyfield vs Botha

Mark (Brooksville, Fla,)

Dan,I haven't heard the specifics of the testing protocols for the Nevada SAC.......what exactly do they test for in a fighter's urine sample? And do they test every fighter appearing on the card or just the main event???

Dan Rafael
  (2:32 PM)

They test for a whole long laundry list of banned substances. They always test the main event and they have increased the number of tests for the rest of the card. I am not sure they are up to every single fighter on the card yet but they are darn close now.

Brandon (Arlington, VA)

Nobody comes out of this mess without egg on their face. I am a fan of both fighers (although would be in the PBF faction for this fight), but if they can't come to some sort of compromise they are slapping the fans, who line their pockets with mone, in the face.

Dan Rafael
  (2:32 PM)

Perfectly said.

Steve (Winston Salem, NC)

when Floyd wins $1 Million gambling on sporting events, does he care if the athletes are using PED's?

Dan Rafael
  (2:32 PM)

Pay the man,m Shirley.

USADA (Everywhere)

Dan we've noticed a pattern with you. Long ago you used to do 1 hour chats and freaks had to ask for OT, now you're doing 3,4, and in some cases5 hour chats. We're going to need a sample of your blood please!

Arnel (San Diego, CA)

Arum just made the latest move. Fight is off until test request is dropped. Who do you think will blink first?

Dan Rafael
  (2:35 PM)

Don't know. Bob can say what he wants but behind the scenes they are trying to reach a compromise.

Bree (LA)

SI picked Bernard Dunne vs. Ricardo Cordoba as their fight of the year. Unfortunately, I missed that one. Was it good?

Dan Rafael
  (2:35 PM)

It was terrific but it is not the FOY in my opinion.

DJ (Tulsa, OK)

Whats your take on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr now? Where do you think he will go from here?

Dan Rafael
  (2:35 PM)

He's terrible. Always has been, always will be.

Steve (Deployed)

Dan is the fight offically at the MGM? Is anything really concrete yet? Is there still a chance for Dallas and the real boxing fans?

Dan Rafael
  (2:37 PM)

IF there is a fight, Richard Schaefer told me on the record, and it's in my story from yesterday, that, yes, the MGM would host the fight. Dallas is dead.

Pat (Chicago)

How riled up was Bob when you talked to him last night?

Dan Rafael
  (2:38 PM)

To call him riled up would be an insult to those are riled up. He was beyond riled up. He was probably giving someone the finger while we were talking.

mike (new jersey)

who do you want in left field this year?

Dan Rafael
  (2:38 PM)

Damon.

Sean (VA)

Breaking News: Arum is reporting the fight is off.

Dan Rafael
  (2:41 PM)

Today he's lying, tomorrow he'll tell the truth.

rimmy (hoboken)

Who wins in a hatton-malignaggi rematch?

Dan Rafael
  (2:41 PM)

Ain't gonna be no rematch.

John (Phoenix)

Dan, I hate to pat myself on the back but this is a great question. You are starting a promotional company and you get one of the rosters, Top Rank of Golden Boy and why?

Dan Rafael
  (2:42 PM)

It's not really that good of a question but I would take Top Rank's because at this moment they have the better overall roster of fighters from super stars to young titleholders to contenders to prospects.

Randy (Milwaukee)

Bob Arums idiotic statements never cease to amaze me. If we lock him and Floyd Sr. up together, we'd rid boxing of about 3/4's of the useless hot air that's hovering overhead.

Jesus (Yonkers)

Who cares if the fight is off. My wife and I had our ticket to vegas and we are still going.

Dan Rafael
  (2:43 PM)

That's the spirit!

DT (Orlando Florida)

Why do you always spin it to where it looks like its Floyd's fault or that hes putting the fight in jeopardy? If Manny has nothing to fear why not take the test if it was vice versa you and all the other Floyd haters would be crying foul

Dan Rafael
  (2:44 PM)

I have no blamed anyone in this situation. I am calling it down the middle and see both sides.

lurky (manchester)

bradley-hatton who you got?

Dan Rafael
  (2:45 PM)

At this point, Bradley beats him. Too fast, too slick, too in shape.

James (Myrtle Beach, SC)

I wonder what Silence Mabuza's mom used to say to him to quiet him down without confusing the whole situation?

Mohammad Naheem Safdar (UK)

In your honest opnion when do you think they will announce this flight?

Lee (Texas)

Dan if you arent blaming Floyd, maybe have somebody change the caption on the front page of the boxing site..."There's no proof that Manny Pacquiao's punching prowess is anything but natural, but Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues to suggest as much -- and he's putting their megafight at risk in the process."

Dan Rafael
  (2:47 PM)

I don't write the headlines or cutlines.

Dan Rafael
  (2:48 PM)

Here we go again. Arum on the Bat Phone.

Dan Rafael
  (2:49 PM)

Hang tight for second Freaks.

Dan Rafael
  (2:50 PM)

Bob is saying they will agree to three tests and wants to use the agencies that deal with MLB or NBA, etc...

Dan Rafael
  (2:59 PM)

OK, I'm back.

Dan Rafael
  (2:59 PM)

Bob says they want to keep the fight on track but that Manny will not do it via the USADA. They want to do it like the NFL and NBA and use their protocal. I think this fight will be saved.

Dan Rafael
  (3:00 PM)

OK, Freaks, thanks for the chat on our special Wednesday session. Hope you have a great Christmas. Keep reading because you know there will be news on this. Also, I'll have an update on SportsCenter at approximately 6:18 pm ET. Peace.