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April 20, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

Greetings Fight Freaks and welcome to the weekly chat. Got a nice weekend of boxing, including Adonis Stevenson-Noe Gonzalez (I like this fight) on tonight's ESN2 FNF card plus Jermain Taylor is back in action on ShoBox tonight. And tomorrow there's a Showtime card with Mares-Morel and Morneo-De La Mora. Plenty to discuss with Hopkins-Dawson 2 next week and then Mayweather-Cotto the week after. Plenty of news stories and blogs are up, a feature on Mares-Morel and my column on the continued wretchedness of the WBC. So let's get to it.

Matt (Lincoln, NE)

Dan, did you see the Terence Crawford fight from last weekend? Knock Out of the Year contender for sure.

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

I did see it on the stream of the Top Rank ppv undercard. Was a GREAT knockout. Kid looks like a real prospect.

Bj Detroit [via mobile]

Hey Dan have you heard anything about when Adrian broner next fight goin to be?

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

Yes, here is the story I wrote last night on that very topic: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/7834694/adrien-broner-lands-opponent-face-gary-sykes

Jim (NYC)

For the record who did u have winning the Jermain Taylor-Bernard Hopkins fights>

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

I was at both fights and had Jermain winning close decisions in both of them.

Jevin (Dallas)

Anything official for the undercard of Pac/Bradley?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

Mike Jones-Randall Bailey is set for that card. The other two TV fights not 100 percent but Arce and Rigondeaux will both likely be on in separate bouts.

Mike (DC)

Has Showtime pulled the trigger yet on Cloud-Pascal? What date are they discussing?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

Not yet. A date in mid-August.

Gary (Ft. Wayne, IN)

anything on the horizon for Mike Lee?

Dan Rafael
  (12:07 PM)

Yes, he fights June 8 on ESPN2 under Pavlik.

Liam (UK)

Do you consider Mayweather and Cotto to still be in their prime?

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

No, I dont think either is in their prime even though they are both outstanding still. Cotto is clearly a bit past it even though he is still a top fighter. Mayweather may be the No. 1 fighter in the world but he is not in his "prime," which was a few years ago.

Jim (NYC)

better all time Larry Holmes or Lennox Lewis?

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

I rate Larry slightly ahead of Lennox.

glass joe (in your nintendo (1-99) 1ko)

i've been glassed 99 times and don't feel as bad as richard abril

Alan (Ireland)

Do you have any idea if BoxNation over here is pulling in a lot of subscriptions?

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

I have no idea how many they have but I cant imagine why any boxing fan there would not subscribe. They have had a tremendous lineup of fights both domestic and overseas.

James (Australia)

Hey Dan.Hearing lots about Mikey Garcia fighting Celestino Caballero in the next few months for the WBA Featherweight Title. Any date or tv network seem likely?

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

That is the fight that is likely to happen, as I have been saying for awhile. But nothing is 100 percent yet for it. If it is made you can count on there being tv for it.

Gabe Saginaw Mi [via mobile]

Good article on Abner Mares Dan. This kid has had some tough opponents. Not 2 big on Morel though.

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

Exactly my point in my video. Love Mares. Big fan. Cant watch Morel.

Gabe Saginaw Mi [via mobile]

Mike Alvarado stock is rising. He's earning it. Puts on good fights.

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

Alvarado has a stud action fighter. Love him.

Jim (NYC)

Who is higher rated all time The Klitschko's or Mike Tyson?

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

Obviously, the brothers.

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

Check out this news story I wrote before the chat: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/7836029/jesse-hart-son-70s-contender-eugene-cyclone-hart-turns-pro

Richie (Bronx NY)

So if mayweather does not talk to Merchant, would you say he is ducking .

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

Absolutely. I tweeted that the other day. Mayweather owes the fans who pay $70 or so for his PPV to at least tell them what he thought about the fight when it's over.

Patrick (Boynton)

Forgive me for looking past Mr. Sykes, but is there anything good on the horizon for Broner? Checked out 126-135, and I could only come up with 3 realistic opponents. Salido, Guerrero and Abril. Am I missing anyone?

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

He will likely face Escobedo this summer and then I'd love to see him fight Salido in the fall. In fact, I wrote a blog on that. It should be posted today.

Mike (DC)

Is Nonito Donaire Getting an HBO BAD date on July 21?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

It's been discussed. But if gets one I would hope it's against a top opponent not just another appearance fight like Narvaez.

Darryl p (Indianapolis)

Your picks this weekend dan?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

I love Mares over Morel and I think Moreno wins an easy decision.

Chris (Boston)

Since Ken Hershman took over HBO do you see any big changes in the way things are being done? Or is it still business as usual as it was under Ross Greenburg?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

I have not noticed any substantial changes from where I sit. Maybe there are internally, I can't say.

chris (brooklyn)

i wonder how gale van hoy scored the rios-abril fight...

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

He thought he was watching Rios-Gamboa.

Derek (Boulder CO)

HBO shows the ring girls now. Isn't that enough, Chris?

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

Good point! In my interview a couple of months ago with Ken Hershman I did ask him if he would show the round card girls and he said, and I quote, "You want round card girls again? You got round card girls again." Thank you, Ken.

JP (Columbus, OH)

Just when I thought King Freak couldn't be any cooler, he discloses the fact that he is a huge fan of Boogie Nights and Pulp Fiction. I KNOW KARATE! I AM THE KING OF DIRK!

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

LOL. Glad you were following my Twitter feed last night. Had a tough call -- Pulp Fiction and Boogie Nights were both on last night late as I was getting ready to go to sleep. Had to watch at least some. So I went with Boogie Nights, but both are two of my all-time favorite movies.

Mayweather (Vegas)

Why I am I gonna talk to HBO? They ain't never give me a fair shake.

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

What was I thinking?

Curtis Granderson (NYC)

The GrandyMan can.

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

x3 yesterday!

The Met (T.O.)

Just read your Mares/WBC story. Great job on 'cleaning up the sport', Golden Boy!

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

You said it, not me.

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

Here's a column I wrote for today. Yet another reason why I despise the wretched WBC: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/7832530/wbc-mars-122-pound-title-abner-mares-eric-morel-fight #wbcisdisgusting

R! (Bay Area)

Imagine if Jim Gray got to interview Floyd? lol. Jim would probably have a black eye by now

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Brooks (New Hampshire)

Hey Danno - Do you consider Adamek-Chambers a pick'em fight or would you give one an edge?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

I expect it will be competitive. I sorta lean to Adamek but I think it is a toss-up kind of fight.

Mike (Chicago)

Any word on how well Paulie Malignaggi's training been proceeding?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

Nothing specific but Paulie did go over to Italy to train so he would have an easier time adjusting to the time change. So I know he is taking it very seriously.

Anthony (Bronx, NY)

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities, selfishness, and tiereny of evil men....

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

So true.

Frank (PHX)

Dan the man, with great Showtime fights coming up the next few months I need to start seeing these fights live!! Since Al Haymon seems to have some more pull over there at "Haymon-Time" can you tell him to let us West Coast freaks watch these fights live

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

I have said for years that Showtime needs to show its fights live to the West Coast, where not everybody has an East coast feed on their cable.

chris (brooklyn)

i hope granderson does today what he did yesterday and craps on boston's 100th celebration...Go yanks!

Wade (ATL)

Dan, what up man? I asked you last week about Tyson Fury. Did you catch his fight last weekend? Southpaw outta nowhere! I was very impressed. Martin Rogan is certainly no slouch. When are the Klitschkos on the agenda? Will he be ready soon in your opinion?

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

I did see Fury's fight. I discussed it on my Sky Ringside appearance last night. I thought Fury, first off, looked in the best shape I have ever seen him in. The southpaw thing was weird and I am not sure what the point was, especially when Rogan was winning so easily through 2-3 rounds. But Fury got a nice knockout. Fury is a few fights away probably from a Klitschko fight but I can see him getting one of them eventually because he's their size, the field of opponents is small and he also brings a healthy fan base.

Carl (Cleveland)

Just reiterating a comment I made awhile back and was ridiculed for lol. You heard it here first Mosely over Canelo BIG !!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

I shall ridicule you again you dope! :)

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

You Freaks do know I have a fetish for Japanese strawweights right? If not read this: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/1008/cant-wait-for-ioka-yaegashi

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

Remeber to check out the blog section regularly. That is where a lot of the material that used to go in the weekly notebook will go now on a daily basis from now on.

Lee (Los Angeles, CA)

If you were allowed to match up any one Top Rank fighter vs any one Golden Boy fighter today, who would be fighting? (excluding Manny and Floyd)

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

Good question. There are several. In no order, I'd LOVE to see Donaire-Mares. Also Maidana-Alvarado, Pavlik-Andrade, Broner-Gamboa, etc...

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

Good question. There are several. In no order, I'd LOVE to see Donaire-Mares. Also Maidana-Alvarado, Pavlik-Andrade, Broner-Gamboa, etc...

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

Khan-Bradley too.

David (Da' Cape)

King, any word on Andre Ward's next move?

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

Planning a summer fight but no specific details yet.

Brinsley (St Albans, UK)

What's the deal with Broner fighting Sykes? Weird choice

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Weird is being kind.

Rob (NYC)

I was watching Pulp myself last night. LOVE Jules.....

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

Who doesn't? Love Pulp Fiction too.

Brinsley (St Albans, UK)

If Cotto beats Mayweather, will he be the best Puerto Rican fighter ever?

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

A win over Mayweather will certainly put Cotto in the conversation.

Jorge (East Los Angeles)

Dan, Can you explain to me how HBO approves Sykes for Broner? I thought Hershman was going to continue the, "We buy fights, not fighters" moniker that he started at Showtime. Is this Haymon getting preferential treatment again, please explain?

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

I have no explanation.

Bo (NY)

Dan -- I thought Eric Gomez was GB's matchmaker -- does he split duties with Robert Diaz, or do they have different roles?

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Golden Boy has a ton of shows and fights to put on. They are both matchmakers there.

chris (brooklyn)

knicks fan, dan???

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Lifelong.

Joey (UK)

Any word on who Kell Brook is targeting for his July fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

Nothing set. His promoter, Eddie Hearn, told me he has reached out to several good opponents but has come up with nothing so far. He promised a quality opponent. We'll see if his definition of a quality opponent and mine match when we hear who Brook will face on July 7.

Richie (Bronx NY)

what were your thoughts on 24/7...

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

Prety good, but to be honest I am getting a little bored with it.

Lee (Los Angeles, CA)

Why don't Japanese Champs fight other Japanese Champs?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

I really dont know. That Ioka-Yaegashi will be the first unification fight between Japanese fighters in history blew me away when I realized that.

Eric (Omaha) [via mobile]

Dan - Who gets more worked up: Dibella or Shaw?

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

Which is worse a volcano or an earthquake?

MacDaddy (Philly)

Would you say 50 cent is the chest Rockweel to Money Mayweather's Brock Landers??

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does that make Miss Jackson Roller Girl?

Milton (Raleigh)

Faster Hands? Broner or Russell Jr?

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

Russell.

Ry (OH)

Dan, do you have any interest in an Abril/Lundy rematch? Since their first fight was a split decision and Abril just took Rios to school, it makes sense to let those two fight for the still-vacant WBA belt.

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

I think both have set themselves up for better fights than against each other again. I could see it down the road at some point though.

Derek (Boulder CO)

Dan, you should start wearing mink coats for ringtones.

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

LOL!

Jeremy (Dallas)

Lights out toney one shot at a klitschko brother before the fat lady sings please! Not Thompson again !

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

You're sick. James Toney would be injured by a Klitschko. Badly.

Frank (PHX)

In your article about Pavlik fighting on FNF and then possibly a fall showdown with JCC Jr. What happened to JCC Jr fighting Martinez after Lee assuming he wins?

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

A lot of promoter rhetoric but Martinez-Chavez aint gonna happen in the fall. VERY unlikely no matter what they're saying publicly right now.

Charles (Ogden, Utah)

How much do you think Rios' performance will reflect on Garcia as a trainer?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

I think every fighter's performance reflects at least in part on the trainer.

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

Weights from Denmark (European super middleweight title): James DeGale: 76.2 kg, Cristian Sanavia: 76 kg. You do the math.

Joe (Frankfurt)

I keep thinking that British fans are ridiculously in denial about how talented their fighters actually are, and then I see Americans continuing to believe in James Toney and realize this is a worldwide issue.

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Well said.

sergio (san diego)

Dan, moring. I've had a subscription to Ring magazine for several years and as of late I've noticed a difference, for the worse? What are your thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

I'd say that with an all-new editorial team there are some struggles for sure.

Horn (Vegas)

James Toney can't even say Klitschko...

Bobby (Louisville)

What about Taylor/Pavlik III if Jermain wins tonight! would still be somewhat marketable, and a true crossroads fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

I'd doubt it. No public demand at all and both guys have other possible roads to go down.

Charles (Vegas)

Dan, Alvarado is must see tv. What are your thoughts on his next fight, I was thinking Judah?

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

Judah is going to fight for the IBF title, not Alvarado. I'd love to see Alvarado get the shot at Marquez but I doubt that happens. I would love Alvarado vs. Maidana or the Soto-Matthysse winner but those are all GB fighters so they are unlikely. It's too bad.

Steve (DC)

If Floyd is so great why does he duck Manny?

Bobby (Louisville)

Arum has a history of still going ahead with fights (despite tune-up losses), you think he actually does Marquez-Rios on July 14?

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

Probably.

Dan (NYC)

Judah vs Alvarado makes me salivate

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

Do you have problems with your glands?

drew (NJ)

why doesn't Rios get the same kind of bashing that Guzman gets after missing weight for the second straight fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

Rios has been slaughtered, what are you talking about?

Damon (Atlant)

Why do you block people just for disagreeing with you on twitter?This is boxing, grow a pair and dont act like a baby.

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

I dont block people who disagree. I have no problem with disagreeing. I block people who curse or make personal insults, use racial language, make threats, etc... But disagreement is fine.

Brian (Providence)

Haymon gets Broner a guaranteed fight date on HBO even without an opponent, then they approve a opponent that shouldn't even be on TV. Why does Al Haymon have so much power in boxing?

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

Becuase the buyers give it to him. It's not his fault. Any of us would do it if we were allowed to by the networks.

MacDaddy (Philly)

Danno, who was Rios nutritionist, the Cookiemonster???

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!!

Tom (Vegas)

Dan, You need to review the putrid IBF rankings. Alvarado actually has a realistic shot at fighting Zab if the belt is vacated

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

True.

Derek (Boulder CO)

Did you notice Rios had a Winchell's donuts ad on his trunks the other night? Not a good choice after blowing weight twice

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

I did notice.

Les (texas) [via mobile]

Who is Bryant Jennings going to fight next?

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

I forget the name but it is on the schedule on the June 16 undercard. Check the sked.

alex (ny)

doesn't gary sykes seem like a full step down from eloy perez?

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

A full step? I'd say an entire flight of stairs.

El Bori (Tampa, FL)

Dan, any news on any upcoming fight for Thomas Dulorme?

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

Will fight on DiBella's Broadway Boxing show in June.

Joan Guzman [via mobile]

Brandon Rios has the best nutrionist in the world!

Mike (SD)

Love the idea of Judah/Alvarado

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

LOTS of people chiming in about how much they like a Judah-Alvarado fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

Check out one of my Ringtones videos from this week: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7827653&categoryid=2491554

Frank (PHX)

What about Judah vs JMM in July?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

That isnt happening.

JP (Columbus, OH)

DTM what's the worst you've seen someone miss weight by? A guy in UFC missed by 12 pounds a few months ago.

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

Didnt Shawn Estada miss weight for his FNF fight in February by like 15 pounds?

Pepe (Iowa)

What does DTM mean?

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

Are you new around these here parts?

Joan Guzman [via mobile]

Buffet and beer at my house later with special friends Jose Luis Castillo and Brandon Rios!

Alaa Abdelnabby (Beach Chair)

Dano - thoughts on an Abraham-Pavlik fall match-up... Should have happened 4 years ago...

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

If it is made, sure, I'll watch it. But I have zero excitement for it like I once did.

Gale Van Hoy [via mobile]

I had Rios making weight last fight

Aaron (MA)

Are there going to be FNF shows on May 4th and May 11th?

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

No.

Pepe (Iowa)

Do you think Gamboa is done at 126?

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

Yes, he is. He said he is moving up. He's done there.

Matt (Lincoln, NE)

Dan, how did you score the Mayweather-Castillo 1st fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

As I've said many times, I had it a draw.

Pepe (Iowa)

I am not new, I just had never asked before. Is it Dan the Man?

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

Ding ding ding!

Dustin (Ohio)

What does Pepe mean??

Steve (Kansas)

It looks like there is gonna be a great turnout for the Hopkins fight next weekend.

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

I think there will be. I'll be there.

Anthony (Bronx, NY)

I think Bute/Froch is going to be one of the better fights this year. And its going to be free on Epix. How pumped are you to be ringside calling the action for that one?

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

Very excited. Excellent fight, will be a great atmosphere and it will be my first trip to England. Because the fight is so close to Pacquiao's fight Freddie Roach will not be able to be on the broadcast team but I'm looking forward to working alongside his fill-in, my childhood boxing idol, Sugar Ray Leonard.

Matt (Cincy OH)

Dan - you mention that HBO approved both Sykes and Meza Clay for Broner's next fight. What was the rationale for the promoter then picking Sykes over Clay as the opponent? Thanks!

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

HBO preferred Sykes over Clay given a choice between the two.

Ben (Kansas)

Jumping on the bandwagon, Judah vs Alvarado is a great fight

brian (ca)

your first trip to England for a fight, or your first trip to England ever?

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

Ever.

Les (texas) [via mobile]

I heard Cris Arreola will get a title shot against W.Klitschko if he wins? Do u know if this true & when would it take place?

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

That is very likely this fall in the US.

Derek (Boulder CO)

Be careful in the pubs Dan. They may glass ya

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

Good advice.

Bob (Steel City)

Saw a interview with Hopkins on root sports yesterday... He said you've seen him eat his only sweets, a fat free cheesecake? and only 3 bites? true story?

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

True story. I was with BHop and some others after he defeated Pascal to win the title last year. We were out a little Italian place in Montreal at like 2 am. BHop said he had not eaten ANY sweets or junk food in forever during his camp. Even his dinner after the win was pasta and vegetables. But he did get a piece of cheese cake and it WAS NOT fat free. Here is the photo I took: http://twitpic.com/50yqqh

JP (Columbus, OH)

LOL, "fat free" cheesecake? Was it made by the same people on Seinfeld that serve the fat free frozen yogurt that made everyone gain weight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

LOL! It was most definitely not fat free.

Mikeq (Boston)

Dan I agree with your "getting bored" of 24/7 comment. Everyone one is either pacquiao or mayweather. HBO could use that plat form to try and build additional PPV stars. Or at the least give more air time to the cotto/bradley etc since everyone has has seen the mayweather/pacquiao camps ad nauseum

Rob (Atlanta)

The memorial day BBQ will be great, three boxers need to stay away from the desserts and Chavez Jr away from the drinks

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

The BBQ planning is under way!

Jay (MD)

The real reason I am against Broner fighting Sykes is that when it's over he may not bring out his brush. His hair should still be perfect.

Jesse (El Mirage, AZ)

Dan, what do you say about people that say "Bernard Hopkins doesn't want this fight(Chad Dawson)." Doesn't make sense to me, if Hopkins didn't want the fight, why did he take the rematch? It seems to me, that at this time Hopkins has a choice in opponents to get a TV date.

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

Those people are crazy. BHop did not have to take this fight or any fight in recent years. He is an all-time great who has nothing to prove to anyone. At 47 and with his accomplishments, NOBODY is going to force him to take a fight. He took the fight because he is being paid and because he is a prideful athlete who thinks he can win.

karl (uk)

how did u and the ringside crew meet?

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

I've known those guys for many years of seeing them at fights they have come over to the US to cover for Sky.

Adrien Broner (the can man)

I will fight Mexi-cans, Afri-cans, Domini-cans, tomato cans...

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

LOL!!

Mike (Hillsboro, OR)

And you know what they call a... a... a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

Royale with cheese!

Brian (Boston)

Are Mosely and Canelo both training at Big Bear for the upcoming fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

I believe so, yes.

mike (ny,ny)

best scene of 'boogie nights'? my vote is for coke deal gone bad!

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

Totally agree. The New Year's Eve party is also pretty intense.

Desmond (San Diego )

Hey Dan. Am I the only one who thinks Mosley will beat Canelo. Mosley won't be weight drained. And Canelo is easy to hit.

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

There are few folks I've heard from picking the upset.

George (Fonatna, CA)

Dan, so how do you see the Abner Mares/Erik Morel figth unfolding. Alot of people dont seem pumped up for this one I actually am.

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

Well I am glad somebody is. The problem is not Mares. It's Morel, who has been a pro for 16 years and has never made entertaining fights. Ever.

JP (Columbus, OH)

"Pepe from Iowa" is espanol for "Bing from Philly"

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

From the Bat Email via the Nevada State Athletic Commision executive director Keith Kizer: Abril and Rios passed both steroid/drug tests.

Brian (Providence)

what I wanna know is...did they drug test the Rios/Abril judges?

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

You and everybody else!

Matt (Lincoln, NE)

new blog posted!

Dan Rafael
  (1:17 PM)

Voila: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/1016/broner-salido-makes-sense

John (Houma, LA)

I am a big Vic D fan, but am disappointed that he has been on a downward spiral. What do you think he should do, move back down in weight or just hang up the gloves for good ?

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

He cannot really compete with the best at 118 anymore it seems. I'm not sure if he can still make 115. I wont say he should retire. It's not like he getting beaten up. But it depends on what his expectations are whether he has saved any of his money.

Buck Swope (Boogie Nights)

See this system here? This is hi-fi..high fidelity. That means it's the highest quality fidelity.

Bj Detroit [via mobile]

Hey Dan Wat do u think bout this Mayweather broner comparison? I been hearing a lot about it.

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

Broner models himself after Floyd and they have similar styles.

Craig (Colorado )

Could Taylor be in trouble ? He has fought the much better comp but has lost 4 of last 6 and not looked good since 2007. Truax is not bad.

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

I dont think I've ever seen Truax so I am not sure what to expect. I would imagine the Taylor people, who are very careful, picked Truax for a reason.

@Boxingtitan (Twitter)

Dan Abril v Demarco.........That would be a hell of a fight

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

Not sure Abril will ever be in a "hell of a fight" because of his style, but those two guys are two of the top 5 or so lightweights out there.

El Happy Stoner (Oaksterdam)

Never seen Eric Morel before, what can you tell us about his style?

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

Puerto Rican Derrick Gainer.

jcs (edmonton)

best movie song of all time - Feel feel feel feel.....feel my heat. great scene.

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

Those are your tapes but that's our magic on those tapes.

Youtube (NJ)

Why is Broner fighting such a bum on HBO next??

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

You'd have to ask HBO.

Lopezchino (los angeles)

Dan, did u ever watch a boxing match at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, great history in that building.

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

Yes, I covered one fight card there several years ago. It was a Golden Boy HBO Latino card and Tito Trinidad's nephew or cousin was on the show. Cool place. Tito was in the middle of his retirement and I had a chance to interview him in the dressing room during the card, which was cool because he had not done many (if any) interviews in a long time. And he talked about his retirement and some other stuff.

shelton (texas)

Do u think Canelo will ever fight Cotto,,whats ur thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

That would be a big fight. Let's say Cotto beats Floyd or does well and if Cotto were to remain with GB for another fight why not make that match? That would generate a ton of money and be very fan friendly.

Jacob (Clovis, CA)

Zed's dead, baby, Zed's dead.

Brian (Providence)

Greater Puerto Rican fighter....Trinidad or Cotto?

Dan Rafael
  (1:33 PM)

Right now, I'd have to rank Tito ahead but Cotto is not finished yet.

Anthony (Bronx, NY)

Should Jermain Taylor still be fighting?

Dan Rafael
  (1:34 PM)

He has been examined by doctors from all kinds of top places. They say he is fit to fight and he looked fine in his comeback. So it is what it is. I'm no doctor and he looked fine to me. He sounds fine.

Black (LV)

Robinson DAN-o, didn't Morel have some really awful legal issues not too far back?

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

Yes, he was in prison during his 3-year layoff for a sexual abuse conviction against a young girl.

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

By the way Fight Freaks, if you missed the JMM-Fedchenko / Rios-Abril PPV, HBO Latino is going to replay the bouts on Saturday night at 11 ET/PT. There are also replays scheduled. The commentary is in Spanish.

Duff (Boston, MA)

Will Alvarado-Herrera be replayed on HBO Latino?

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

Not according to the HBO Latino press release announcing the replay.

Berndawg (CHI)

Sean Gibbons is freaking hilarious...too bad Broner won't be the least bit interested.....WAR SALIDO!!!!

Dan Rafael
  (1:41 PM)

I actually think that fight could happen.

Ry (OH)

Dan, an earlier question somebody asked got me thinking. Are judges routinely drug tested prior to fights for recreational drug use? It just seems like some of these judges would have to be high on something to be turning in the pathetic scorecards we've been forced to endure lately.

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

Judges are not drug tested as far as I know.

Tommy (Chicago)

With the horrible judging in Texas and now Rios/Abril joke it continues to make boxing look corrupt. Dan what is your view on a solution?

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

I think what there needs to be is a more well-defined judging criteria.

@Boxingtitan (Twitter)

Since the changes at HBO IMO they haven't improved at all. On the other hand I love the way Showtime televises undercard fights and is now interactive via twitter and facebook during fights. Thumbs up to @shosports

Lopezchino (los angeles)

If my name was "Lovechild" you would pick one of my questions!!!

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.

Nick (Rialto, CA)

Hey Dan, who you got winning FNF and Shobox tonite?

Dan Rafael
  (1:45 PM)

I think we could have an excellent main event on FNF with Stevenson-Gonzalez. I have to lean to Stevenson, the hometown guy who has been looking very very good lately. But I dont count out Gonzalez. He has one loss in years and it was to Sturm in Germany in a title fight. I also have to go with Taylor on ShoBox. And I think Lara wipes out Hearns in the undercard fight.

Chris (Boise)

I saw your giants super bowl hat it was great I saw one the other day on the beach in Mexico when I was down there

Dan Rafael
  (1:46 PM)

Nice! Here it is!!!! http://twitpic.com/9bequ6

Jason (Pittsburgh)

Thanks for interfering with Monty Meza-Clay's livelihood & your result is a far worse joke of a fight. Hope you're happy.

Dan Rafael
  (1:48 PM)

LOL. How did I interfere? I dont make the fights. But I did think it was a terrible match. I think the Sykes fight is a terrible fight. And, by the way, I have yet to encounter ANYONE who thinks either of them should be on HBO against Broner in a mismatch.

Jeff (Las vegas)

DTM Lightweight rankings have been decimated

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

I know. It was tough to do this week with so many changes and not a lot of depth.

Adamd (DuPage)

Any news on the fourth televised fight for the Tarver-Kayode card?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

You gotta be checking out my new blog section. I wrote a few days ago about it -- likely will be Leo Santa Cruz vs Vusi Malinga for a vacant 118 belt.

Greg (Canada)

Felix Sturm's easy beatdown of Sebastian Zbik certainly makes JCC Jr. look a lot worse now.

Mike (Chicago)

Everybody knows the 130 division is a poor division, but looking at your current rankings, 135 seems surprisingly short on depth.

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

The divisions have been crushed by guys losing or moving up. They used to be hot divisions. Now they are not so good.

Ed Conrey (Levittown, PA)

What do you think of the Malinaggi attempting to make Twitter history by being the first fighter to Tweet between rounds idea?

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

I think he better worry about Senchenko. #tk

Rob (Denton, Tx)

I am having to switch cable companies. Can a freak tell me if you get Epix with Direct TV or Dish Network ?

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

Epix is on Dish Network, but not on Direct yet.

Kalik (Detroit)

What happened to the Randall Bailey vs Mike Jones IBF Title fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

June 9 on Pacquiao-Bradley PPV.

bill (carmel, ny)

dan, i noticed that rios disappeared from your rankings. assume you are waiting for him to fight in a division where he can make weight.

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

He dropped out because he could no longer be ranked at 135 since he doesnt fight there anymore (and missed weight for two fights in a row) and he has not done anything yet of any note to be rated at 140, so he is in between, which happens sometimes to guys who are obviously good fighters.

Derek (Boulder CO)

I am going golfing this afternoon, any chance Gale Van Hoye can score my round?

El Dandy (Chihuahua)

Epix is also on FiOS.

Kevin (Portland, ME)

Whats the deal with Beibut Shumenov? He had such an impressive start to his career and now he just sits around not fighting. Anything on the horizon?

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

Nothing I am aware of. No idea why he rarely fights.

Roy (Reno)

DTM, nice blog, I didn't realize Salido wasn't tied to TR. That would be a nice fight.

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

It would be.

Charles (Ogden, Utah)

The best scene in Boogie Nights involves Heather Graham and rollerskates, fellas...

Charles (Ogden, Utah)

Have you ever had a chance to sit down a judge after a somewhat questionable scorecard and have them give their side of the story?

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

I have. I have a lot of respect for several judges who I know and I have had some very good discussions with them about judging philosophies.

Brian (Providence)

Any info on a opponent for Devon Alexander?

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

Nothing yet.

Dieter (From Sprockets)

Kizer also say Rios tested positive for cheeseburgers and cokes?

Dan Rafael
  (1:58 PM)

Listen Rios tried to make weight. That's why he looked so drained. But he didnt. Some guys who have missed weight you get the feeling they did not honestly try. I dont get that vibe from Rios.

Brian (Providence)

My girl deleted Salido/Juanma 2 from my dvr...should I ban her?

Dan Rafael
  (1:59 PM)

Wow, that was a bad, bad move on her part. But you're also a dope for not immediately putting it on a DVD.

Charles (Ogden, Utah)

Any explanation how Rios came back weighing more after trying to drop after first weigh-in?

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

He drank fluids because he knew he could not lose two more pounds.

Anthony (Bronx, NY)

U should throw her out of the house Brian.

Peter (NY)

So, what's next now for Gamboa? Looks like might have missed a good opportunity to perhaps beat an unprepared Rios.

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

Courtroom unless they settle.

Kieran (Washington DC)

Sykes is soft opponent for Broner. It's all very well staying busy, but to put it on WCB?

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

Exactly.

chris (brooklyn)

read your story on jhoan and then quickly went on youtube. my assesment, damn what a left hook. kid looks good!

Patrick (Boynton)

Aside from your well discussed pick of Rahman over Lewis..Can you think of a fight where you thought a particular fighter would win, but when you showed up to the event fight week, you completely changed your pick based on how that how boxer looked.

Dan Rafael
  (2:01 PM)

I picked Tito over Vargas all along. Then the night before the fight I was on FNF (I was still working for USA Today at the time) and because I had spent a lot of time around Vargas that week and seen him workout, I changed my pick to Vargas. Bad move on my part.

Justin (Seattle)

Are you going to have a chance to see Iron Mike's show in Vegas? It sounds like it is a real experience.

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

It's running only 2 weeks (unless it is extended) so I wont see it. That said, I have been around Tyson enough and talked with him enough over the years that I have heard many of the stories firsthand. There were times when he'd have sitdowns with a small group of writers before his fights and do what basically was his show for us for an hour. So I've heard a lot of it. But I would love to see the show.

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

Great news Fight Freaks, Richard Schaefer told me today that Fox Deportes is showing live coverage next week of the Jhonny Gonzalez-Elio Rojas/Salgado-Honorio card from Mexico next week as part of the GB series of fights they've been airing.

Mitch (Beijing)

If there's no notebook, can you sneak some choice quotables into the mini-blogs? quotables are my conversation starters with my wife about the sport. just before she tells me to get off the computer I toss out a quotable so we can discuss human nature, competition, etc. It buys me an hour at least.

Dan Rafael
  (2:07 PM)

I'd like to but not my call.

Anthony (Bronx, NY)

I wan't to see Broner vs. Salido. Do you think that match up happens after Broner fights Skyes?

Dan Rafael
  (2:07 PM)

We'll have to wait and see.

Tito (Santa Fe)

Do you think Mayweather-Cotto gets more PPVs than Pac-Bradley because it is earlier or just a more interesting fight for the public?

Dan Rafael
  (2:08 PM)

Mayweather-Cotto will do bigger business for sure because Cotto is a WAY WAY WAY WAY more known and popular fighter than Bradley is.

Ron (Tucson)

Any word on what might be next for Marco Huck?

Dan Rafael
  (2:10 PM)

He is fighting a rematch with Afolabi on May 5.

Joe (NJ)

I have not seen any replays on MSG of either of the Klitschkos latest fights that you covered with EPIX. Though they did replay Povetkins last 2 fights.. Any word if they will/ or when, and do they have the rights?

Dan Rafael
  (2:10 PM)

Not sure but MSG usually shows the Epix fights eventually.

Mitch (Beijing)

I'm okay with change. New format is fine with me. And overall, their changes have been an improvement (such as Ring Tones). Just miss the quotables . . and of course when the pix were taken out of the notebook. Oh well.

Frank (PHX)

I see Broner/Salido playing out like Mayweather/Castillo. Would love to see it!

Dan Rafael
  (2:12 PM)

LOTS of folks in the chat really seem to like the idea of Broner-Salido. I think it's a terrific fight.

El Dandy (Chihuahua)

Huck vs Afolabi going to be on tv in America?

Dan Rafael
  (2:12 PM)

No sir.

Dave, NJ [via mobile]

Showtime moved their telecast from 9 to 9:30. So will the ShoExtreme card be an extra 30 minutes?

Tom (DC)

Dan, if you have the chance at Mayweather-Cotto, remember your twitpics. Floyd, Shane, and Canelo's girlfriends should be somewhere around the ring.

Dan Rafael
  (2:15 PM)

Would I ever let you down?

Sam (South San Francisco,CA)

In response to your response to Tito (santa Fe), Mayweather will do more because he has Canelo on the undercard on Cinco de Mayo. Floyd had Canelo as a co headliner on his Ortiz card and he did close numbers with Pac/Marquez and Pac/Mosley

Dan Rafael
  (2:16 PM)

Correct. I wasnt thinking about that but you're 100 percent right. With Canelo on the Floyd card it will certainly add buys, another reason it will likely do a lot better on PPV than the Pacquiao card.

Dan Rafael
  (2:18 PM)

OK, Fight Freaks, thanks for the chat today. Hope you enjoy all the stories/videos/blogs and sked updates. Follow on twitter and like my facebook page for all your boxing updates! Enjoy the fights and have a great weekend. Talk to you next week. Peace.