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September 7, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

Greetings from Oakland, Calif., Fight Freaks. I am here for tomorrow's big Andre Ward-Chad Dawson super middleweight championship fight on HBO. It's a big fight weekend as there is also DeMarco-Molina on the undercard plus HBO's same-day coverage of Vitali Klitschko-Charr and the debut of the Klitschko documentary and a card on Showtime with Ajose-Matthysse in Las Vegas. And next week is the biggie with Martinez-Chavez on HBO PPV along with Alvarez-Lopez on Showtime. The fall fight season is on. Let's get to it.

Steve (Hartford)

Any idea how tickets are selling in Oakland?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

I do not have a feel for it yet. I have been told that they have not been selling all that great, maybe 5,000ish, but hopefully with today's public weigh in, lots of coverage and local activities here being promoted well there will be a big walkup. One thing I did see when I got here yesterday and was riding from the airport to the press conference is that there were Ward banners on basically every street corner downtown.

Craig D. (Philly)

What are the purses for Ward VS Dawson?, also do you think there is value in betting on Dawson as a 3-1 underdog?

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

I'm not sure yet of the purses but to see Dawson as 3-1 to me is a great bet. I view him as the underdog but not nearly by the much.

Gabe Saginaw Mi [via mobile]

Nice to c new people on HBO 24/7.

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

Couldn't agree more.

Silva (San Diego)

Do you think Vitali will/should retire after this fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

I think Vitali crushes Charr and if he does I see zero reason for him to retire unless he wants to. If he wins the parliament election in October I think he may call it quite, or maybe have a farewell fight. But he told me that he hasa one or two fights left.

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

Please check out my story from yesterday on Vitali's political plans and future: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/8343326/vitali-klitschko-readying-new-career-politics

Charlie (Chicago, IL)

Most likely next opponent for GGG next, Geale, winner of Quillin-N'Dam N'Jikam, or the field?

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

The field.

Chris (Bay Area)

Dan, I was at the Press Conference yesterday and noticed you walked in late? Flight Delay?

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

No, that is when I got there. My flight was on time. Goossen set the presser for a ridiculously early start time, making it impossible for me to get there on time from the East Coast. I left DC at 7 am, first flight of the day, had to connect in Phoenix. No shot to make it on time. And since I am out West thru Chavez-Martinez there was no way I was arriving on Tuesday night. I had a chance to speak to the guys after so no biggie.

Chris (Rotterdam Jct, NY)

Predictions for this weekend?

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

Klitschko by massive destruction. DeMarco on points or late KO. Matthysse by KO. Ward by decision.

John (Phoenix)

Dear everyone, please learn something about gambling. Vegas does not post lines in order to do anything but encourage 50/50 money on the fight. They do not think that Dawson is a 3:1 dog either, but the public perception has put the number here so that they do not get more money on Ward than they would want. Learn something, please.

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

Thank you.

Kevin (Tx)

Dan, Has there EVER been a fighter thats gone down in weight and beat the divisions KingPin.

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

It's pretty rare. Last time I can think of it was Roy Jones had won a heavyweight belt and went down to fight Tarver, who had claimed various belts after he left, and beat him in their first fight.

Pepe (Monterrey Mexico)

Any news about the actual fight time for the Canelo/Lopez Chavez/Martinez bouts? What would you think are the possibilities of hitting both venues and catch both fights... As a journalist what are you going to do?

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

As far as I know they will take place basically simultaneously. I will be at Thomas & Mack at Martinez-Chavez along with all of the other main beat writers. I have spoken to many and do not know of one who will be at MGM.

Joe M (Dallas)

DTM. My head says Ward, my heart says Ward, and my gut says Ward, but I am picking Dawson to win.

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

Check out my Ward-Dawson feature from today: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/8347749/chad-dawson-andre-ward-setting-size-aside-saturday-fight

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

And here is my Ring Tones video prevewing the fight with my prediction: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8338394&categoryid=2491554

Pete (Texas)

Are Chavez jr and Chavez Sr in your top 3 of father son duos?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

Probably.

Charlie (Chicago, IL)

Who do you think has more punching power relatively speaking, GGG or Matthyse?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

For one shot, I would say Matthysse. But Golovkin throws straighter, more accurate blows.

Frank (PHX)

DTM, is it crazy to think Martinez will knock Chavez out? I know Chavez is a lot bigger and has a great chin but I believe Martinez when he says he'll knock him out. He told Lou Dibella he'd do that to P.Will in the rematch and has been knocking out everyone ever since, I see extreme confidence in him and believe they'll be a KO.

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

No, you're not crazy.

Drew (NJ)

Golovkin blew my mind last week, but his nickname triple g is a little lacking. I say we give him a freak nickname. I nominate the "Kazakh Crusher"

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

Love it. How about the Golov-child?

Chris (Roswell nm )

I hate hearing people saying that ward vs dawson is going to be a stinker. I sure hope they are wrong. two good fighters in their prime.

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

Of course, I want to see an action fight. But I also want to see the best fighters fight each other and whatever happens, happens. I happen to think this fight will be better than some believe it will be. But even if it totally sucks, I'm glad they took the chance to fight each other.

Gabe Saginaw Mi [via mobile]

Go to Tecate boxing on Facebook. Click on Coupon Character and print out rebate for Chavez jr vs. Martinez.

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

I was going to post that and you beat me to it.

Nick (DE)

What is the undercard fight you are looking forward to most from each card next week?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

Jhonny Gonzalez-Ponce De Leon on the Alvarez-Lopez card. On the Martinez-Chavez card, well let's just say the show lack a lot but if I have to pick I'll say Macklin-Alcine.

Clark (Madison)

G-Force Golovkin?

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

Not bad. Maybe just G-Force.

Justin (Seattle)

Welcome to the American Boxing Scene, GGG. The Freaks already knew about you but with that performance, the rest of the American fight public knows about you too.

Clark (Madison)

Dan, do you think Golovkin's big breakthrough performance on an American stage will get some other foreign fighters who haven't appeared on U.S. television (HBO/Shotime) to make the move sooner?

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

Yes, but it has to be the right circumstance. For Golovkin it was a perfect storm. He really wanted to fight here and be on US TV. He has a promoter that has US ties and he is in a division HBO is heavily involved in.

Bob (Chicago)

Dan, are we headed for another GB/Top Rank squabble over December 8?

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

Seems that way. TR says Pacquiao is going Dec. 8 on PPV. GB is saying Canelo (assuming he beats Lopez) will be back on Dec. 8. I assume either Showtime or PPV.

Marlo S. (Baltimore)

Hey is it weird that my Saturday night revolves around seeing YOU in the Klitschko documentary? In fact, maybe we could get together later and I could, y'know, comb your beard...

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

Settle down.

Kevin (Grand Rapids, MI)

@Kevin(Tx). Bob Fitzsimmons and Henry Armstrong were the only ones that came down in weight and beat the lineal champs. Dawson would join a pretty exclusive club if he wins.

Tony (Oakland)

Big thanks to Andre Ward for showing that you CAN be incredibly confident without being flashy and arrogant. Hope more people follow in his footsteps.

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

Agreed. Andre is a good dude. (And so is Chad). Both super nice guys.

Norton (Dothan Al)

Dan, Whats the chances Ward/ Dawson gives a FOY candidate??

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

I dont expect that. They just dont fight like that. If it happened? Great.

Cody (Minneapolis)

Is Golden Boy trying to ruin Canelo's career? His exposure is way less by consecutively having him fight on days where he is going to be overshadowed by all of the boxing public.

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

Slow down. His next fight is not set.

Vic (Hollywood)

Dan, why give Erik Morales another shot ..poor guy looked outta shape and slower than the Morales of even 2 years ago. Your thoughts of him shocking Danny swift.?

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

Morales doesnt deserve the rematch. He lost clean and didnt bother to make weight. But he has a rematch clause and the wretched WBC went along with it. Shame on them.

Cesar (Washington State)

Dan, do you know the location and time for the Chavez Jr.-Martinez weight in?

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

3 pm PT next Friday at the theater at the Wynn.

Aaron (Cincinnati)

Have you given any thought to Ward's P4P standing if he clearly beats Dawson?

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

None. I will think about that after the fight.

Bing (Philly)

Golovkin= Glove King

Bill (NYC)

Dan, do you see a potential for Ward-Dawson to end up like Bradley-Alexander: A hyped fight featuring two American stars that offer a performance that doesn't live up to the event, which actually leaves both fighters diminished?

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

No, I see it being a better fight than that.

Brandon (Jacksonville FL)

Dantasia...didn't get an answer last week. How do you see the Rios/Alvarado fight coming out?

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Bloody. Very bloody.

Chesseley (Raleigh, NC)

Looked at Charr on you tube and wasn't too impressed! Please tell me I am missing something and he might pose a problem for Vitali...

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

Like I said earlier, I think Vitali destroys him. He's smaller, not too fast, no defense, not a big puncher. No particular standout win.

Chris (Boston)

Who is Isaac Chilemba going to fight after Erdei pulled out with a rib injury? And is it time for Erdei to retire since he can't stay healthy?

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

HBO folks and DiBella are trying to work it out.

Berndawg (CHI)

GOT, Chad's a pro, he hits 168 on the mark, first time, right?

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Incorrect. He has fought at super middle before and even lighter earlier in his career.

Brett (Kansas City)

Say what you will about him, but Canelo is keeping himself busy. I assume his long-term goal is a Mayweather fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

Always good for a young star to stay busy. Mayweather has been the guy he's been asking for for about a year.

Mike (Houston )

Dan I was on my way to school in Downtown Houston yesterday and saw a billboard with Canelo's face and Lopez's face promoting the fight for the 15th on Showtime. Granted I understand the reasoning as the billboard was in a predominantly hispanic area, mostly Mexican. But is this normal I do not think I have ever seen a highway billboard for a major fight outside of Las Vegas.

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

It happens, but it is unusual.

hectorconga (NYC)

Dan,I was impressed with Golovkin's performance, however im not ready to call him the best in the division or to even say he's a monster in the division the way that the HBO commentators were talking him up. I thought he was very good however I want to see more of him especially against some of the top tier Middleweights...The way they were throwing names at him such as Mayweather and Dawson I thought was a bit ridiculous

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

Just because that was your first time seeing him doesnt mean he has been looking great for several fights, which he has. He had a monster amateur career and has had some good wins as a pro too. So he is clearly one of the best middleweights and he just beat a good middleweight. There's a reason to be excited.

Tomas (Tx)

Hey Dan. What are your thoughts on Cotto taking on Austin Trout? Gotta give Cotto props for taking a challenge rather than another big money fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

I'm glad to see a fresh fight and always respect Cotto. He's been great for boxing and he deserves to be able to pick his opponent and he picked a real guy and is giving him the chance he's wanted.

Richie (Bronx, NY)

How is water pressure at hotel in oakland..

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

TBA. I have not showered yet this morning. After the chat. You can count on the water pressure twitter update.

Haris Syed Abbasi (Edison, NJ)

Any word on whats next for Gary Russel Jr?

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

Unfortunaley, no. Been a wasted year for him.

Dr. Rockso (Zazzblammymatazz)

Dan - how do you like Trout's chances against Cotto? He didn't look great against Rodriguez last fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

He has the skills that could frustrate Cotto. He's quick and young and very amped up for the fight. It could be intetesting, but it is hard to pick against Cotto at MSG.

Bruce (Alexandria)

It's gotta suck for HBO that Danny Garcia has his big breakout fight against Khan and now he's fighting on Showtime. Ouch!

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

HBO didnt want to invest seven figures into a Morales rematch it already saw a few months ago that was not something the public was all that interested in. So HBO passed. Showtime had a different opinion.

Rick (San Diego)

Dan, what do you see as being the key for Dawson to pull off the upset? I don't think he can do this just by relying on his jab.

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

I think toughness is important. Andre can inside and fire away and also wrestle a little inside. Dawson has to keep the composure and try to rough him up. But the jab is also very important and he needs to use his length and height to his advantage. Can't let Ward get on the inside because Ward is a better in fighter. And with Smoger as the referee, I think that is good for Ward. Smoger let's guys fight and work out of inside stuff, which works to Ward's advantage.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Your thoughts on ESPN's Stephen A. Smith saying we shouldn't buy anymore Pacquio or Mayweather PPV's until they fight each other?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

Stephen A. is my man and a friend and he is entitled to his opinion, even if he is wrong.

Haris Syed Abbasi (Edison, NJ)

If you had to pick three fights from the past year for an HBO Legendary Nights display, what would it be?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

There arent 3 fights from the past year that warrant that treatment.

Matt (PA)

Dan, I notice that you don't have the Gamboa card for Nov. 17 on the schedule. Is this not yet official?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Not official. Not close as far as I know.

Jp3 (McAllen Texas)

Floyd mayweather or manny PAC man on December 8th? Who are you taking Dan?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

They're not fighting Dec. 8.

Dr. Rockso (Zazzblammymatazz)

Dan - does it frustrate you that someone like Skip Bayless (obviously unqualified to talk boxing) is constantly making outlandish assertions about the sport?

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

Why should boxing be any different for him than evey other sport?

Robert (DC)

Dan, I think Dawson sort of lost his composure in the first Hopkins fight and again somewhat in the Pascal fight. Should one of Ward's tactics be to rough Dawson up and see if he can't get Dawson out of his cool, cerebral shell and to make a mistake?

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

Yes and Ward is good at that. I think Ward is a bit more mentally strong than Dawson.

Rick (Marina, Ca)

What do you think about John Clayton's Sportscenter commercial ? Its one of the best, I could picture you being like that.lol

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

I am not familiar with the commercial.

Joe (Frankfurt)

Is Deontay Wilder just biding his time until the Klitschkos retire, then try fighting some serious competition? His opposition has been truly terrible.

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

It has been bad.

Dr. Rockso (Zazzblammymatazz)

Dan - what are the chances of a headbutt in Dawson v Ward? I feel like there is a very good possibility

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

Whenever you have a righty vs southpaw it is a good possibility of that happening.

Dr. Rockso (Zazzblammymatazz)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k55Zn6iI8qkJohn Clayton commercial

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

Hilarious commercial. Had never seen it before.

Dustin (Ohio)

Dan, please put the word out to have Smoger ref the Rios/Alvarado fight. It only seems right!

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike (Houston )

Dan, give me a % that Manny could sit out the year and wait til April for his next fight. Maybe Floyd?

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

I think there's a chance Manny does not fight this year. I have been saying that. As for Mayweather next spring? Who the hell knows?

Rick (Marina, Ca)

Does Smoger know that people like his reffing style

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

100% yes. Kevin Iole, Smoger and I were chatting about it yesterday at the hotel. Check out this photo: https://twitter.com/KevinI/status/243886734511845378/photo/1

Aaron (Phoenix)

What's on deck for Joel Julio?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.

Steve (NJ)

Any chance if Ward wins, he would fight Bernard Hopkins?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

I doubt we see that fight.

Tomas (Tx)

Is Orlando Salido vs Mikey Garcia official?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

The fight is made, but Top Rank is working on a TV deal. It'll probably be on HBO before the end of the year.

Robert Moreno (San Diego, CA (America's Finest City))

Hey Dan, are you a big Nick Cannon fan?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

I had never really heard of him until 2 weeks ago.

Kenneth (Toronto)

No (boxing-related) news on Kelly Pavlik lately. That scares me. Anything new on the horizon?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

Nothing specific. Top Rank and Cameron Dunkin have been discussing possible fights for him, but nothing is set. There has been conversation with Saulernad about a Kessler fight but I do not believe it will happen.

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

DiBella announced today, by the way, that the fight replacing the canceled Chilemba-Erdei bout on Sept. 29 on HBO is Alex Perez (16-0, 9 KOs) vs. Antonin Decarie (26-1, 7 KOs) in a welter bout.

Edwin (Houston)

So is Showtime the official Golden Boy Promotions network? Seems like that is all Espinoza is putting on the channel as far as boxing goes.

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

If it walks like a duck...

Karin (Ohio)

I seems like Pavlik might have to go overseas to get a Big fight. Dan, do u think he will do that?

Dan Rafael
  (12:55 PM)

My understanding of the Kessler discussions were that there were two packages. One amount if the fight was overseas and a different amount if it was in the US. I'd be surprised if Kelly went overseas.

Absolutely Nobody (Nowhere)

Would just like to thank Ross Greenburg for last week's compelling undercard fight!

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!!!!!!!!!!!

Jake (El Paso, TX)

Since Canelo v. Lopez is the "B" fight, do you think they'll be giving tickets away on the day of the fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

Wouldnt surprise me a bit.

Anthony (PA)

Dan, whose stock drops more with a loss between Ward and Dawson?

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

Really depends the way the fight plays out. If it's a great fight, really close? Neither. It all depends on what happens.

Amaury (Florida)

Dan, who defeated Golovkin for the gold medal in '04?

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov of Russia.

Rockin The Crocs (Utah)

Is this Ward/Dawson - Martinez/Chavez road trip the longest you've had as a writer? Seems you could be traveling most of September.

Dan Rafael
  (1:01 PM)

No, I've had trips like this before but usually all in Vegas, not two different cities. I've done them when there have been fights on consecutive weekens in Vegas like, for example, Corrales-Castillo 1 one weekend followed by Trinidad-Wright the following weekend.

Jonathan Gonzalez (PR)

I worked hard to make weight! Our scales were just off. Yes, this is the truth.

Robert Moreno (San Diego, CA (America's Finest City))

Have you been watching the Republican and/or Democratic Conventions?

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

I watched a lot of both. A few of us had dinner last night at the hotel and watched Pres. Obama's speech on the big screen.

Joe (PA)

Have the judges for Ward-Dawson passed their seeing-Eye tests?

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

TBA.

Pete (Texas)

The little brother of Erik Morales is fighting tonight I believe. Have you ever seen any of his fights? If so what do you think his chances are of being a champion?

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

I have seen him (and also had a chance to meet him at Garcia-Morales in Houston). Good prospect. Lot of potential.

Donell Badgett (Pittsburgh,Pa)

Dan. Why did ward vs. dawson had a hbo 24/7 show and its not a pay per view? Also have you have any clue of manny pacquaio's next opponent? Please don't say marquez?

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

Why not do a 24/7 for a non PPV? I thought it was a great way to bring attention to a good fight. Manny's next opponent is supposed to be either Marquez or Bradley.

Steve (Minneapolis, MN)

Dan, do you get a lot of fans complaining about Showtime's obvious bias towards one promoter? As a fan I'm thinking of getting rid of the channel because these events are just not what I've come to expect from Showtime. One of my favorite shows is "ShoBox" and if Golden Boy takes that over I assume it'll be as bad as their Telefutura and FSN shows.

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

I am actually pretty surprised that I do get a lot of comments in these chats and on twitter about exactly that. I didnt think who the promoter of a show was a big deal to a fight fan as long as the fights were solid.

Bruce (Alexandria)

Amaury: "Dan, who defeated Golovkin for the gold medal in '04?"Dan: "Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov of Russia."This question and answer brought to you by the letter "G".

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Chris (Oklahoma City)

Dan, any word on how Ricardo Lopez's son's boxing career has gone? I've heard he fights a lot like his father?

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

He does but not as good. But they look the same in the way they fight. He fights Sept. 22 on Arce's undercard.

Richard (Croydon UK)

What the hell is happening to the career of Nathan Cleverley? 2 fights in a row he is fighting absolute nobodies, and has lost all the momentum and star power he built up by beating bellew!

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

That is Frank Warren's MO: Talk about every big fight time and again and then make crapola for years. See a huge chunk of Calzaghe's record.

Slater (West by God Virginia )

I couldn't care less who promotes a fight or on what network as long as it's going to be competitive and not purposely one sided

Robert Moreno (San Diego, CA (America's Finest City))

Dan, Do you play Fantasy Football or any other Fantasy Sports?

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

Not in many many years. I retired after I won my fantasy football league in about 1997.

@ThatBoyElite (OKC)

Fighters not coming in at the contracted weight has gotten way out of hand. But last weekend when Jonathan Gonzalez came in 9lbs over, that was just ridiculous. What will it take to resolve this issue that seems to keep arising?

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

Massive regular fines. I believe if you miss weight now you should have to pay a piece of your next purse to your opponent too. Maybe suspension as well. It's a serious issue.

Drew (NJ)

I thought the Fight Game was supposed to be a weekly show, yet i can't recall seeing an episode since the one after Bradley/Pac. did they pull the plug on it already?

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

It was NEVER a weekly show. The first order was for like 4 shows. The next one airs Sept. 22.

Cunningham Eats Chips (Ogden)

Do either Martinez or Chavez (Jr) speak English? Have you ever done a personal interview with either?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

Sure, I've interviewed them both. Chavez's English is not bad actually. I was rather surprised. Martinez more seems to understand what you say in English but needs to translate his answers. But both are getting better with English.

Rockin The Crocs (Utah)

Interesting article on Vitali's political aspirations. How legit are his chances of election from what you've heard?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

Hard to say. I only know what Vitali told me about it and he said it'll will be a tough campaign.

John (D.C.)

Martinez vs Chavez jr. is going to be a repeat of Martinez fight vs Kelly. Who cares if Sergio dances around, at the end of the fight Chavez face is going to be destroyed. I don't think he will knock him out though.

Brett (Minneapolis)

So if MP takes a break for the remainder of 2012, is the obvious choice Bradley-JMM?

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

Exactly.

jess (la)

Any livestream of Ward weigh-in today?

Dan Rafael
  (1:20 PM)

Yes, look at the ESPN.com/boxing homepage.

Sean Mc (Ireland)

Not boxing related but whos your all time favourite wrestler?

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

Superfly Snuka and Undertaker.

Joe (PA)

Have Teddy Atlas and Alex Povetkin communicated with each other since they split?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

I have no idea but I doubt it.

Mike (Massapequa )

Have you ever seen a fighter come in 9 lbs over ??? That was absurd

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

Didnt Shawn Estrada come in even heavier than for an ESPN2 fight earlier this year?

Sun Devil (Los Angeles)

Dan, has Mike Tyson ever expressed any interest to you about training fighters?

Dan Rafael
  (1:25 PM)

None whatsoever. In fact, he has said to me he would be a terrible trainer. He wouldnt have the patience required.

Golden Boy Promotions (LA)

Golden Boy is proud to announce the 2013 schedule for Canelo Alvarez: Fight 1, Super Bowl Sunday, Fight 2, the Saturday of the Final Four, Fight 3, tentative, if Pac-Mayweather fight, we'll book the arena down the street, and Fight 4 across from the NFL season opener! Golden Boy always brings you the best fights when you want to see them. Ciaaaaooooo!

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

OMG.

Joe (NJ)

What are the chances Charr makes it past the half way mark of the fight

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

I think it goes as long as Vitali feels like letting it go.

Rockin The Crocs (Utah)

Ward and Dawson seem so down to earth on 24/7. Are they that way in person, too?

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

100% yes.

Willy (BK)

Has the public perception of a proposed fight ever changed more dramatically in such a short time than Martinez-Chavez has?

Dan Rafael
  (1:29 PM)

Not that I can think of but the reason is because Chavez went out and won fights rather impressively against solid to good opponents -- Szbik, Manfredo, Rubio and Lee. Not great fighters, but pretty solid all around and he won pretty strongly against each. Plus, you have Martinez continuing to win but having problems against Barker, getting dropped by Macklin. Add it together and the fight looks closer now than 18 months ago.

John (D.C.)

Showtime all access did a great job of making me believe Josesito has a shot. Has your opinion changed at all? Probably just good T.V. promotion, but Josesito is going to be coming to fight him without a doubt.

Dan Rafael
  (1:31 PM)

I have not watched the All Acess yet. When it came on Wednesday night I was buried. I was packing for this trip, I was finshing my Klitschko story and also trying to watch (unfortunately) some of the Giants season opener and Yankees game.

Anthony (Long Beach, CA)

Dan will you recognize Andre Ward as as the Lineal Light Heavyweight Champion if he beats Dawson. Dawson is the Champ and they are both coming under the 175 pound weight limit. Also their is no rule in place saying how light a fighter can come in.

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

I understand what you're saying and I guess if you want to be 100% technical you are right. But I dont think it will go down that way. This is at the super middleweight limit and wont be widely viewed as Ward being light heavyweight champion if he wins. I am not sure which camp I am in. I can see both sides.

Keith (Clifton Park, NY)

You've been covering sports for a number of years. As far as the prima donna athlete, where do boxers rank?

Dan Rafael
  (1:33 PM)

Ive dealt with MLB players, NFL, major college players, boxers, etc... Boxers, overall, are BY FAR the most easy going when it comes to dealing with media.

Dieter (From Sprockets)

Time to dance?

Dan Rafael
  (1:33 PM)

Go for it.

al (denver)

i know you'll be at the other fight, but i'm interested to hear too sharp on the showtime broadcast this weekend.

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

Yes, Mark Johnson will be an analyst on Showtime this weekend. Good to see Mark get a chance.

Mike (PA)

Will HBO buy Wladimir vs Wach?

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

No. Epix is probably doing it.

matt (canada)

you and other writers are too high on matthysse. he lost at least 5 or 6 rounds to the same zab judah that amir khan subsequently destroyed. also lost 3-5 rounds to the same devon alexander that tim bradley beat 8-2. hes in alexander and judah's class, but not that of khan or bradley

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

You're an idiot. I had Matthysse losing both the Alexander and Judah fights. You're banned.

jess (la)

Is GBP still doing the card with Olympic boxers on CBS?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

They havent announced it is off, so yes.

Nick (DE)

DTM, is the man's name Ajose Olusegun, or Olusegun Ajose, I've seen it both ways and am confused...

Dan Rafael
  (1:39 PM)

It is Olusegun Ajose. Many of us have been confused, myself included. I spoke with his camp the other day to clarify it and his last name is Ajose. It got mixed up because he would go by Ajose but it was as if somebody called me, "Hey Rafael." It is wrong on Boxrec and wrong in the printed Fight Fax book, which also adds to the confusion. I have made the change in my stuff.

Tom (UK)

Speaking of Olusegun - is he not British any more?

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

He never was. He lived in England for a time and no longer does.

SondogMarco (Huntingdon, TN)

Hi Dan - just wanted to say I enjoyed the Kltscho article.

Dan Rafael
  (1:41 PM)

Thanks.

Duff (Boston, MA)

Joan Guzman came in 9 lbs. heavy against Funeka in their second fight. It must be something with the initials JG.

Matt (LA)

I agree Morales doesn't deserve the fight, but why shouldn't they honor a contractual rematch clause?

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

They should honor the contract but the WBC shoulda have stripped Garcia for taking the fight then and followed its rules.

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

They should honor the contract but the WBC shoulda have stripped Garcia for taking the fight then and followed its rules.

Aaron (MI)

Why is Khan doing a LeBron James "The Decision" circus act with his trainer search? I think stringing Roach along in public isn't very classy.

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

I dont think most people give a damn. I dont think Freddie does either. But it is classless of Khan.

Peter (NYC)

9lbs is pretty much making weight for Guzman

Mike (NJ)

How upset were you when Rowdy Roddy Piper introduced Snuka's head to a coconut?

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

That was an epic moment of my childhood.

Joe (NJ)

What is your take on Magomed Abdusalamov? And what is the next step in level of competition assuming he gets by McCline.

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

He'll give McCline a beating.

Dominic (San Francisco)

Dan! How are you liking our weather here in the Bay Area?

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

I was a little cold last night!

Martin the Martian (Mars)

Earthling Dan, with all due respect to Chad Dawson, I just can't see him beating Andre Ward. He may give Ward the toughest fight of his career, but at the end of the day, I think Ward is the superior athlete and boxer and beats Dawson to the punch all day long. Agree ?

Dan Rafael
  (1:45 PM)

I favor Ward but I certainly give chand a reasonable chance to win for sure. This is like a 55-45 fight to me.

DanRafael_sucks (Oakland)

Welcome to Oakland fat ass. U are not welcome here

Dan Rafael
  (1:48 PM)

Typical abuse I take every single week just to keep chatting with the Fight Freaks who are not morons.

Dustin (Ohio)

talk about a loser man. i am sure that person feels so much better now. guy probably has a Lebron poster in his room of his mothers house. LOSER

jcs (edmonton, canada)

did that idiot just welcome you then tell you you're not welcome?

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

Yes, which is why he is a moron.

Scottie 2 Hottie (CHicago)

GGG vs Canelo. Who wins?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

Oh please. That's an abusive relationship.

Tom (Pittsburgh)

The same people who bash you behind fake screen names would ask for your autograph and get a picture with you if they saw you in person.

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

Exactly.

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

Exactly.

Joydeep (Philippines)

What do u think Chavez jr means when we says he's going to do something we're havent seen before?

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

Lose?

Cody (Minneapolis)

Rumors of Chavez training camp disaster....Your thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

I have heard his camp has been fine. But who really knows unless you are there?

Kevin (Plymouth, MI)

Pretty sad the amount of anonymous hate out there.

Mark (NYC)

I'd say "DanRafael_sucks" should be banished to Hartford, but he already lives in Oakland.

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

PAY THE MAN, SHIRLEY!!!!!!!!!!

Victor (Chicago, IL)

I have a feeling you get WAYYYYY worse comments than that lol.

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

That was mild.

Mike (Massapequa )

If you are going to be abusive at least come up with something clever

Erik (FL)

Any updates on Lara or David Price?

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

Lara is supposed to fight Martirosyan although it is not scheduled yet. Price fights Audley Harrison coming up.

Chris (Los Angeles, CA)

Alexa Ariza says he still trains Chavez. Others say he was fired and does not. Who's telling the truth?

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

As far as I know Alex was not part of this training camp.

Brett (Minneapolis)

Dan, Can you give me an idea of what each Klitschko brother has been making per fight over their current title reigns?

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

I believe at least $5 million or more every time out. Often much more than that. The one that holds back their earning power is that there is no PPV in Germany.

Joe (NJ)

Great to finally see you P4P list, without having to be an ESPN-insider

Big Mike (Chicago)

There is a Canelo billboard here in Chicago on one of the expressyways too. Never remember seeing one before

Chris (Vancouver BC)

IMO people/other "writers"(more like internet bloggers) hate on you because of the platform you have working for ESPN, a site people actually frequently visit. People hate seeing success in their profession. You are the best, so take the hate as a compliment!

Dan Rafael
  (1:58 PM)

I do. It says more about them than about me.

Jim (Santa Monica)

Any word on Miguel Vazquez's next fight? He's been fighting a bunch of underwhelming guys lately.

Dan Rafael
  (1:59 PM)

Been some talk of maybe a fight with Mercito Gesta. If Top Rank does a November PPV it would be a fight on that show. Vazquez also has a mandatory against Marvin Quintero to deal with.

Victor (Chicago, IL)

Since The Ring has gone down the toilet along with it's once great Rankings and P4P list I look at your rankings now.

Gabriel (Highlands Ranch, CO)

Dan been following you for years, GREAT NEWS! finally going to my first big fight in Vegas, Chavez Jr vs Martinez...hope you are proud of me!! We met in AC at a Cotto fight, you're the man!

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

That's great. I hope you have a great time. Wish all Fight Freaks would have a chance to go to a big time fight. Nothing like it.

Peter (Ithaca)

Old George Foreman vs Young George Foreman. Who wins?

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

Is that a trick question like how many George Foreman's are there?

Sean (Dublin)

Golovkin is Tszyu re-born at 160, sure he has freakish power but his balance, footwork and timing are exceptional.

Rick (CC,TX)

Alex was part of the camp. You could see him on 24/7 that was shown last week

Dan Rafael
  (2:01 PM)

What I meant was he was not the main strength and conditioning coach as he had been.

Bert (Minneapolis)

Sucks for Alexander to not get a big paycheck next week. Will he get in the ring again soon?

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

They are trying to reschedule the fight.

Dr. Rockso (Zazzblammymatazz)

Dan what's next for Thomas Dulorme? I would love to see him start to step up the competition level.

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

He's supposed to headline an October HBO BAD card.

Joel (nyc)

hey dan, what's up with Joshua clottey haven't seen heard anything since he fough Calvin green? I do want to see more of him

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

So you're the one.

Duff (Boston, MA)

It's unfortunate how poor the undercard is for Martinez-Chavez. Even with Rigondeaux the card would have been really weak. Luckily for TR, the main event is basically a must see fight for most boxing fans.

Dan Rafael
  (2:04 PM)

Agreed. I address that here in this new Ring Tones video: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8339610&categoryid=2564308

Rob (Denton, Tx)

Dan, whats the word on Demetrius Andrade ?

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

He fights a hobo off TV on Sept. 20.

Victor (Chicago, IL)

It's crazy but the fight I'm most looking forward to tomorrow is Matthysse-Olesegun, when Olesegun was on Shobox not too long ago he was a beast and Matthysse well....:D

Dan Rafael
  (2:06 PM)

Yeah, that should be a good fight. I really like watching Matthysse and Ajose is pretty solid too, even if quite inactive (partly the fault of the wretched WBC).

Fabian (San Francisco)

Dan how you like the Bay Area....hope you took my advice and stayed in San Francisco

Dan Rafael
  (2:09 PM)

Have been here less than 24 hours and have seen the airport, the place where the press conference was and the hotel. I have not see much of the area. I hope to get out and about later today and tomorrow during the day.

Bobby (Louisville)

Excited for the Klitchsko documentary on HBO?!

Dan Rafael
  (2:11 PM)

I've seen it, so no, but if you havent seen it it is very good if you are remotely interested in the Klitschkos.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Like that fighters like Ward/Dawson are taking on challenges, with bigger/better things for the winner. Hopefully Broner/Guerrero is next.

Dan Rafael
  (2:15 PM)

Agreed, but I doubt it will happen.

Dan Rafael
  (2:18 PM)

OK Fight Freaks, thanks for chatting today. We'll be streaming the Ward-Dawson weigh in on the ESPN boxing page at 6 pm, so you can check it out. Please look at all the features, blogs and news stories from the week for a big fight weekend: Tripleheader on HBO plus a Showtime card and other smaller shows. Hope you all enjoy. I'll talk to you next weeek from Las Vegas. Have a great weekend. Peace.