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November 2, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (12:00 PM)

Greetings Fight Freaks and welcome the weekly boxing chat. Not much action in the US this weekend but Bute is back in the ring Saturday as is Marco Huck and there are a bunch of notable fights on the horizon. There are a lot of new blogs this week, a feature on Bute and Huck and plenty of news, like the 50 Cent-Mayweather bromance ending. So check it all out -- and look at the schedule -- and let's get to it.

Charles (DFW)

If Bute were to somehow lose to Grachev this weekend, do you think Froch would move to fight Kessler in March, assuming he wins next week and Kessler beats Brian Magee?

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

Way too many ifs.

RJ (OH)

Dan, any word on how negotiations are coming along for the possible Ward/Pavlik fight early next year?

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

They are moving along. I expect the deal will be finished eventually. But these things do take time.

Mike S., San Antonio [via mobile]

Floyd vs. Pacqiauo at 130?

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

They cant even make a fight in their present weight classes and you want to get all fantasy on me?

Power Pellets (Las Vegas)

Hey Dan was there any truth to the rumor that the Floyd-50 split was over an attempt to out Al Haymon?

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

That is probably part of the overall situation but it most likely came down to one simple thing: 50 spent seven figures signing guys and Mayweather never paid him the 50 percent he had promised to pay him for doing it and that's a good way to kill a relationship.

Mike S., San Antonio [via mobile]

Dan, is GBP keeping Matthyse away from Garcia the same way TR is doing with Rigo and Donaire?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

I dont look at it that way.

slam (mia)

its funny dan but your getting your wish! With your boy mayweather and 50 cent they are slowly turning boxing into WWE

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

Maybe but so far nobody has taken a chair shot to the skull.

Charles (DFW)

So what lasted longer: TMT or the Kim Kardashian marriage?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

TMT.

Brandon (jacksonville FL)

Nonito DANaire...What did you think of the Rios/Alvarado stoppage? Do you think that match warrants a rematch? I sure would love to see it again...

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

Nice nickname! I thought the stoppage was on point and have no issue with it whatsoever. Alvarado's head snapped back very violently twice during the finishing sequence and he was done. Good stoppage in my opinion. That said I do think someday we will see a rematch. Not right away. Rios has a great chance to land the winner of Pacman-JMM 4, especially if Pacman wins.

Jeff (Las Vegas)

Dan, I'm familiar with the Carlos Molina who fought Lara and Kirkland but any info on the C Molina who will be fighting Khan on 12/15? Does he have a snowballs chance?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

The Carlos Molina who is fighting Khan is a good 135 prospect promoted by Golden Boy and managed by Frank Espinoza. He was a good amateur but is moving up in weight and fighting his first serious opponent. He is not a big puncher. So the fact that he is not a puncher and smaller is one of the reasons he was deemed safe enough for Khan to fight coming off such a bad KO loss to Garcia. Khan is and should be the heavy favorite. Molina is tough and I figure he will hang in there for a bit but I believe Khan will ultimately outclass him.

Steve (Concord, CA)

Bute-Grachev. Who are you taking?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

Bute.

Mike S., San Antonio [via mobile]

Hey Dan, who has the highest non-PPV purse ever?

Dan Rafael
  (12:07 PM)

Hard to say because before modern PPV there was closed circuit where guys made millions.

John (D.C.)

Top rank seems to be putting together a lot more good cards these days. A juanma vs vazquez jr. fight in P.R. would be huge.

Dan Rafael
  (12:07 PM)

That is a fight Top Rank probably will do later this year when Lopez is allowed to fight again. I have heard it being mentioned for December.

Rick (San Diego)

Dan, whenever you write about an opponent for a Klitschko you describe it as an "epic mismatch" (or something like that). Anyone you want to point to who wouldn't be an epic mismatch?

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

Vitali.

Arthur (Chicago)

What the heck does Pac Man / JMM solve? If JMM wins, please don't tell me they are going to fight for a 5th time. Enough already.

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

It doesn't "solve" anything. It's the fight that was makeable and one that would generate a lot of money and probably also be entertaining even if many of us are a little tired of the rivalry.

Jackson (IA)

Hey Dan...I know it's kinda sick to think about, but if RJJ and Evander are determined to keep going (and die in the ring), why not let them do it against each other? Coming soon...Holyfield/Jones VIII! PPV! $5.95!

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

Yup. Sick as it sounds, I would watch that. And it's probably the ONLY fight of either I would actually be interested in watching. That said, at this point I would pick Holyfield.

Bill (Chicago)

Dan, are you at the point where you don't think Pac-May will ever happen? I think I'm officially over the cliff.

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

I do not hold out much hope anymore and every day that goes by I care less.

eric (chicago)

Why don't these promoters put on any cards in the windy city. we have a big Mexican and Rican population that would pack the united center for a big fight.....any reason why we can't any big fights here?

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

There have been some big fights there but not recently. It's all about if there is a fight that makes sense there. Right now there aren't any.

RJ (OH)

No chairs to the skull....true, but "he glassed me!!!"

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

YES! How could I forget.

Anthony (Bronx, NY)

Not boxing related, but do you think NYC should really continue with the marathon when there are people still suffering from the hurricane? They've got big generators in Central park when more than a half of a million people are still without power.

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

I think it's ridiculous to have a marathon that uses so many city resources at a time when they are needed elsewhere. It's stupid to have a damn race.

Sun Devil (Los Angeles)

Dan, if Lara wins next weekend, will Golden Boy deem him marketable enough to match him up with Canelo?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

No.

Jackson (IA)

Wait, wait, wait...the 50 cent/Mayweather partnership DIDN'T work out? I can't believe it.

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

OMG! SO SHOCKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jackie (Spring lake NC)

Yoko Gushiken HOF'er or not

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

He's been a guy on the border for a few years since he has been on the ballot. I go back and forth.

Chris C (Washington DC)

Hey Dan, Honest question: was there another source, Ellerbe or anyone else, that confirmed the split was over Mayweather never paying 50 cent other than 50's twitter account? If the split was actually over Haymon like Mayweather said on twitter I would expect 50 to say something like that to make him not look like the bad guy.

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

These things often come down to multiple issues but other than 50's tweets, yes, I have another source involved in the whole mess who says Mayweather did not put up his half of the money that he was supposed to.

joe (nh)

Do you see any need for a fight between Haye and either of the Klitchko brothers?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

No. Haye had his chance with Wlad and disgraced himself. One win over Chisora over a year later does not mean he deserves another chance yet. Let him go out there and earn it with a series of legit wins. All he wants is the payday that goes with a Klitschko fight. They shouldn't give it to him.

Jackson (IA)

The great thing about the 50/Floyd pairing was that you knew that it was not only going to not work, but it would go from a partnership to a full-blown beef. Can't wait for this...

Big Al (WI)

50 cent left TMT because he was embarrassed to be in an entourage that included Justin Bieber.

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

I can neither confirm nor deny this.

Sean (Richmond, VA)

Do you think part of THE ONLY ONE Ricky Hatton's comeback would involve a UK showdown with Amir Khan if the stars align right?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

Hatton vs Khan or Kell Brook would be massive fights in the UK. I would love to see either and I would want to travel to cover either of them.

Duff (Boston, MA)

Happy Friday Dan. I didn't think Jaro over Wonjongkam would be topped for upset of the year, but it looks like I was mistaken.

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

Crazy isn't it? Here's my blog on it: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/2269/unknown-cuts-down-wonjongkam-in-upset

Charlie (Chicago, IL)

DTM, what caliber opponent can we expect Gamboa to face on the Pac-JMM undercard?

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

He is going to fight Miguel Beltran Jr., who was in a tremendous fight with Rocky Martinez for a vacant 130 title on the Martinez-Chavez PPV undercard on Sept. 15. It was a really good fight and Martinez won a very debatable decision. I had Beltran winning.

Jeff (Gilbert AZ)

Dan,Hey I remember a while back you mentioned that you turned down a part in the movie "Real Steel". I watched it yesterday and I got to say that it was pretty good. Have you seen it?

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

It wasn't a real part, it was to be myself with other boxing writers as an extra. I have not seen it.

Mickey (Chicago)

What are your thoughts on the Pac-JMM 4 undercard? I'm a little shocked Vazquez is on there after his awful fight this weekend. Fortuna might be good for a sick KO though (ask Cristobal Cruz).

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

The undercard is pretty good. Gamboa-Beltran Jr. is a solid enough fight. Gamboa's been off a while and Beltran is crowd pleasing. Fortuna I really like and agree he could have a sick KO. That's a reasonable opener. I really do not care for Vazquez-Gesta. Vazquez makes horrible fights. I have tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but his latest fight on HBO convinced me I have no use for him. Good boxer, agony for the viewers. Gesta I have never been high on either. Decent enough I guess. If Gesta beats Vazquez he would do all of us a favor.

Matt (Lincoln NE, Afghan)

Dan, How did Klitschko do running for office?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

His party got something like 15% or more of the vote and his party people tell me they will gain about 40 seats in the Ukraine parliament. That means Vitali, if he wants, would have one of the seats.

Jeff (Gilbert AZ)

At least Haye will get in the ring (albeit disgracefully) with a Kilitchko unlike Povetkin who holds a fraudulent belt and fights undeserving heavies or blown up cruisers...

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

I'd rather a guy duck than punk once they've accepted like Haye did.

David (Houston)

I know he already had a fight scheduled when it was offered to him but I do want to see Brook fight Bradley.

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

That's a solid fight but unlikely.

Charlie (Chicago)

Obviously we don't know everything that went down between 50 and Floyd, but from a business standpoint, I don't blame Floyd for not putting up the cash to back the fighters they were signing....Dirrell, Dib, Gamboa, etc, good/great talents, but bring 0 money or drawing power to the table

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

If he made a committment to do so and reneged that's not cool though. But I agree -- the fighters that were signed, especially for the money that was spent, seem like a really bad deal. You could put all three on the same card and be lucky to sell 1,000 tickets. And none of them merit a headline fight on a premium network except maybe Gamboa as the B-side.

Jackson (IA)

Any reason we're not working on Haye-Arreola? One side or the other not want it? Makes a lot of sense...sorry in advance if it's a GB/TR thing, haven't looked...

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

It's not a TR-GB thing but good lookin out. Arreola is going to be in a mandatory eliminator and possibly a vacant title fight (depending on what Vitali does) so Haye is not in the picture for him right now and Haye is not looking to fight a risky fight unless it's a Klitschko fight. That said, it would be a helluva fight if it happened.

cj (toledo oh)

Is 50cent still dedicated to boxing after all this?

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

He has contracts with fighters and is actively working in the business right now. For how long? Unclear.

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

Here's my Lucian Bute feature from today: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/8582581/lucian-bute-taking-denis-grachev-targeting-carl-froch

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Here's my blog on the Huck PR stunt in offering a fight to Wladimir: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/2278/huck-offer-to-w-klitschko-a-stunt

Saad (Kansas)

Is Dib-Velez really the main supporting fight on the Cotto-Trout undercard? Awful.

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

It's a crap fight and supposed to be on Showtime although it is not necessarily the co-feature. It could be lower on the card depending on what else they televise. I know this -- the last time I saw Billy Dib fight in person was at Madison Square Garden and it is the ONLY time I have EVER gotten up in the middle of a fight and walked out because I was so disgusted and trust me, I have sat through a lot of crap fights. It was such a crap fight while Dib ran and held that I could not take it anymore and I went to the bathroom.

Fabian (San Francisco)

Roberto DurDAN, great closing months for boxing, which fight are you looking forward to most?

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

It's always great to be at a Pacquiao fight or a Cotto fight so even though I am not crazy pumped for either bout, I do look forward to both. But I am actually pretty psyched to cover DeMarco vs. Broner. I like that fight a lot.

RJ (OH)

Dan, to follow up on Brandon's question, it seems like most fight fans and boxing writers agreed that the stoppage was legit. I personally felt like it was just a bit premature. My questions is, if Steve Smoger could ref every single fight (how great would that be?), do you believe he would have jumped in to stop it?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

I do because I have sat and talked with Smoger specifically about his philosophy on stopping fights. He told me that the one tell tale sign that he should step in is when he sees a guy's eyes go up in his head, a clear shot where a guy is not all there. That is exactly what happened with Alvarado twice in that closing sequence so I believe Smoger would have stopped the fight also. Just because Alvarado was not on his back does not mean it should have continued.

Donald (Wisconsin)

What would the split for Pavlik/Ward be? I don't care who's the better fighter, Pavlik deserves the lions share because people actually care to see him fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

If the deal is made Pavlik is not getting parity or the lion's share. It most likely would be about a 60-40 split in Ward's favor. I would argue that as of right now Ward is the bigger draw.

Berndawg (CHI)

GOT, saw your story about TMT/Curtis and the 12/15 card in Houston...in regards to Andre Dirrell, is that HBO adding a third LIVE fight that night or would be off-TV....thanks

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

Unclear. The TV would be Donaire and Rigondeaux's fight. And since Dirrell will probably fight a nobody if he is indeed on the card, I would think at best HBO would show highlights.

John (true boxing fan Detroit)

When I was 8 years old in Detroit, MI there was pandemonium on my street that Emmanuel was a few streets down doing autograph's so I went over there with my baseball glove to get it signed and it was signed by Eddie Mustafa Muhammed who told me he works with Emmanuel. I met Emmanuel about 3 years ago either at the Norfolk or Detroit Metro airport and we talked for over 15 minutes like I've known him all my life. My wife even cried when we watched HBO last saturday night when they talked about Emmanuel and showed his pics, we felt he was like family to us and one day in paradise he will be... I'm happy to have him met, God bless is soul and may he rest in peace! thx Dan

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

Good story. That was Emanuel -- you could meet him and five minutes later feel like he was your friend for life. I was very honored to have been a friend of his since 2000.

RJ (OH)

Dan, could I get some insight from any of the Freaks who subscribed to WealthTV's online feed (or maybe you've already heard some feedback from them)? With the price as low as it is, I'm thinking about signing up for a year, but I just wanted to make sure the stream was high quality and I wouldn't have to worry about buffering every 2 minutes. Thanks.

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

Freaks?

George (Ankeny)

So 50 is still a promoter? Just not with TMT?

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

TMT no longer exisits. Fiddy changed the name to SMS Promotions.

Paul (Texas)

Schaeffer in an interview said he's considering two opponents for Garcia at Barclay's in January. We all know one is Zab, do you know who the other one is?

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

Zab Judah and Zab Judah.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Dan, it seems Showtime is shopping for a replacement for Antonio Tarver as a expert analyst. Paulie Malignaggi, Mark Too Sharp Johnson and Raul Marquez, et al. Do you think Paulie is the favorite to replace Tarver at this point?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

I think Showtime is taking a look a various people and evaluting it as they go. Honestly, I kinda like that they are mixing it up a little bit.

Don F (Sunny San Diego)

Any word on Ismayl Syllak?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

Out there looking for a chin replacement.

Peter (Mineola NY)

Dan your thoughts: I would love for HBO to do some sort of documentary on Emanel Steward. From all accounts he lived an interesting life and Im sure that many people would take part in it. He was a giant in the sport and deserves the recognition.

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

It would be interesting to see that given his impact on boxing and especially in Detroit, which was a great boxing city largely because of him.

Joey (Charleston, SC)

Which has more to do in Pongsaklek's undoing: fighting so many unqualified opponents, or staying in a lower weight class?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

If you look at his record he fought a ton of quality top 10 contenders, including winning on the road. Did he have a superfight? No. Did he have a helluva resume and tremendous longevity? Absolutey. He is done because he is 35 and had close to 100 fights all while making 112 pounds.

Deuce (Pomona,ca)

any update on James Kirkland?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Still studying for the finals at the Winky Wright School of Boxing Business.

John (D.C.)

Kelly has been in the bigger fights, you could argue he deserves 50 50.

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

So? He has not done much for the past few years and does not deserve 50 percent and won't get 50 percent.

David (Houston)

Pavlik Ward wouldn't be a PPV would it?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

No because it would do 11 buys.

Ricardo (ny) [via mobile]

Free tickets for Demarco/Broner yet?

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Juan (Puerto Rico)

How do you see Quintana vs Thurman? Knockout for Thurman or decision victory for Quintana?

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

Couldn't care less about the fight. But I think Quintana has a good chance. He has way more experience and looked good against Latimore in his last fight. Thurman is strong and somewhat crowd pleasing but has a very weak resume to be on HBO for a second consecutive fight.

Frank (PHX)

Dan, has HBO talked about who will replace Emanual Steward? I hope Roy Jones takes the position full time so he could finally retire from fighting.

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

I think Emanuel's death is still too fresh and I am not aware of any decisions on HBO's behalf about the situation. Obviously, Roy is very good and has been filling in for the recent fights that Emanuel missed because of his illness. I would think they could continue like that for a bit or even have Max and Larry work more shows together. That said, I would think sooner than later, HBO will audition other analysts and find somebody new. Maybe Roy goes full time to WCB and a new guy comes on to BAD shows.

Charles (Ogden, Utah)

I'm curious if you saw Joe Cortez's article on the idea of having judges sit in elevated seats. I thought it was interesting and maybe worth a try.

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

I heard about that and it's kind of interesting but to me it's just change for change sake. I think if you are elevated you might miss things that would would see in the current positions judges sit in.

Saad (Kansas)

Wealth TV stream is a steal. It's quality, definitely get it.

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

There's one opinion.

Frank (PHX)

I think it would be cool if HBO didn't really fill Emanuals position with someone new full time but instead have guest analysts fill in like bringing back Foreman, Lennox or even current fighters like Ward who does a good job as an analyst.

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

Maybe they will do that as they look at other candidates. Sort of like what Showtime is obviously doing in an attempt to fill Tarver's role.

Dieter (From Sprockets)

DAN: We can dance if we want to -- We can leave your friends behind -- Cause your friends don't dance -- And if they don't dance -- Well they're no friends of mine.

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

You're an imposter. Wrong quote.

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

No.

Joe (Vancouver)

Is Golovkin fighting Oosthuizen on HBO Jan 19?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

That is a name and date being discussed.

Derek (Toronto)

Dan, are you surprised Arum would put Pavlik in w/ Ward rather than making a bigger house show with Chavez?

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

Not at all. Couple of things -- Chavez wont be available until at least the spring and maybe later depending on how long he is suspended for the positive drug test. Second, Pavlike can fight Ward and win or lose a fight with Chavez would still be an attractive money fight. If Pavlik fights Chavez and got beat bad, there would be no Ward fight. So this way Pavlik can get two bites at the apple by doing a Ward fight first and then Chavez regardless of what happens with Ward.

Bulldog (Fresno CA)

Danaconda! What is going on with Donaire Vs Arce? were they just rumors or serious considerations

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

The fight is being finalized and will happen Dec. 15 on HBO in Houston assuming the deal is signed.

At Wade's Desk, At Work Eating Boston Market

Dan Rafael #1, when does Friday Night Fights return?

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

Jan. 4. For more details read my blog from a couple of days ago: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/2254/fnf-season-begins-jan-4

Craig D. (Philly)

Hey Freak, watched Tragedy and Triumph The Ray Mancini story last night for the 100th time. Much respect to him and the warrior Duk Koo Kim God bless his soul. One of my favorite things about Boom Boom was how he used to wear his belt over his robe into the ring...you never ever see that!

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

LOL, yeah, the belt thing is old school! Ray is a good dude and that was a moving documentary.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Dan, is Leo Santa Cruz pretty much assured the winner of Mares vs. Moreno, or is GBP waiting to hear other offers for the winner of Mares vs. Moreno before deciding?

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

I dont know if I would say "assured" but that is obviously GB is looking to do and a fight that Santa Cruz told the media on his conference call yesterday that he wants.

Donald (Wisconsin)

Why would Donaire fight Arce? Waste of time fight and his stock just keeps going down in my opinion

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

Mornic statement. Donaire has fought three good opponents this year and has a chance to fight for a fourth time, make a ton of money and do it against a good name opponent. His stock isn't falling. It is going up. You fight four times in this day and age and if one of them is a money fight that you're a big favorite in so be it. Besides, at least we know Arce will come to fight and not run like Narvaez and Nishioka did.

Charles (Ogden, Utah)

Do you usually use all 10 votes on your HOF ballot, or do you often only choose a few?

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

I have never voted for 10 guys. I think the most I have ever voted for is maybe 4 or 5. One year I sent my ballot back signed without voting for anyone.

Jessica (New Mexico)

Hi Dan, with all the flooding in the east coast how is the water pressure in your shower???

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

Still top notch.

Jose (Lennox, CA)

How long do you think Tarver will be blacklisted from commentating. As a big time freak I don't like what he did but he was excellent as a commentator.

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

Hard to say. Showtime could take him back at some point I would think. I doubt HBO touches him. But I do agree with you-- Tarver is a good broadcaster. I think Tarver could go a long way to reparing his image if he would come clean about using steroids, assuming he really did.

Chris (Oakland)

Dan, have you ever met Livingtone Bramble? if so, whats he like?

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

I have met him a few times. He's worked the corner for some guys and I also met him on the set for the Rocky Balboa movie. He is a cool dude!

Pete (Texas)

Which card will you attend next weekend?Is it your personal choice or do you have to go to a particular one?

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

I will be in NYC at a studio in Manhattan working the Epix broadcast for Klitschko-Wach.

Bing (Philly)

Have you been to so many fights that you now know the mexican national anthem by heart?

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

Pretty much. And the Philippines anthem as well.

PeteNice (Philly)

Dan, is the calender correct with Dec. 6th being the FNF debut? If so, any changes to the format this year?

Dan Rafael
  (1:01 PM)

Dec. 6 is a Thursday night special, like ESPN2 did the week of Martinez-Chavez. The true season premiere is Jan. 4. As for the format, I have no idea. That's a production department thing. They will let me know when I need to know. I can say this, you will see me regularly on the show.

Jose (Lennox, CA)

To follow up on your answer, it worked for Mark McGwire. He came clean and now he's back in baseball as a successful hitting coach and you don't hear anyone talk about his PED use anymore.

Gerardo (AZ)

Good morning Dan! Like you, I approve of the Marquez-Pacquiao undercard. Unlike you, I actually am very curious about the Gesta - Vazquez fight. I don't think Vazquez is quite as insufferable as many people see him.

Dan Rafael
  (1:01 PM)

You can watch the Vazquez fight then closely. Let me know how it goes. :)

Ricardo (NY) [via mobile]

How many twitter followers you need before the freaks hear you sing the Mexican anthem???

Dan Rafael
  (1:02 PM)

LOL. Just past 75,000 and I say thank you to all of those who follow me and make Twitter generally a fun place to be.

John (D.C.)

Donaire has not fought 3 good opponents this year. Nishioka come on, name one quality win that he has at 122 even though he was champ there for awhile. Nishioka nobody knows him, Mathebula give me a break that is not a quality opponent. Donaire is good but those aren't good wins

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

Maybe you dont know those guys, but that's your fault. Nishioka was on my top 20 p4p list. Examine his resume. He was legit.

Bobby (Louisville)

Is Bobby Chyz a hall-of-famer, in your view?

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

LOL.

Keith H (Seattle)

Did I miss a blog with your HOF votes or have you not revealed them yet?

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

I have not written that one yet.

Frank (PHX)

Is Jonathan Bank, the trainer of Klitshko, the same guy fighting Seth Mitchell?

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

Correct. I spoke to Banks about it yesterday and will have a story or blog about it next week.

Karl (NY)

BanDANa, did you see that Junior Dos Santos said he would KO Wladimir? Delusional or what?

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

In a boxing match, he would be murdered.

Rob (London)

Do you know if HBO is forcing the Golovkin-Oosthiuzen? I'm just wondering since I see little reason why Golovkin would fight at 168 unless it was the only way he was getting back on US TV.

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

Nothing being forced. Golovkin and his people have said all along they will fight anyone at 154, 160 or 168.

Steveball (Concord, CA)

Do you think Poonsawat is a worthy challenger or well-known enough to the public's eye to warrant Rigo a shot at Nonito, as opposed to a guy like Darchinyan or maybe Agbeko?

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

Poonsawat is Rigo's likely opponent and totally a legit opponent.

jt$ (DC)

Did HBO not want to do the 12/15 show from Mexico? Donaire prefer to fight in the U.S.? I was looking forward to the atmosphere in Mexico.

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

HBO was willing but it would have cost everybody WAY more money to go there because of the need to bring an HD truck there. The costs made no sense and so the fight will be in the US. I never believed it would be in Mexico ever anyway.

Chez Lewis (Brooklyn)

Mr. Rafael, I've been following the history of boxing and these chats for 1-1/2 years and I've learned relatively alot about "The Love Child", David Hayes "Toe", Duane Ford, "The 1 and Only Rickey Hatton", etc. The one thing that still boggles me is "Winky Wrights School Of Business". What did he do?

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child. Winky turned down $5 million for a rematch of a draw with Jermain Taylor for the middleweight championship because he felt like he was not being paid enough. Instead he wound up fighting Ike Quartey for A LOT LESS in a nontitle fight.

Dieter (Sprockets)

I am filled with anticipation....and now is the time in the chat when we dance!

Justin (Seattle)

DTM, let's get down to the serious business here. Will you be issued a lightsaber and will be it a permanent part of your travel?

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

LOL. With Disney (ESPN's parent company and, truth be told, the Disney logo is on my pay stub) buying Lucasfilms this week for $4 billion (and I am a huge Star Wars fan) I wanted to know if that meant all ESPN employess would get free Star Wars crap!

Steve (PA)

Any word on how many matches showtime will show for Cotto

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

Not yet.

Frank (PHX)

Rey Beltran fighting Ji Hoon Kim on ESPN Thursday night special could turn out to be ALL ACTION! I'm looking forward to it!

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

Agreed. That'll be a good fight.

Ricardo (NY) [via mobile]

Chez's question is a great topic for a Grad School Economics dissertation. So much can be written!!!!

Dieter (From Sprockets)

How DARE the fake Dieter challenge me with his primitive (and fake) skills....

Marc (Malden, MA)

I still remember that Winky Wright-Jermain Taylor fight. Winky got robbed, but still stupid to turn down $5M for the rematch.

Dan Rafael
  (1:12 PM)

Especially when many thought he won and it was by far his biggest payday available. BY FAR. I was at the fight and, for what it is worth, I also had it a draw.

Steven (Chicago)

Following late but here is my input on WealthTV. It was pretty good during the Stevenson-George fight. Froze once or twice but came back very quickly. I have seen much worse from online streams.

Darren (Philly)

A dumb friend of mine (who is a high school wrestling coach) said one of his wrestlers could beat Floyd Mayweather in a fight. I called him a complete moron...got anything I could add to that?

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

Calling him a complete moron is an insult to complete morons.

Dieter (From Sprockets)

Dan, that previous post was indeed me. I was just trying to mix it up and get the freaks ready for right now. Because NOW is the time in the chat when we DANCE!

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

This is my favorite song from the new KISS album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO9bw-5OoG0

Victor (Chicago, IL)

Lots of fans are crapping on the Donaire-Arce fight, but in my opinion it's a good fight since Donaire already took out the top guy in the division in Nishioka and since Moreno and Mares are tied up for the time being.

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

Agreed and Rigo will be on the undercard in an attempt to build a little toward that fight hopefully in the future.

adam (england)

You know its a good fight when Emanuel Steward use to say 'OH MY GOD' mid sentence

John (Deltona, Florida)

Ricardo Lopez vs. either Michael Carbajal or Humberto Gonzalez (in their primes)....Who do you think would win Dan?? I would pick Lopez & his comlete overall skills...

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

I would pick Lopez over any 105-108 in history.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Dan, are you a little bit jealous of Jon Gruden and the photo he got with KISS on last MNF?

Dan Rafael
  (1:17 PM)

Not at all because when I went to see KISS on tour this summer, Mrs. DTM and I met the band before the show and had our pictures taken with them. I have it it framed in my dining room.

Patrick (Las Vegas)

In your honest opinion who would win a matchup with Sergio Martinez vs Gennady Golovkin?

Dan Rafael
  (1:17 PM)

Excellent fight. I think at this point, I would probably lean to Golovkin.

Brett (Minneapolis)

Dan, FEMA's Response to Katrina or Gary Russell Jr's Career? Which one was handled worse?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

OMG.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

You have a pic with KISS? Has this ever been made a TwitPic?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

No, I have not posted it to Twitter and do not plan to.

John (Deltona, Florida)

Giants are gonna crush the steelers this weekend !!!

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

One can only hope. I will be planted Sunday afternoon watching the game.

Ryan (Clearfield utah)

Do you think Winky knows you talk about him like the way you do?

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

Yes, because I have told him my opinion to his face. Dont get me wrong -- I like Winky. We've always been cool. But my opinion is that he mishandled his own career, which, by the way, is was decision.

John (D.C.)

So far, who's your fighter of the year?

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

TBA but the top candidates off the top of my head are Donaire (assuming he does not lose in December) and Danny Garcia.

Matt M. (Worcester, MA)

When the Chris Arreola vs Bermaine Stiverne match inevitably doesn't happen in Venezuela, could fight fans still expect to see this fight somewhere more realistic in the US? Somewhere in CA maybe...

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

If Don King defaults on the $1 million-plus purse bid and can't deliver the fight (and he plans on it in Venezuela) then it would revert to Dan Goossen, who had the second-biggest purse off of over $500K. If that happened and Goossen got the rights the fight would likely be on HBO as the undercard for Ward-Pavlik, assuming that is finalized.

Jim (Merced, CA)

Dan, have you ever been approached about doing color commentary for FNF, either on those occasions when Teddy can't be there or as part of a three-man team? Would you be interested in such a gig? I think we fight freaks would benefit by having your analysis. Thanks.

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

I have not. I've sat in for a few rounds here and there when I have been at FNF cards the night before major fights.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Dan, were you surprised that RING Magazine only had Wladimir Klitschko beating Rocky Marciano and Floyd Patterson out of all the "Legends" in their recent "Klitschko vs. The Legends" issue/story?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

Didnt read it.

Kelvin (NYC)

Which fighters do you think you'll continue to be friends with after your/their career is over?

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

I am not friends with fighters. I have friendly relationships with many of them and like many of them but I am not FRIENDS with them. That doesnt work in the business I am in. It might work for some of the jocksniffer so-called writers out there but not for me or my company.

Charles (Ogden, Utah)

How surprised were you at Dulrome's collapse last Saturday?

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

Not totally shocked. I knew Abregu was a real guy with a good chin and good power. Dulorme was not ready.

Ron (Michigan)

I understand that all 8 fights on the Bute card will shown on Wealth Tv and their website at 7pm est. Is that true?

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

Correct.

Steve (Minneapolis, MN)

What are your thoughts on the Don King/Ryan Coyne situation? Seems like a bad deal for Coyne and I feel sorry for him. I think everyone in boxing wishes King would just quit already.

Dan Rafael
  (1:28 PM)

No idea why he signed with King in the first place.

Dr. Rockso (Zazzblammymatazz)

Do you think GGG Gennady Golovkin will fight before the end of the year? Any idea who his next opponent is?

Dan Rafael
  (1:28 PM)

He will not fight until January.

Brian (SD)

Is the Top Rank card in Vegas next weekend going to have more than the 4 fights that are currently on the schedule?

Dan Rafael
  (1:30 PM)

Yes.

Donald (Wisconsin)

Funny how you boxing media are. You rip Pacquaio for beating Cotto who had lost 2 pounds, but fawn over Ward who beat a Dawson drained by 7 pounds. Typical.

Dan Rafael
  (1:31 PM)

You're barking up the wrong tree boss because I did not do that in either case.

Frank (San Pedro)

Dan, Do you see a possible match up Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judeh next year? or who is next for Swift?

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

That is Garcia's next fight most likely.

Junior Dos Santos [via mobile]

Murdered Dan? I use 2 ounce gloves!!!

Dan Rafael
  (1:33 PM)

In a boxing match you would use 10-ounce gloves and your boxing skills are not close to Klitschko's.

Ryan (Clearfield utah)

Dan have you ever had a fighter, promoter, or any other memember of a boxing team threaten you?

Dan Rafael
  (1:34 PM)

All of the above plus manager. One manager once tried to fist fight me after a fight until one of his guys stepped between us.

Lou (Detroit)

Dan, your thoughts on HBO's tribute to Manny last week. I thought it was very good but it would have been nice to have Jim and Larry on camera.

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

Agreed, but they did not work that show. I would think that when they work the Broner card they will have something to say.

John (Nevada)

The 3 or 4 Wealth Tv streams I have seen have been flawless

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Dan, anything reportedly in the works for Chad Dawson, after getting virtually undressed by Andre Ward on Sept. 8?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

Nothing at all. He is off the rest of the year.

Justin (Seattle)

Here's how good Wlad and Vitali are, they have made the HW division look BAD. If you were to remove those two, there are a number of interesting fights that could be made and some that could be quality champions. The Brothers are THAT good.

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

Agreed. I've been saying that for years.

Dustin (Ohio)

Dan, is Jon Banks considered the toughest opponent Mitchell has faced? Who do you like? Thanks

Dan Rafael
  (1:39 PM)

I would say yes.

Tomas (Tx)

Did the Salido vs Garcia fight get postponed or canceled?

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

Postponed because Salido broke his finger. Probably will be in Jan-Feb.

jonathan (los angeles, CA)

do you expect any " i slept with miss jackson...oooohh..and it was for reeeeal" twitter post from fifty any time soon?

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

LOL!

KK (GR)

Can Floyd have a friend that doesn't ask for money? I think he thought he had that in 50.

Dan Rafael
  (1:41 PM)

He didnt ask Floyd for money. Supposedly they had a business deal and Floyd did not live up to his end of the bargain.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Dan, do you know if Jesse Magdaleno has anything lined up soon?

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

You need to read the sked. He fights on the Lara-Martirosyan undercard next Saturday.

Carl (Richmond)

Has HBO reconsidered showing undercard bouts on their alternate channels like SHO is doing on their Extreme station?

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

As of now, no.

Raymond (Chicago)

Dan, do you also vote on non-boxers for the Hall as well? I know Jimmy Lennon, Jr is up for consideration this year.

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

No, I vote only in the modern boxer category.

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

I understand Timothy Bradley has his reasons for making the decisions that he does, but he also needs to realize that no one misses him when he isn't fighting. This guy really baffles me.

Dan Rafael
  (1:45 PM)

Winky Wright School of Boxing Business valedictorian for 2012.

Dan Rafael
  (1:46 PM)

During the chat I emailed an HBO spokesperson to ask about what was up with the announce crew given Emanuel's passing. Here is the response I received: "Has not been addressed. We will figure it out soon."

Brofka ( (Long Island))

Do you think Pongsaklek will be a first ballot HOF'er... it seems like HOF voters do not give great Asian fighters their due.

Dan Rafael
  (1:48 PM)

Asian fighters have not gotten a lot of due from HOF voters but I think Pongsaklek, because many of his fights are easily available on YouTube, will be get the consideration he deserves and will be voted in. I will vote for him on the first ballot.

Terry (Charlotte, NC)

Dan, GGGolovkin vs Ward -- let's see it happen!

Dan Rafael
  (1:48 PM)

I'd like that.

Charles (Ogden, Utah)

I watched that HBO's 500 bouts clip you put on Twitter...do they forget that Pernell Whitaker fought on their network?

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

He's in there, albeit briefly.

Duff (Boston, MA)

If they both stay retired, do you see Calderon and Wonjonkam as part of the same HOF class in a few years?

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

They certainly should be.

Mike (Worcester, Ma)

The local paper said that there is a potential matchup of GGG vs Edwin Rodriguez at a catch weight of 165. Who do you like in that matchup?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

Golovkin would beat him down in my opinion.

Keith H (Seattle)

How badly did Hurricane Sandy hit your area?

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

Lotta win and about 6 inches of rain but my immediate area was spared the worst of it thankfully. We did not even lose power except for several flickers. Fortunately, the power lines are underground in my neighborhood.

Davis (Chicago)

Any chance you telling the Freaks who you are voting for on Tuesday?

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

Why would I tell you that? But I assure you I will vote and mine will at least count for something as I live in a major swing state.

Charles (Ogden, Utah)

I know this HOF talk is looking ahead, but do you anticipate next year's class of De La Hoya, Trinidad and Calzaghe all get in on the first vote. (Okay, really Joe is the only question there...)

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

If all three are on the ballot, as they should be, all three are absolute locks.

Jim (PA)

Are you going to vote for Jose Suliman?

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

I wouldn't vote for him to be dog catcher.

Mike (Philly)

Hello Dan! I wanted to discuss for a minute the Delormme-Abregu fight. When you first saw that fight was hapenning, did you think that Abregu was too much too fast for Delormme like I did?

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

No, my concern was not his speed, which is average. My concern was his power and Dulorme's inexperience.

carter (st. louis)

roy jones comparing karim mayfield to mike tyson? then dulorme to hagler? guy has jumped the shark.

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

Yeah, that was pretty bad.

Brooks (New Hampshire)

Is Showtime showing the Hatton fight live or on tape delay?

Dan Rafael
  (1:58 PM)

Live and then on delay later in the day.

John (Deltona, Florida)

How would you rate chavez jr.'s chin??

Dan Rafael
  (1:58 PM)

I think he has an excellent chin. Takes after his old man.

Ricardo, Bronx, NY [via mobile]

I'm hardly a Floyd defender. But if 50 paid 7 figures to the Insomnia curing Billy Dib to promote him? I actually would agree with Floyd and bail as well!!!

Dan Rafael
  (1:59 PM)

He didnt pay that much for Dib. He is in seven figures overall for his collection of fighters, one of which is Dib.

Joe (Pittsburgh)

On Tuesday, I grabbed lunch at a QDoba in downtown Pittsburgh and saw a man wearing a Kronk Boxing Gym Jacket. I started a conversation with him and it turns out he was a business manager for Kronk for many years...he sat next to me and my girlfriend and shared a few Manny Steward stories...awesome lunch, just thought I'd share.

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

Very cool.

Korry (Chalmette, LA)

Abregu vs. Maidana...I would be up for that if it was possible.

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

Abregu, Maidana and Matthysse. Round robin please.

Jim (PA)

Do you think De La Hoya at his best would beat Floyd Mayweather?

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

No.

Brooks (New Hampshire)

Dan - Am I out of mind to think that Gabriel Campillo could give Ward a competitive fight? I'm pretty sure he would do better than Pavlik.

Dan Rafael
  (2:01 PM)

I would not give Campillo much of a chance. He might frustrate Ward for a few rounds but Ward definitely wins that fight as far as I am concerned.

50 Cent (On My Segway)

Ohhh! I got DIBS on Billy!

Dan Rafael
  (2:01 PM)

LOL.

Pete (Texas)

I am a bit excited for Broner Demarco but Demarco not to long ago was getting beat up by Jorge Linares. I see Broner doing the same without the horrible Linares ending.

Dan Rafael
  (2:02 PM)

Very possible. But I know this -- whatever happens, DeMarco is the best opponent of Broner's career so far.

Raul (San Fernando, CA)

Did you watch Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and the piece on the gay boxer? Your thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (2:02 PM)

Have it on my DVR but have not had time to watch it yet.

Jim (Cleveland)

Going along with the Abregu/Maidana/Matthyse round robin, is there any chance of a huge card with all three guys plus Sergio taking place in their homeland of Argentina? Seems like it could fill a soccer stadium, no?

Dan Rafael
  (2:02 PM)

Very doubtful. Simply not enough money to make something like that happen there.

Kelly (Jacksonville, FL)

I would have paid fiddy cent for Billy Dibs...

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

Pay the man (his fiddy cents), Shirley!

Tom (UK)

Floyd, 50 and Ms Jackson would make for an unforgettable episode of Jerry Springer.

Dan Rafael
  (2:04 PM)

YES!

Nizzi (Des Moines)

Dan, the more I watch the Oscar/Mayweather fight the more I am wonder how the scorecards were so close. I score the fight 117-111 in favor of Mayweather. How did you score it?

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

I forget my exact score. I think I had Mayweather winning 116-112.

P"N"B (Goodyear)

Whats next for Mike Lee?

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

He is supposed to fight Dec. 6 in Vegas on the ESPN2 undercard.

Jeremy (Beaufort, Ireland)

Still blocked by Oscie on twitter Dan?

Dan Rafael
  (2:06 PM)

Of course. I wear it as a badge of honor.

Jimmy (Arlington, Va)

Any chance Maidana goes back to jr. welter, or is he at welter to stay?

Dan Rafael
  (2:06 PM)

Welterweight to stay. His manager told me yesterday he probably will fight in Argentina in December.

Reid (Cleveland)

Dan - did you say you have you picture with KISS hanging in your dining room? I think that is hilarious. I guess it makes for an easy conversation starter when guests come over....

Dan Rafael
  (2:09 PM)

I did say that. It is true.

JOhn (Austin)

Dan, just bought the first 3 KISS vinyls, in their original jackets for $15. Can I borrow your record player?

Dan Rafael
  (2:09 PM)

Nice! I dont own a record player anymore unless I count the one that is probably in the attic at my mom's house.

Raul (San Fernando, CA)

Your thoughts on The Home Depot Center as a boxing venue? I wish it's be used more often!

Dan Rafael
  (2:10 PM)

Terrific venue.

Dan Rafael
  (2:12 PM)

OK Fight Freaks, thanks for chatting today. Hope you enjoy the fights this weekend and the new stories and blogs on the site. Talk to you next week. Peace.