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January 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

Happy New Year Fight Freaks and welcome to the first chat of the new year! Tonight is the season debut of Friday Night Fights on ESPN2, so live boxing is back. And we can discuss the year-end awards that came out last week and this week plus look forward to the fights that have been added to the schedule. So check out all the blogs and news stories and the sked and let's get to it.

matt (canada)

I'm going to Vegas / the MGM May 4th and could not be more excited. Is there any chance one of my favourite fighters, James Kirkland fights Canelo at the MG that day?

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

Anything is possible but nothing is set.

Ron (Baltimore)

Since Broner-Burns was never happening in Feb., what do you think of Broner-Rees? Also, any word on when tix go on sale?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

Broner-Burns was in serious talks so to say it was never happening is wrong. That said, Broner-Rees is what it is -- Broner against probably the best guy that was available from a less than impressive pool of fighters. No word on tix yet.

John (Charlottesville, Va)

Dan - Both network boxing cards got very good ratings. But more importantly, similar ratings to college basketball. Can you see more networks picking up boxing programing, at a less expensive rate, than the mega million dollar rights fees CBS, ABC/ESPN pay to air college games? NBC has a void without the NHL right now for weekend sports.

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

I do believe we will see more fights on the networks, especially after the success of the first two cards. That said, demographics are also important as are ratings and college basketball still skews younger than boxing.

Mike (Los Angeles)

DanielSan, 2012 was a big year for boxing with a lot of movement in the rankings. Do you think Pac and Cotto will return to their old selfs, or has the torch been passed on?

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

Nobody in boxing returns to their old self at this advanced stage of their career. Can a guy pull an upset here and there? Sure. Will they ever be dominant champions again? Highly unlikely. But that doesnt mean they still cant be in good fights and make a lot of money.

Aaron (Hartford)

Happy New Year Dan ! You really think Canelo will fight Trout next ?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

Trout wants it bad and Canelo supposedly also wants it. But I think there are those involved with Canelo who, understandably, think it's a dumb fight -- way too much risk for way too little reward, especially with a possible Mayweather fight sitting there. So while I do not know what will happen I would be surprised if they ultimately made the Trout fight for Canelo's next fight. But who knows?

Carl (NY, NY)

what do you think is next for Pac-Man? What fight are you most looking forward to this year?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

I believe Pacquiao will lay off until the fall and fight Marquez in the 5th fight. Massive money, massive PPV, massive interest.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Would you agree that it would make more sense to put American HW's on the same card on a network station? For instance have Mitchell/Banks II and have Jennings on the undercard on a network station?

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

I am not even sure what you mean. I dont think it matters as long as people can see the fighters. Besides, it would be highly unlikely that we will see them on the same card because they have different promoters -- unless they were fighting each other.

Chris (NYC)

happy new year Dan...seems to be a bunch of really interesting matchups in the increasingly crowded 160lb division...any thoughts on what fights get made there?

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

It is a solid division now. I think we will see a Martinez-Chavez rematch in 2013. I think if Golovkin defeats Rosado in two weeks, we'll see him in a bigger fight. If Geale beats Mundine, his promoter, Gary Shaw, as well as Geale himself, have told me they want to fight in the US in a higher profile fight. Quillin-Guerrero is made for Feb. 9 and the winner will be in a great position.

Tyler (Toledo)

I know Deontay Wilder has plenty of critics, and rightly so to a degree. However, I don't have too much of a problem with how he's been brought along. He's been slowly adding weight, and was very raw when he turned pro. Also, he's only 27. which isn't too bad for a Heavyweight. As long as they start increasing his opposition, and I think they are headed that way, I'm not too upset about his career path. Thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

I wouldn't say I am "upset" by his path. That is for his people to determine. That said, I would personally like to see him move at least a LITTLE faster and fight some better opponents. Being honest, most of his opponents have been absolutely pathetic. The win over Kelvin Price last month was his most solid win so far. Deontay has a lot of potential though and I think we could see him break out a little more this year with more tv exposure and a higher level of opponent.

jt$ (DC)

Surprised to see Dzinziruk vs. Brian Vera coming up on friday night fights. A year ago, that would have been a boxing after dark main event.

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

It would have never been a BAD main event.

Mark (ATL)

Given the success of the CBS and NBC fights what is the anticipated budget of the next fight. Will it be more in line with World Championship Boxing or Boxing After Dark?

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

I am not 100 percent clear on the budget for those fights but it wont approcach those HBO shows. BAD cards are often seven figures or high six figures. WCB cards are always seven figures and often as much as $3 million-plus.

Woody (New York Jets)

Dan, Do you have a tattoo of Mrs. Raf with nothing but boxing gloves on. Rex Ryan is a joke.

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

I can neither confirm nor deny.

Victor (Chicago, IL)

Broner recently said he wants to be part of the May 4th undercard, is that realistically possible?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

I would think so but he would have to win Feb. 16 and make a quick turnaround. But that would be great if he was.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Rios vs. Alvarado 2 on March 16 or March 30? And has Top Rank firmed up a date for Bradley vs. Peterson 2 yet?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

The working date for Bradley is March 16 and Rios-Alvarad is March 30. Top Rank is on the Nevada commission agenda at next week's meeting asking for March 30 at Mandalay Bay, which is where Rios-Alvarado 2 would likely take place.

Roy (Reno)

Where does TR look to move Pavlik now that the Ward fight has been (mercifully) cancelled ?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

Up in the air.

Chris Bowen (Candor NY)

Hey Dan, I'm curious as to what you're reasons are for boxing not being as popular in the U.S.A. as it is worldwide? I love the sport and the fact that it almost has a cult-like status, but shouldn't it be much bigger then it is? thanks

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

I think mainly because in America there are sooooo many sports options. Football, basketball, baseball and college sports are huge. In other countries, they dont have those sports available in the mass quantity as we do. They may watch NFL overseas of NBA, but those countries are not obsessed with it like in America.

Bill (San Francisco)

Dan, are we possibly looking at Ward being on the shelf until the latter part of 2013 with that injury?

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

Andre is having his surgery as we speak. If all goes well, he is out probably 6 months and I wouldnt expect him fighting again until probably September. But we'll have a better idea after the surgery is over and we hear from the doctor.

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

Did you catch my additional boxing awards part 1 for 2012? Here they are: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/2734/more-2012-awards-in-boxing

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

And here is part 2: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/2758/remaining-2012-boxing-awards

Tim (Philly)

Who is dodging who with the donaire vs rigondeaux fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

Nobody is "dodging."

Brooks (New Hampshire)

Hey Dan - The card on the 19th looks pretty good. I'm thinking Burgos-Martinez might steal the show.

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

It's a great card top to bottom. I think all three TV fights -- Salido-Garcia, Golovkin-Rosado and Martinez-Burgos -- all have a chance to be very action-packed. I will be there and look forward to it.

David (Dallas)

Dan,Happy New Year. Do you think there is ANY chance we'll see a Garcia vs Matthysse in '13?

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

I think it's possible but I wont hold my breath.

Mike (Los Angeles)

I was surprised that you had Kirkland as the Winky Wright school of business winner. Shouldn't it have been Bradley for backing out the 2+ Mil he would of got fighting Peterson in Miami?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

No, because whatever you want to say about Bradley he made $5 million to fight Manny. Kirkland hasnt made $5 million in his career.

Mike (DC)

Arreola-Stiverne getting its own BAD date on 3/2? BOMBS AWAY!

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

Very likely as the main of a BAD on that date instead of being the opener of a WCB for the called off Ward-Pavlik fight. They're working on it.

Slater (West by God Virginia)

DTM out of curiosity what division do you think is the most talent rich and competitive?

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

In no order, I like 160, 154, 140. And, believe it or not, I think heavyweight is getting interesting below the Klitschkos. It's just a matter of some of the guys fighting each other and not just waiting for the Klitschko fight.

Jere (San Diego)

Have we seen the last of Miguel Cotto?

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

Very doubtful.

Stephen (Walnut Creek)

I might be in the minority, but I think Mitchell knocks Banks out in the rematch... thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

Who knows?

Nicky (Union)

A few years ago, Main Events was on life support, after the retirement of Gatti. Looks like they've been brought back to relevance.

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

Kathy Duva has done a great job of being patient and working hard. And it has worked out so far. They dont have a big stable -- and she has told me often she doesnt want one. But they have TV, which will attract fighters to them and they also know how to promote an event and sell tickets.

your nameMike (Emmett, ID)

Next fight for Donaire is?

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

He'll probably be back around April and it could be in Macau, something Arum is talking about more seriously than ever. I know he's been full of it before but now I believe it's more serious. HBO would do a fight from there. It wouldnt totally shock me to see him move up and challenge Chris John for his featherweight belt. That would be big in Macau with two top Asian fighters and an interesting fight since John has held his title forever and is still undefeated and a lifelong featherweight.

Quinn (Pittsburgh)

Dan, I have been reading Al Bernstein's book and in it is a lot of bad talk about ESPN for the way they promote conflict and opinion and a lack of analysis, as well as predicting who will win fights. (I'm not accusing you of this), but how do you feel about what he has to say?

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Al is a great guy, a great broadcaster and I am proud to call him my friend. He is very experienced and has his opinions. Many I agree with it but not all of them.

Rick (San Diego)

Dan, the traditional way of avoiding a fight is to price yourself out of it. Is added drug testing becoming another way of doing that?

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Obviously.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Dan, I want to see a Norman Stone vs. Angel Garcia press conference.

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

You're sick.

Roger (OH)

Dan, I read somewhere that a couple of neurologists from the Philippines (neither of whom have actually examined Manny) have suggested that he is showing signs of early-onset Parkinson's and are recommending that he should retire immediately. Hopefully this is just speculation, and doesn't end up being the case, but can you shed any additional light on this story?

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

I saw that too and it was horrible reporting. If you never examined a guy, save your breath. Their comments are meaningless to me. If Manny's doctor or somebody who actually examined him had an opinion that's one thing. But anything else is pure nonsense and/or speculation.

mike (washington)

Who does marquez fight before pacman in the fall?

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

I dont think Marquez fight until a fifth fight with Manny in the fall.

Rob (Pittsburgh)

You spoke about the heavyweight division being interesting. What are your thoughts on Deontay Wilder?

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Raw, untested prospect with awesome power.

David (Dallas)

Do you see "the problem" moving up to 140 this year or staying put and kicking butt at 135?

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

I would imagine that by the end of 2013 he will be at 140.

Pete (Texas)

Can you think of another boxer that had a big win and the fans care nothing about such as Tim Bradley.

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

The reason is because 99.99999999% of the planet believes he lost to Pacquiao.

Mike (DC)

Is De Leon-Velez really gonna be at the Apollo?! I remember David Izon drilling Lou Savaresse way back when...

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

Yes.

Mikey (Levittown, NY)

Rightfully so, you always inform the freaks that having two fights with major stars (example: Pacquiao and Chavez Jr. on the same card) is not feasible for financial reasons. Can you help me understand then why Golden Boy is trying to have Floyd-Ghost and a Canelo fight on the same card?

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

I dont know for a fact that Golden Boy IS trying to do that. Nothing has been settled yet. Patience.

Joey I (Hackensack)

Can someone tell Steve Cunningham to stop complaining on twitter, and contantly retweeting fans saying he won. The freakin fight was 3 weeks ago. I lost alot of respect for him. Yeah, he got robbed. Get over it, and move on.

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

No. It may not matter to you but it is his LIFE and CAREER. I dont blame him. I'm sure if something that significant happened to you that you wouldnt be over it in 3 weeks.

Sun Devil (Los Angeles)

Dan, do fighters such as Canelo and Pacquiao get any say as to who they fight or does Top Rank and Golden Boy dictate these decisions?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

They absolutely have a major say so in who they fight.

Brock (Illinois)

Any chance that Golovkin and Matthysse ever fight (not each other obviously) on the same card? 2 great fighters that are still relatively cheap and would fight anyone.

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

Not totally out of the question but also highly unlikely. They are with different promoters and are now fighting on different networks.

Matt (Virginia)

Hey Dan I heard of this doctor who has never seen me. He says I might be five inches taller than I really am. Any truth to that?

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Jonathan (Atlanta)

Dan, Highlight of my boxing 2012 was the Pacman/Marquez introductions when my wife said "why are those brothers not in the ring?" I think she thought the Watson twins had to be present at very fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

Epic. (FYI -- they are not twins.)

todd (sf, ca)

what's done with boxing gloves after a fight? i know with big fights sulaiman likely steals them, but what about after club fights? are gloves ever re-used?

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

On the lower level, they are often re-used. At the top level, fighters often keep their gloves or give them to somebody special. They have a certain value for sure if they are fight used from a star fighter.

Saul (Toronto)

Roberto DurDAN...which Montreal star do you think will be the next to grab a world title (or regain one)? Bute, Pascal, Lemieux, or Stevenson?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

It really depends on how they are matched. I dont see Bute fighting for a world title for a little bit. Pascal could beat Dawson in their rematch in March. He beat him once already and Dawson is coming off a KO loss. Lemieux isnt getting a world title shot any time soon. Stevenson is a mandatory but Froch may fight Kessler instead. I would say if I HAD to pick, I'd say the schedule benefits Pascal most.

Aaron (MI)

Sight and date set for Brook vs Alexander yet?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

Feb. 23 in Detroit. Been that way for awhile.

Stan ( )

Dan, how seriously are the top promoters taking PED testing? I know there is the possibility of cancelled events, but unlike baseball, we're talking about the well being of people instead of home runs.

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

I dont think they take it very seriously.

jlo (bronx)

anything on josesito lopez ?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

Nothing specific, although he's been mentioned as a possible April opponent for Amir Khan.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Dan, Could you give us some back ground on tonight's FNF headliners, Rances Barthelemy vs. Arash Usmanee?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Solid fight between undefeated up and comers. The winner will be No. 2 in the IBF 130 rankings and close to a mandatory title shot. I am not very familiar with Usmanee but Barthelemy is a good, slick boxer and was a good amateur.

Guile (USA)

Who's next for Brian Viloria? Is HBO or Showtime interested now w/ his next fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

I think he likely will wind up fighting Roman Gonzalez, who wants to move up from 108 to 112. That's a helluva fight and I would HBO or Showtime would seriously think about picking it up.

Hiubert (Miami)

Dan the man, Do you GGG Golovkin will ever fight Sergio Martinez, I think that would be a huge fight. Do you agree?

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

I doubt they will fight. Sergio is basically scheduled for 2013 -- Murray in April and probably Chavez rematch in the fall. Beyond that, who knows? He's getting older and had injuries in the Chavez fight. He's not going to be around at the top level forever. I dont think we're ever going to see him and Golovkin.

Mike (Los Angeles)

DanDaLion, who is the hardest HW puncher now? Wlad, Fury, Wilder?

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

Wlad.

Alan (Ohio)

Dan, I'm curious, how many PED questions do you get? Is it on the mind of the Freaks or is it something we just don't want to get too deep into?

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

I get TONS.

Yinka Double Dare (Chicago)

Do those doctors really think that Freddie Roach, who unfortunately knows a thing or two about Parkinson's and sees Manny in person regularly, wouldn't tell Manny to retire if early symptoms were evident? Those doctors obviously just wanted to get in the news.

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

Knowing Freddie like I do, I have zero doubt that if he suspected there was a serious issue with one of his fighters, ESPECIALLY Parkinsons, he would DEFINITELY make it an issue and talk to them about it.

Adam (Queens)

dan, Zab looked pretty good albeit against untested Vernon Paris....does he have any shot against Swift Garcia?

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

Of course Zab has a shot. He's got a legit shot.

hamzah (Slough )

Dan in your opinion who would you rank in your top 5 p4p most popular current fighters

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

Obviously guys like Manny and Floyd, based on their PPV numbers. You have guys like Marquez and Cotto and Canelo, who have passionate fan bases. In Europe, the Klitschkos are enormously popular. They have regularly put 50K in stadiums for their fights.

Jonathan (Calgary)

Do you think it is still possible that Marquez used PED's even though the urine tests were negative?

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

Forget about Marquez for a second -- to me, a simple urine test right before or after a fight is meaningless. Testing needs to take place regularly -- be it blood or urine or preferably both -- leading up to a fight. It's too easy to cycle stuff out of the system and still have gained the benefits of a PED. So a clean urine test is what it is -- the urine was clean just before the test or just after. But it says nothing about what was being put into a system a month ago or a few weeks ago.

Ace (Sactwon)

I know you wrote an article about it already but lets give Rosado some more props. I love the attitude and the willingness to fight GGG at his best. If he does pull the upset there will not be a * next to it in the record books. If hes fighting for the belt he should fight it at the same weight. Just my opinion.

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

I do applaud Rosado but even if they fought at 158 there would not be an * by the fight. 158 is still in the middleweight division. Period.

Tom (Boston)

Dan, isn't asking the promoters to take the lead on drug testing a bit like asking the fox to guard the hen house? Change in this area is going to have to come from elsewhere.

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

Obviously.

André (Québec )

What's with Tyson Fury calling out UFC fighters?Doesn't he realize it's a different sport?

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

Apparently not.

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

Apparently not.

Koichi (NYC)

I'm liking the idea of Donaire vs John alot, and definitely makes for an interesting fight.

Mike (Los Angeles)

In which realm do you think that PED testing should be enforced? By the commission, sanctioning organization, promoters? It seems now it only by one fighter, Donaire.

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

100% commissions.

jcs (edmonton)

Hey Dan, I am not denying that the Rios/Alvarado fight was a great one, but I kind of felt that Rios pulled away at the end and I think I'd rather see him move on to other things...thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

There is nothing out there for him that can be made right now as big as the rematch. And I want to see a rematch anway, so I'm down with it.

Joe (San Francisco, CA)

Other than the studio host, any other changes you are aware of for this season's FNF?

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

Todd Grisham is the new studio host and Bernardo Osuna, last season's host, will now be on site as a reporter. Other than that not much else is changing. I will also continue to participate in the show and will be on tonight discussing some of the 2012 award winners and looking ahead to 2013.

Chris (NYC)

Any word on permanent replacements for Merchant and Steward on HBO?

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

Not yet.

Aj (Under your bed)

Who do you think put on the better cards this year TR or GB... I personally thought TR killed it this year with great fights like rios-alvardo, martinez-chavez, pac-marquez and more

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

Both companies put on a lot of good fights. They could do even better if they would work together.

Quinn (Pittsburgh)

Have you ever talked to Al Haymon, or tried?

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

Many, many times we have talked.

John (PA)

Dan, when you're covering a fight at ringside, what's the beverage of choice? Do you and the other writers have a couple brewskies? Or must you keep it professional?

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

LOL. My only beverage of choice at ringside is a bottle or two of water.

Jorge (CPT)

I heard that Sugar Shane is talking comeback against Paulie Malignaggi. is this true ?

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

Yes, unfortunately.

Gary Burton (Beaverton, OR)

Dan, when you talked to Al Haymon, was it like the Angels did to Charlie, over a two-way speaker, where you couldn't see him?

Dan Rafael
  (12:55 PM)

LOL. No. We've talked in person as well on the phone.

Ace (Sactown)

Oh and thank you bubba for making me aware of the awesome tweets from the Legend Iron Sheik. #TeamSheikiebaby

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

You're welcome 0000000000 but not the Ultimate Warrior or the Hulk Hogan.

C. Butler (Los Angeles)

Is Money vs. The Ghost unofficially a done deal?

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

No. Dont you think if it was you'd see a story on ESPN.com?

Mike (Emmett, ID)

Donaire and Mares both voiced their wish to fight each other at the end of their last fights. Does that just fall on deaf ears when it comes to their promoters to make the fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

Yup.

Jay (San Diego)

So what's wrong with Nevada's testing? You said in an older piece that it had one of the strictest regimes in the world..http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=dan-rafael&id=252.

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

They do but it just shows you how bad the testing is in other states. Nevada could beef its up a lot better. But for what is out there, they are probably the most thorough.

David (Cape Canaveral)

Dan, on the jan. 26th Showtime card featuring Matthysse-Dallas jr, will we also get the Aydin-Soto Karras bout....hopefuly?

Dan Rafael
  (1:01 PM)

Yes, it's the televised co-feature of the tripleheader. Read this story I wrote yesterday: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/8811015/lucas-matthysse-now-fight-michael-dallas-hank-lundy

Mike (Macomb, MI)

Dan, Please tell me HBO is not going to bank roll a Bradley Vs Peterson rematch. The first fight SUCKED!!!!! There are a ton of better fights that they could be made for the money they would pay for that crappy fight!

Dan Rafael
  (1:02 PM)

I agree with you. But that said, that fight hasnt been made, at least not yet.

Tim (Philly)

Where do you rank a fighter like Chris John? He's never had a presence here in the US so it's hard to gauge how legit he really is? I don't recall him being on your PvP list either.

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

He's legit, although getting older and fighting lesser opponents these days. He has fought in America twice and I was at both fights -- the two against Rocky Juarez. He has some excellent wins on his record. Just because he isnt fighting in America does not mean he is not a top featherweight. That said, his competition has dropped off from earlier in his title reign.

Oliver (Guam)

Have you ever watched Chris John fight in person?

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

Yes, like I said earlier, I was at both of his fights with Juarez.

luis (bronx ny)

any news on gary russel jr, i think hes really good but havent seen him in the ring lately

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

He is supposed to fight on March 2 on Showtime on the Ponce De Leon-Velez undercard in New York. Opponent, natually, is TBA.

Brady (Golden Valley, MN)

What's on the New Year's Resolution list for the Love Child?

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Do you think China will develop a world class fighter anytime soon?

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

With a population in billions and boxing growing there, it is only a matter of time.

Frank (Chi)

Not really a boxing follower but I was wondering if Fury is just an idiot or if you think there is any possiblity he could fight Cain Velasquez?

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

There is zero chance of that fight happening.

al (denver)

what would you make the over under for the matthysse/dallas fight? i think the machine tracks dallas down in less than six. mike better bring his bike.

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

I have nothing against Dallas, but I give him almost no shot to win. I think he'll be lucky to last into the second half of the fight. Terrible style match for Mike.

More Sizzle Than Steak (Ogden, Utah)

Glad to see your birthday wish for Sweat Pea (my favorite fighter) this week. What would you say is your favorite Whitaker fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

I have always been a Whitaker fan. I think I'd have to say the Chavez fight even though he was robbed. And I also give him big props for the way he rescued the Hurtado fight in a shocking late KO, which was the only time he ever did that.

Oscar (Carson)

Any truth that your Mayweather's next fight Dan?

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

No truth, he cant make heavyweight.

Haris Syed Abbasi (Edison, NJ)

Which fight would you rather be at? The HBO triple header on 1/19 or the SHO triple header on 1/26?

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

The HBO card is much better of the two and I will be at the HBO card on Jan. 19.

Haris Syed Abbasi (Edison, NJ)

Is the April Martinez/Murray fight in Argentina on HBO?

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

Yes.

Matt (NH)

Is Zab still with Kathy Duva?

Dan Rafael
  (1:12 PM)

No.

Michael C (Houston)

One of the Charlo brothers has an upcoming fight.....early contender to make your 2013 Prospects list?

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

He's on the 2012 list that came out last week. Check here for my top prospects roundup: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/8784628/david-price

Mike (Emmett, ID)

TBA is always fighting Gary Russel Jr. he needs to find another opponent

Everlast76 (Montreal Zoo)

any chance of having bute on the undercard of the pascal vs dawson bho card ?

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

ZERO.

Common Sense (In Short Supply)

You know what would be a really bad idea in 2013? Having Nonito Donaire fight a couple times in his hometown which also happens to have a massive Filipino population. That would be totally stupid and a surefire way to lose money.

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

It really does boggle my mind that as hot as Donaire is he has not fought in the Bay Area. I think it would do very well there.

Yoasis (Miami)

Why does ESPN UK have an article as if the Floyd/Guerrero fight is a done deal?????

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

Because that site is wrong, as it often is.

Nick (Clothier, WV)

Heard anything on the heavy-handed Magomed Abduslamov next fight

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

Good chance he will be on the Martinez-Murray undercard in Argentina in April.

Money (Jersey)

Did Donaire get FOY because he was busy? He didnt really fight anyone that posed a threat.

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

He was busy. He moved up in weight. He won two major world titles. And he won each fight in dominant fashion four quality opponents. It was an easy pick.

John (pA)

Any idea when we will hear what Vitali & Wladmir's next fights will be?

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

Nothing 100 percent, but Wladimir is looking at March.

Mike (Los Angeles)

I've been looking for the "4 Kings" books everywhere, but don't want to pay full price for it. Where can I get if for cheap?

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

Go to the library.

More Sizzle Than Steak (Ogden, Utah)

While I'm glad you didn't choose Keith Thurman as your Prospect of the Year, I'm wondering what you think of his potential in general. He seems a bit "caveman-like" to me.

Dan Rafael
  (1:20 PM)

Fun TV fighter with potential. I didnt consider him for THE prospect of the year.

@ThatBoyElite (OKC)

Happy New Year DTM! Glad to have Friday Night Fights back. Here is to a year full of action and excitement for the Sweet Science! Cheers!

Felix (Miami, FL)

Any news on how the weight issue for the ESPN fight tonight was resolved? Gonzalez vs. Ennis.

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

Ennis was way overweight. He paid a percentage of his purse to Gonzalez and the fight is on. He also had a limit of how much weight he could put on and was inside that limit at another weight check this mornig.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Wouldn't it be advantageous to stay as a Free Agent like Marquez and Zab and have the flexibility to fight any challenger from either promoter?

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

Marquez is with Fernando Beltran and not a free agent.

Keith H (Seattle)

Where's Dieter? It's been over an hour and we haven't danced...

JP (Columbus, OH)

Dan, any chance you saw the Jim Rome show on Showtime with Mike Tyson?

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

I did see that segment, not that Showtime publicized it at all. I caught by accident and am glad I did. It was a good segment and pretty darn funny.

Newt (Jacksonville)

From a pure marketing perspective, do you think that Pacquiao getting KO'd actually benefits him? He's not invincible anymore, and with his fighting style, anything can happen at any time. He's even more exciting now.

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

It's never good to waxed like that. Silly comment.

Mike (Queens)

Dan, last week I asked you about Hopkins fighting on HBO in March, but Hopkins on twitter keeps saying its on Showtime and that he is a Showtime guy. Which is it?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

HBO.

Steve (Hartford)

True Hopkins v Cloud will be on the same HBO card as Dawson v Pascal 2?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

That's the plan, but it's not 100 percent yet. Would be a split site show. BHop in NY and the other fight in Canada.

Jake (Philadelphia)

Thank you for your story on Gabe Rosado. He's finally getting the credit that he deserves. Here in Philly, we love the guy. Now the rest of the country knows how tough he is. The guy is a throwback, and win or lose against GGG, he deserves credit for taking the fight under the conditions he did.

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

Count me as a Rosado fan. I love his attitude, he's got a great personality and he has gotten a lot better in terms of his fighting. Whatever happens against Golivin, I am convinced Rosado will fight his rear end off and make it a fight.

Carl (Richmond)

Dan, to call the Adamek-Cunningham fight a robbery is a gross exaggeration. I thought it was a close, competitive fight that could have gone either way.

Dan Rafael
  (1:29 PM)

I dont agree. I agree it was close, but I do not agree it could have gone either way. A close fight can still be definitive in my view. I thought AT BEST Adamek won 5 rounds. Not seven. My opinion.

Brock (Illinois)

Whatever happened to the Boxing Promoters Association? Looks like it died in 2010 from the website.

Dan Rafael
  (1:31 PM)

Has no teeth, has done nothing substantial and is a waste of time in my view because promoters gonna do what they gotta do, an organization be damned. I applaud the effort but I never believed it would amount to anything because I never believed the top promoters would ever do anything that didnt help themselves even at the expense of other promoters.

Bk Don (Brooklyn)

Why isn't BHops fighting in Atlantic City instead of the Barclays, where he has proven to be a legitimate ticket seller?

D$
  (1:33 PM)

Golden Boy has a deal with Barclays for regular shows.

Harold (New Brunswick)

Did Michael Buffer read the first score card of Adamek-Cunningham incorrectly? I thought he announced it a split draw??

D$
  (1:33 PM)

He was given a wrong scorecard, which was read and then corrected.

Quinn (Pittsburgh)

How are the nosebleeds in the Barclays? Worth it?

D$
  (1:35 PM)

Not sure of the prices but physically, the upper deck is very steep.

Dieter (From Sprockets)

Dan, even though I'm very disappointed I did not make any of your year-end awards lists, and considered not dancing today due to that sleight, I can not deny Keith H. From Seattle and the rest of the freaks any longer. ... so NOW is the time in the chat when we DANCE!!!!!!

George (Jersey)

DTM, How are ticket sales going for the tripleheader on 1/19? Are u expecting a sellout?

D$
  (1:38 PM)

According to Top Rank, all $200 and $100 seats are sold out. Some $50, $25s available. By the way -- $25 is an awesome price for that arena and card. I have never seen prices that cheap at the Theater for this level of show before.

Doug (Vancouver)

Is FNF scheduled to be in Quebec this year? They always are great cards with big fan turn outs from Montreal and Quebec city.

D$
  (1:41 PM)

Not at this point, but Montreal is a place that usually has 1 or 2 shows per season. Maybe this summer.

Antonio (Philadelphia)

What do you think of a Super Six tournament at the 140lb division?! #EPIC

D$
  (1:41 PM)

Nothing. Not happening.

Earl (Maryland)

have you ever spent a cold winter's day indoors, quietly sipping hot cocoa while staring into a snow globe?

D$
  (1:42 PM)

These are my readers.

Shawn (Philly)

Dan will we see an Adamek v Arreola rematch 1st one was good

D$
  (1:43 PM)

Unlikely. Adamek is on a path to an IBF mandatory. Arreola is on a path to the WBC mandatory.

Peter (NYC)

There is not one bad seat @ the Theater.

D$
  (1:43 PM)

Exactly. Great place to watch a fight.

FrankFletcher (NY,NY)

Does Fernando Guerero have a chance against Quillen?

D$
  (1:43 PM)

Quillin should be the big favorite, put it that way.

Saxby (Biloxi, MS)

What's next for Tor Hamer? Is quitting on national television in the biggest fight of your life enough to end his career, or will he sign up for another prizefighter tourney?

D$
  (1:44 PM)

Not a clue. But the way he quit is not going to help him get TV fights in the future. He needs to do some serious soul searching and decide if he really wants to fight.

David (Cape Canaveral)

Regarding the Feb. 1 card on ESPN, when Spinks either pulls out, fails to make weight, gets stopped early, any chance we'll see some of the intriguing Spzilka/Mollo fight?

D$
  (1:44 PM)

LOL. Not sure.

Pete (Texas)

Danamita! I feel that JMM is one of the most under appreciated boxers of our time along with BHop. What do you think?

D$
  (1:47 PM)

I dont agree. MArquez has gotten a lot of love for a lot of years.

Mike (Los Angeles)

Admit that a US 4 man HW tourney of Mitchell, Arreloa, Jennings and Wilder would be good for boxing.

D$
  (1:48 PM)

Dont need a tourney. Just need to make the fights.

Matt (Worcester, MA)

What is the likelihhod that we now see Kelly Pavlik fight Bute? If it happens, I personally see him walking through Bute in the same fashion that Carl Froch did.

D$
  (1:49 PM)

I dont think that fight will be made.

Nick (Clothier, WV)

Does Antonio Tarver ever lace em up in a meaningful fight again?

D$
  (1:50 PM)

I very much doubt it.

Chris C (Washington DC)

Hey Dan, Did Seth Mitchell have a rematch clause with Banks or did Banks just want the fight again for lack of a better option?

D$
  (1:50 PM)

Rematch clause.

More Sizzle Than Steak (Mom's Basement)

Are you personally glad or disappointed that Ward - Pavlik has essentially gone away?

D$
  (1:51 PM)

I'm disappointed.

Al (York Pa)

Dan: Would you be the toughest boxing writer and dominate winner in a round robin boxing writers winner take all Boxing tourney?

D$
  (1:51 PM)

00000000000.

Rich (Evanston)

Better defensive fighter- prime Sweet Pea or prime Wilfredo Benetiz?

D$
  (1:53 PM)

Pea.

Harold (Pikeville, KY)

Saw that theres now a new book out about Ray Mancini,have you had a chance to review it?

D$
  (1:53 PM)

I have it, written by my pal Mark Kriegel. Definitely worth picking up.

D$
  (1:56 PM)

OK Fight Freaks, thanks for chatting today. Great way to kick off the year. Enjoy the season start of FNF tonight (10 pm ET) and make sure to check out all the awards stuff and blogs on the site. Talk to you next week. Peace.