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August 22, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (12:02 PM)

Greetings Fights Freaks and welcome to the special Thursday edition of the weekly chat. Have some personal business on Friday but still wanted to chat with the Fight Freaks, hence today's chat. We have the season finale of FNF on ESPN2 tomorrow night with a couple of title bouts on the Mike Tyson-promoted card and a really good looking Showtime card Saturday night topped by Mares-Gonzalez and plenty of fall fights to come so check out all the stories, blogs and the updated schedule and rankings and let's get to it.

DJ (North Carolina)

What's the latest on Khan-Alexander? Is the fight actually happening somewhere in the world in December?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

The fight likely will happen on Dec. 7, yes. The venue is not set yet but it seems more and more likely it won't be in Dubai. Golden Boy also has Barclays Center on hold for the date so I would anticipate it ultimately taking place there.

Gabe Saginaw Mi [via mobile]

Mares vs Santa Cruz? That would b a barn burner. Lets hope they make this fight soon

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

If they both win on Saturday that is most definitely a fight that will happen eventually. It may not be the next fight but certainly within a fight or two.

Jonathan (Atlanta)

Dan, you were spot on in Mondays Scorecard. What was Cleverly thinking? It was the wrong fight, and the wrong tactics.

Dan Rafael
  (12:07 PM)

I have no idea what he was thinking going at Kovalev. He paid a dear price. I'm not saying it would have been a different result if he tried to box him more but at least he probably wouldn't have been completely steamrolled.

OnceFlewOverMachoGrande (Manhattan Beach, CA)

What are the possibilities that Sergio Martinez goes back down to Junior Middleweight to challenge Mayweather, Cotto, etc...seems like a better option for him considering his past performances in a heavier weight class?

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

Sergio is almost certainly never going down to 154 again and is not going to get a fight with Mayweather. My predicted scenario is that eventually -- one or two fights from now -- he will defend the middleweight title against Miguel Cotto in a big PPV fight for both guys.

Zach (Whittier, Ca)

Is Deontay Wilder legitamately ready to take a big step up to become a legitamate contender? What fight could be in his immediate future now that he has some name recognition among more casual fans?

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

He is definitely ready to take the next step. The fight his promoter, Richard Schaefer, hopes to make is Wilder against the winner of the Sept. 7 Arreola-Mitchell fight, which would be an interesting fight.

Phil (UK)

Any chance we see Geale-Macklin towards the end of the year? Both have HBO links and coming of losses in title fights. Would be a quick route back for another shot.

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

Highly unlikely as Barker will only fight once more this year and it will be a mandatory against Felix Sturm.

Whoolly (San Antonio, TX)

Hey Brian!!!! I mean Dan (Thurman voice) Any idea who Keith Thurman is fighting next? I know there are several options

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

Schaefer is trying to make a fight between Thurman and Robert Guerrero, which could happen either on Nov. 2 on Showtime or an the Nov. 9 Showtime PPV card.

Henry v. Bonner Jr (philly)

Dan do you think Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev can be made and who will win

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

Looking down the road that is obviously a fight that is possible given that they are both linked to HBO and Andre will eventually go up to light heavy.

@ElDollarBill (Wash DC)

What is the biggest weakness for Saul Alverez going into the Sept 14 fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

He's much slower than Floyd, has much worse defense than Floyd, a lot less experiece in big fights and is a lot more mechanical.

@ElDollarBill (Wash DC)

What's does Gary Russell Jr need to do to become a P4P champion with exciting PPV fights?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

Fight some guys who are not hobos, civil servants, waiters, cabbies, janitorial staff, bartenders and store clerks.

Juan C (San Diego)

Why the certainty that Martinez never gets a shot at Floyd? I think anyone would starve themselves to 154 for that kind of payout, and I don't see Martinez being particularly dangerous to Floyd given his age and recent injuries.

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

Different networks for one. That is a major factor.

Roger (OH)

Dan, I love the idea of ESPN3 streaming tomorrow's undercard fights, especially with such a stacked card. Any idea if there are plans to do this more often in 2014?

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

I do think you may see it more next year if there are solid undercard fights but what I think you will see more of besides that is more overall overseas cards.

Vic G (San Antonio,TX)

Dan, I don't see anyone right now beating Kovalev at 175. What do you think?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

I think nobody should get too caught up in the hype yet. He's good. Really good. But still quite untested. Cleverly was a perfect opponent for him.

Andrew Jordan (Greenwood, MS)

Do you know yet what the "penalty" is, if Canelo can't make 152? I am wondering if it's worth it for him, like Floyd did vs. JMM, in order to make history.

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

They have no said the specific penalty but they way they are talking I believe it is definitely seven figures per pound.

Kevin (Nevada)

I'd love to see Arce vs Kiko Martinez! Quien es el mas macho??

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

Would be a war but I dont think Arce has anything really left at this point and he did announce his retirement. I hope he stays retired.

cory (cleveland)

Any word on when tickets go on sale for the mgm card on thursday Sept 12?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

I've heard nothing yet.

Matt (Lincoln, NE)

Dan, fight picks for the Showtime card and the Pulev vs. Thompson fight

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

I like Mares and kind of easily. I'll go with Santa Cruz by decision, maybe disputed. And I like Pulev over the old man. Pulev can save poor Mrs. Thompson's hips!

Al (York Pa)

Was it just me but did the bell ending the 3rd round of the Cleverly fight end 6 seconds early saving Cleverly from the 3rd Knock down and ending the fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

I dont know the timing but that referee sure helped him out.

Mario (Houston, TX)

Do you think Quillen- Jacobs is on tap for the end of the year?

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

I dont think it happens this year and Quillin will only fight once more this year, probably in October. But I do think it could happen first half of next year. I think Quillin gets a fall defense, Jacobs might get two more fights and then we see them together.

Chris (Brooklyn)

Will Thurman-Guerrero be on the undercard of Broner-Madiana if those fights happen?

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

It's possible but neither fight is made yet.

Carlos Alexander Nunez (Sunland, ca)

Dan, would it be crazy for me to be more soaked about the Matthyse-Danny Garcia fight than the Canelo-Money fight? When Matthyse knocked Peterson out, Danny Garcia, looked like he wanted no part of that....

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

It's not crazy but your view of Danny's facial expression is off base. Read this: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/9556323/danny-garcia-plan-stop-lucas-matthysse

Jason (Philly)

Dan which scenario do you enjoy more: A division with a dominant title holder for years or a division with high turnover for its title holders?

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

Depends on the fighters involved but I do like seeing a dominant champion take on all comers.

One Time (San Antonio)

What's up Dan Diego!!!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:19 PM)

You mean Dan Antonio!!!!

Davis (Boston)

What if somehow Floyd goes over 152 would it be the same penalty if Canelo doesn't make weight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

I am sure there are penalties for both. But there is no way Floyd will be over.

Rags (NYC)

I've always wondered, when HBO makes a deal to televise a fight, after the fighters have already agreed to purse amounts (ie: Fury-Haye), does that TV money go straight to the promoter(s)?

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

The promoters make deal with the fighters and that's it usually. It's now up to the promoter to go out and sell the fight for as much as it can to all TV outlets around the world, drum up as much sponsor money, gate money etc... Unless a fighter is on a percentage deal, they would not get part of that TV money. They made a deal for a guarantee and that's it usually.

Vic G (San Antonio,TX)

Dan, what did you think about Paulie doing post fight interviews Monday? and wth happened that they cut off the show with 15 mins left on the program?

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

It was odd seeing an active fighter doing the interviews but Paulie handled it fine. The way the show was cut off with Paulie in mid-sentence was inexcusable and really bad.

Mike (PA)

Why do you think promoters are putting these Puerto Rican prospects against top level opposition to get battered? Dulorme, Bomba Gonzales, Del Valle all had little experience and were all beaten up. Is it because they are looking for the next Trinidad or do you think they see an opportunity since the only one from PR with a belt is Roman Martinez?

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

I think you might be right. There is such a rush to find the next PR cash cow that the promoters dont develop their fighters properly. They dont have any patience at all and do the fighters a disservice. Only Top Rank knows how to have patience with its Puerto Rican prospects. Watch how they carefully move Verdejo. They wont rush him, they will let him develop the right way. It's a 15-fight plan and throw him in. He will fight a top guy when they think he is ready, regardless of what we say and I respect that.

Al (York Pa)

Is Rigo being ignored because of his Cuban background and failure to speak English? Or is the 122lb division just like little kids fighting and not important to the money promoters.

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

It has nothing to do with being Cuban or not speaking English. Trinidad didn't speak English. Tons of top fighters dont speak English. It has to do with his negative fighting style. They want ratings and entertainment so putting him on is not something they want because he doesn't bring either.

Dan (DC)

I'm sure Santa Cruz isn't looking past Terrazas but his promoters seem to be a little guilty of doing so. Would Terrazas get a shot at Mares if he wins? It seems he would deserve it....

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

It's fine for promoters to look ahead. That is part of their job. If Terrazas wins it is unlikely he will get that kind of fight. He is with Fernando Beltran (basically Top Rank) and the only reason this fight is happening is because it is a mandatory and Golden Boy won the purse bid.

Shaun (St louis)

Dan, based on what you just said regarding Canelo, it doesn't sound like you give him much of a chance. Do you anticipate him changing his tactics? For instance, increasing the pace, throwing more punches.

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

I dont see him doing anything drastically different now after almost 50 pro fights. He's young, but he is who he is.

Juan C (San Diego)

Dan, let's say Canelo comes in at 154-ish. Even with a seven figure penalty per pound, I seriously don't see Floyd fighting him. Canelo NEEDS to make weight if he wants to fight. Period.

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Stop obsessing over the weight.

Mario (Houston, TX)

Do you think Vasyl Lomanchenko is a threat to defeat Rigondeaux?

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

Too soon to say but based on their amateur backgrounds absolutely. Keep in mind, Lomachenko won feather gold in 2008 and lightweight gold in 2012. He is turning pro at featherweight. He is physicailly a lot bigger than Rigo.

Mike (NYC)

No word from you on GGG-Stevens, but seeing it everywhere. What's the deal?

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Here is the deal. Read my blog from a couple of days ago: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5092/golovkin-stevens-all-but-signed

Ben (Lagos, Nigeria )

I thought Juan Diaz looked very good in his last fight. What's next for him?

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

He'll be back in October, maybe off TV on the Alvarado-Provodnikov card or to headline another UniMas show. Then step up into a bigger fight in early 2014.

lathan (cleveland)

Mares decision

KJ (Virginia)

DanI saw that you posted cotto vs martinez in a big fight. I wouldn't watch that fight for free. Cotto is washed up he should retire I see damage by his speech love the guy tho! thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

So dont watch. I hope that fight happens and will be ringside to cover it with great joy.

Luis Alfaro (San Diego)

Any updates for Gamboa? He seems to be off the radar for some time now.

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

He fought in June so hasnt been off long at all.

Pete (Texas)

What grade would you give the premier of GB boxing on FS1. I enjoyed it except for them cutting the interview at the end.

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

I thought the main event was very solid on paper and that Jacobs turned in a good performance. I was happy with the fight. I thought the production left a lot to be desired and needs some big-time help. Paulie and BHop are fine as analysts but putting two fighters together does not work to me. They are the same role. That needs to be addressed also. And the way the show ended, so abruptly, was terrible and totally amateur hour.

Stephen (Topeka)

Are Golden Boy and Top Rank discussing fights at all at this point. There are a few matchups (Rigo/Santa Cruz, etc.) that I would love to see

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

No. They don't even talk about the weather.

Aaron (AZ)

Does Chavez Jr have enough power to give Andre Ward trouble?

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

IMO no. If they ever fight I think it's a one-sided domination for Ward. Would take Junior to school.

Vin (New york)

Why did we have to endure that horrid 4 rounder with guys who combined for 2 fights on FS1 and Olympian Marcus Browne was left off the telecast?

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

I dont know.

Matt (Virginia)

Will Barker/Sturm be in Europe?

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

Eddie Hearn, Barker's promoter, wants to do it in London in December. If they dont make a deal it will go to a purse bid. If Eddie wins, it will be in London. But if Sturm's side wins it would likely be in Germany. But Eddie has a better chance to win because he only has to give Sturm 25% of the winning bid. If Sturm wins he will have to beat Eddie and give him 75% of the winning bid.

Matt (Lincoln, NE)

Dan, are you going to be at the Mitchell vs. Arreola fight Sept. 7th?

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

No.

Chris (Boston)

At what point does HBO have to get tough with DiBella and Arum regarding their refusal to match their guys with Golovkin? Seems that as long as HBO and Ken Hershman do nothing, Golovkin is left in the wind without big fights.

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

And who exactly does Arum have that he wont put in with GGG? And last I checked DiBella just put Macklin in with GGG. His other middleweight, and you may have heard of him, champion Sergio Martinez, is out injured for an extended period. So your question is silly.

Aaron (MI)

Any word on Anthony Dirrell getting a title shot with Sakio Bika?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

It is likely to happen this fall.

Daniel (Texas)

Can Jorge MAYSONET Jr still be the next Tito.

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

Only if he goes to court, fills out the paperwork, pays the fee and changes his name.

Paul (Columbus)

DTM, are you involved with deciding the ESPN Top 10 Superfights? Are the results going to differ greatly from your ranking?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

I am writing some of the pieces for it. I did not pick them. I was part of a panel that was involvedi n the process.

Mike (PA)

What do you think of Stevenson/Cloud? Hard to judge Cloud on his last performance but I think he is more skilled than Stevenson and will win this fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Fun fight I think. Should be good and should be a solid test for Stevenson.

Bill (PA)

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Chris C (Washington DC)

Hey Dan, do you know what Stevens was offered to fight GGG? Was it much more than the initial offer of 300k that he turned down?

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

I dont know the exact figure but my educated opinion is that the package (to him and his promoter) is in the $400k neighborhood.

Chris (Atlanta)

Do you think Matthysse's victory over Peterson tends to get a little overrated? I mean Peterson was dropped twice by Khan(average puncher) and almost stopped by Bradley(definitely not a hard puncher)

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

When a guy has been a top fighter for a long time and never stopped and another guy not only stops him but walks through him with ease it is not overrated. P.S. Khan is much more than an average puncher.

Vic G (San Antonio,TX)

Eddie Gomez looked Dan. What did you think? He ready for a top 10 guy yet?

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

I actually was not impressed at all with that performance. He has a ways to go.

Edju Martin (Salisbury, MA)

I took a vacation day from work tomorrow since there's no point in being here without a chat

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

jt$ (DC)

Does HBO have any interest in airing Barker/Sturm?

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

I dont think they have gotten that far yet but I think it is probably unlikely.

Saul (Toronto)

Good afternoon DTM! I know you were high on David Lemieux a couple years ago (even having him high on your prospect list). He got stopped by Rubio...then lost a close fight to Alcine (which I thought he won...I was at the fight). Anyway...I feel that in an HBO-centric division, Lemieux might make for a nice fight down the road with a Danny Jacobs or Kid Chocolate. I know He's looked good only beating stiffs since...but am I crazy with this assessment?

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

I could see it but Jacobs and Quillin are not on HBO. They are on Showtime.

Devale (Chicago)

Good fights and awesome atmosphere at the Cell Friday night, I hope FNF comes back to Chicago next summer!

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

I thoought that was one of the best FNF cards there has been in years. Top notch fights top to bottom and awesome setting.

Charlie (Chicago, IL)

I understand the comparisons people are making between Lomanchenko and Rigo, but doesn't Lomanchenko have a much more fan-friendly style?

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

Ummm, yeah.

Ray (Florida)

Just heard an interview of Rigondeux and he was showing a lot of frustration with top ranks ... Who would u like to see him fight against in his next fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

I dont really care.

Cesar (Monte Carlo Las Vegas)

Dan, what day do u get in for Money-Canelo? Is the full arena seating set for the weight in?

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

I will hit town on Tuesday morning of fight week. As I understand it, plans are in the works for the full arena to be utilized for the weigh in.

Vic90210 (Bev Hills)

So no Showtime for Time Warner customers.. Do you think GoldenBoy and Showtime is concerned on the lack of viewers?

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

I dont know. I'd encourage CBS to get a deal done.

Mario (Houston, TX)

Buy or Sell, Based on what you have seen, Wilder will be a future heavyweight champ

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

I have not yet decided to purchase or not purchase. I'm still investigating the product.

Tom (NJ)

How did the Revel work as a venue last week? I know the hotel/casino is sick. Atlantic City needs alternatives to Boardwalk Hall IMO

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

Absolutely sensational. Superb hotel and venue. I loved it. I hope they do more fights there. Such a perfect arena for mid-size fights. And a beautiful hotel. My room was spectacular.

Tomas (Tx)

You pointed out some of Alvarez's weak points going into the May fight. Would you say his size is his biggest advantage?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

He is bigger, he's a better puncher. He's younger.

Rick (Los Angeles)

Do these rumors of Canelo destroying sparring partners mean anything or is it just basic gamesmanship?

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

So far in my career every fighter who ever was getting ready for any fight ever destroys his sparring partners. At least that is what they all say. It means nothing to me.

Dylan (Ft. Collins....)

Please remind Richard what happens when marinade sits too long....I'd hate for Mares vs Santa Cruz to spoil.....

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

He is aware. He does not like marinade.

Lee (Salisbury, MD)

Speaking of ESPN3 showing undercard fights Friday night, whats your thoughts on Ed Paredes? Ive never seen him fight but he has a nice record against some decent opposition and hasnt lost since '09 to Carlos Molina (no shame inthat).

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

Makes pretty good fights but has also faced pretty weak opposition other than Molina. But he's a crowd-pleaser.

David (Clothier WV)

DTM, one of Boxings all time nice guys has left Don King, best wishes to Alan Hopper!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

Agreed. Alan is one of my favorite people in the game. Known him for a long time and have many good times with him. He's a true pro and I am personally going to miss him a lot.

Brian (Texas)

How come nobody talks about David RODRIGUEZ he has 36 wins 34 by ko heis the next Heavy Weight CHAMP.

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

Because nobody thinks much of him at this point and he has fought nothing but complete stiffs. That said, I have met the guy and he came off as a nice guy and I wish him good luck. I'd love to see him emerge as a serious contender. But so far he has not shown he is at that level.

Mario (Houston, TX)

Is Kovalev signed to HBO? Id like to see him face Hopkins

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

As far as I know there is no multi-fight deal in place but HBO intends to do his next fight before the end of the year. I am not sure how it will play out but I would not be surprised at all to see him wind up fighting on the same telecast, be it in the same location or a split site card, as Andre Ward's next fight. As I examine the calendar and look at what is already scheduled my opinion is that the date would probably be Nov. 16.

Geovany (San Diego)

Hey Dan, I saw you posted the Sal Sanchez - Gomez fight (great fight).. How good do you think he was? He was still young and probably was going to get better, but I've always heard fanatics saying he would've been at the level of Chavez (or better) as an all time- great mexican fighter and i'm curious of an impartial opinion...

Dan Rafael
  (12:55 PM)

Sanchez was great. It's just a shame we never saw him for a few more years. You never know how things would have turned out but for what he did accomplish at such a young age, he was a great fighter.

Chris (Boston)

Um... Arum has Chavez Jr whom Golovkin's people have wanted to fight but Arum refused to put him in with. Plus DiBella has always refused to have Martinez face Golovkin. You don't have to be an arrogant troll if you don't know...

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

Chavez has no reason or need to fight GGG. He got the fight with Martinez, the real champ for massive money. Then he was suspended and now he is coming back at 168. He will never fight at 160 again. Mark that down. As for Martinez, it was never a serious thought at any time. Martinez was a well-established champion with the Chavez fight in front of him. Then he was going home for huge money (and, by the way, fighting a real opponent in Murray) and now he is injured. You have no clue.

Edju Martin (Salisbury, MA)

Asking to buy-sell on Wilder as a future champ is like asking me to buy a product that is stocked in plain cardboard packaging with no label

Levon (Sherman Oaks, CA)

For me, I can't commit to the Canelo-Mayweather PPV until I'm assured Bieber is going to be in the entourage.

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

LOL.

Mario (Houston, TX)

Has Juan Diaz signed a multi fight deal with Top Rank? I was hoping he'd sign with GB so we can get a big TX showdown between Diaz and Figueroa next year.

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

Not yet, but that will almost certainly happen sooner than later. Diaz has beenc lose to Carl Moretti since he turned pro with Main Events, where Moretti used to work. Now Moretti is with Top Rank and they are still tight and Diaz will wind up staying with Carl and TR.

Alexandre (Montreal)

Dan, would HBO wait 2-3 fights for Stevenson vs Kovalev to be big enough for a PPV ? 2 of the biggest punchers in boxing facing each other, I think there's some money to be made there ...

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

I doubt that fight will ever be big enough to be PPV in the US. I think they will try to make the fight eventually, but as a main event of a network show not PPV.

Rance (Conroe, TX)

In David Rodriguez's defense, he did lose the last 18 months after someone sliced open his face. Wiht a good trainer and consistent schedule of bouts, do you think he could have been a contenduh?

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

I am aware of his medical situation but that has nothing to do with fighting 36 cans.

Frank (PHX)

What do you think of heavyweight prospect Andy Ruiz? He's from my hometown of Imperial, Ca and would love to see him develop into a big time fighter

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

Good prospect. He's young, solid power and very quick hands.

Chris (Appleton, WI)

You had stated before that you completed your big program/poster trade. Can you provide the exact details of the trade (what for what)?

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

I traded away duplicates of some Tyson, De La Hoya, Holyfield and Roy Jones posters (including two very tough, rare ones). I sent 8 posters in the trade. I got back 10 posters and 6 programs that I had been looking for from various fights of the Klitschko brothers (very early fights from the 90s) and Roy Jones. We completed the trade after the Barker-Geale presser in his hotel room. I swear it was like we were making a drug deal with everything laid out on the bed and floor. It was hilarious. But we both came away happy with what we wound up with.

Mike (PA)

How many times can Zab Judah be recycled?

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?

Mike (NY)

Dan, what do you think of he new trend with guys like Broner and Quillen who talk a lot, call themselves champions, and avoid every quality opponent?

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

Say what you want about either guy's personality but neither have "avoided every quality opponent." Broner fought the best guy at 135 at the time (DeMarco) and there was nothing else in the division except Burns, who had no intention of fighting him and had turned it down. He moved up two weigh classes and fought a top 10 guy in Paulie and won a belt easily. Now he is likely fighting Maidana, which is as dangerous as they come. Quillin has been willing to fight anybody but the fights have unfortunately not been available to him. I have zero doubt Quillin would take on anybody.

Jimmy (Arlington, Va)

What ever happened to Pirog?

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

He suffered a very bad back injury and is out indefinitely. He may never fight again.

Saul (Toronto)

Re: my question...I just meant that with Jacobs and Kid Choc being on SHO in an HBO-centric division, David Lemieux being with GYM is a good fit for those guys who will need opponents that aren't with TR or have deals with HBO.

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

Agreed. Lemieux would fit in with any of those guys.

Gerardo (AZ)

Hi Dan. No TV outlet in the U.S. for Pulev - Thompson? That's the best U.S. heavyweight in an intersting, title-eliminator fight!

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

Correct.

KOl (Chicago)

Dan do u know when tickets for Alvarado vs ruslan go on sale ?

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

They've been on sale.

Brody (New York )

Is Sergio Martinez a future Hall of Famer?

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

Probably.

Frank (PHX)

Has Showtime announced yet who will be the narrator for All Access that starts this Saturday?

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

Nope.

Roger (OH)

Speaking of last week's FNF, man what a pleasant surprise Granados/Salser turned out to be. Granados kept leaving himself open to those short counter left hooks and appeared to be on queer street a couple of times. But he kept his composure and kept pounding away at the body until he finally broke Salser down. Just a tremendous effort from both fighters!

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

Agreed. Was a much better fight than I had expected it to be.

Chris (Atlanta)

Is Timothy Bradley a Hall of Famer with a victory over Marquez?

Dan Rafael
  (1:12 PM)

Not yet.

Stephen (Topeka)

Does Harald Lederman still work for HBO? He needs to be at the Stevenson/Cloud fight to tell Lamps that "THIS IS A GOD DAMN FIGHT!"

Dan Rafael
  (1:12 PM)

Harold is on WCB telecasts, but has been taken off BAD telecasts, which is unfortunate and a move I strongly disagree with.

Tim (Tampa)

I guess the handful of Rigo fans in the world only show up to the Thursday chats.

Kevin (Denver)

Any word on a co-feature to Alvarado's fight, or is HBO only going with one fight that night?

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

One live fight.

Martin (CT)

Floyd stopped undefeated fighter Diego Corrales in 10 then SIX years later he stopped undefeated Ricky Hatton in 10 now SIX years later he is fighting undefeated Canelo Alvarez. He will stop Canelo in 10.

Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]

I have zero doubt Quillen would get in with anybody his as well. Gennady and Peter would be a hell of a fight.

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

Agreed.

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

Agreed.

Frank (PHX)

Wow just read your tweet that HBO is showing Toe-Fury fight as tripleheader 09/28. Good to hear, i was hoping a network would pick it up and not be on PPV. Do you know if they'll show it live or on tape delay?

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

They have not made any official announcement but I would guess they will show the heavyweights live in the late afternoon and then replay it at night with the other two live fights from Montreal and LA.

Aaron (NJ)

Seems like Gary Shaw has taken quite a hit this year with Dawson getting smashed by Stevenson and the card last weekend. Where does he stand promoter-wise? I assume he has options on the winners of said fights...

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

It has not been a good summer for Gary with Dawson getting smoked and Geale and Romero both losing their titles. He does, however, have an option on Stevenson and will be paid well on the Cloud fight and he also has options on Barker and will co-promote him going forward for a certain number of fights.

Chris (Appleton, WI)

You don't happen to have a duplicate of the Jermain Taylor-Kelly Pavlik poster to trade/sell? That may be my favorite poster of all time and I was never able to find it.

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

I dont think I have dupes but I know I have at least two different versions of that poster. Also have the rematch poster, at least two different versions.

Jonathan (Calgary)

Hey Dan, did you read about Canelo's supposed distruction of sparring partners?

Dan Rafael
  (1:17 PM)

I've also read about the man in the moon, the Easter Bunny and pots of gold at the end of rainbows. They all make fantastical stories.

Tom (Pittsburgh)

Speaking of WCB telecasts and BAD telecasts I honest to God can't tell the difference anymore. They're the same announcers. Same crappy music/graphics. Same production. They used to be very distinct. As they should be given their budgets. Now....who the hell knows.

Bob (Philly)

Is there anything in the may/canelo contract about a weight limit for the night of the fight? Does that ever happen in contracts? Thanks

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

For about the 10 millionth time -- Canelo can weigh whatever he wants on fight night. 152 is the weigh-in weight. Beyond that both camps have said there are no limiations whatsoever. Pass it on.

Edju Martin (Salisbury, MA)

What did you think of Summerslam? I thought Punk-Lesnar and Cnea-Bryan delivered BIG TIME

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

I had traveled home on Sunday from Atlantic City, was busy with my Monday column and some other things that night (including a 4-month-old baby) and did not have a chance to order the PPV. Heard it was great. I will get the DVD when it comes out.

Dylan (Ft. Collins....)

Did Alan Hopper retire or move on due to DKP's complete lack of promoting actual cards?

Dan Rafael
  (1:20 PM)

Part of it was a lack of activity but believe it or not, Alan decided to go back to school for his masters.

Stéphen (Monréal)

Dan, I think that Matthysse, given his name THE MACHINE, and the fact that the fight with Garcia will be a WAR needs a certain song to walk out to...hint, hint...

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

You mean this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTWHA9abaWs

Mario (Houston, TX)

Dan, how many buys do you anticipate for a potential Broner-Maidana PPV? Under or Over 350K?

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

Under.

Frank (PHX)

Kovalev vs Superman = WWIII

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

Superman as in Adonis Stevenson or Jor-El's son from Krypton?

Matt (Virginia)

Is Kovalev/Hopkins a realistic possibility?

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

Not in the near future. BHop has a mandatory with Murat on Oct. 26. Kovalev likely will fight somebody in Nov or Dec. And then there are network issues. Besides, I dont think BHop wants any of that. Huge risk, very limited reward.

hectorconga (NYC)

The beef between CBS and Time Warner is ridiculoud... its causing me to miss the boxing this weekend!

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

Sorry bro.

Sun Devil (Los Angeles)

Cage Match: Cornoa Girls vs Tecate Girles, who comes out alive?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

I dont know but hopefully I can be the referee.

Greg (San Jose )

What do you think of Michael woods saying if promoted right that mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield would do 100,000 ppv buys today

Dan Rafael
  (1:25 PM)

Hell, it would do a lot more than that.

Mark (Mary Esther)

Dan, are you planning on attending the Cotto/Rodriguez card in Orlando?Also, besides the Crawford fight, is there any talk of the rest of the fights on the card, who Verdejo is fighting, etc?

Dan Rafael
  (1:25 PM)

Yes, I do plan to be there. Verdejo is on the card but the rest is not set yet.

Dieter (From Sprockets)

Dan, I was thrown off by the chat being held a day early this week. But don't despair, Freaks, because I am here and NOW is the time in the chat when we DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Austin (PDX)

Duane Ford says the remaining schedule for 2013 looks boring.

Daniel (Wilmington, Ca)

Dan, I am one of the people that will not be able to see the fight on Saturday due to being a TWC subscriber. Have you heard how ticket sales are doing at the stub hub center? I have been there many times and it is a great venue.

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

StubHub is a great venue. Love fights there. I dont know what kind of crowd they will have but given the fact that that the two main fights are very inteesting Mexican fights they should have an excellent crowd.

Matthew (Tampa Bay, FL)

Where the heck is Shumenov?

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

No idea.

V (CA)

Dan, I agree with you re: Rigo. I've heard people say putting business aside that there has to be a spot on TV for a purist like Rigo. Problem is, you can't put business aside and given the price tag that comes with putting Rigo on TV it is just not worth it for HBO.

Lucas (Danbury, CT)

Dan, there seems to be a lot of focus on what comes next for Stevenson after he fights Cloud. He seems to be tailor made for Tarvaris IMO. I think there's a good chance Adonis gets knocked out. Your thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (1:28 PM)

I think Cloud is 100% a live dog. I agree.

Stephen (Topeka)

Love the weekday fight night cards, but does Golden Boy think Monday is the best day of the week for the fall? seems like Tuesday or Wednesday would be better.

Dan Rafael
  (1:29 PM)

That is something they went over with the folks at FS1 and they decided that was best for their show.

Dan Rafael
  (1:30 PM)

Heres' the info on the extra FNF bouts that will be streamed tomrorow: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5149/fnf-prelims-on-espn3

Dan Rafael
  (1:31 PM)

Mares-Santa Cruz going to happen? Check this out: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5135/mares-santa-cruz-is-inevitable

Anthony (Sacramento )

Dan I loved last weeks BAD card, it was truly a throwback to what BAD was all about. Do you know how it did ratings wise?

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

HBO knew going in that because of the time of year, the lack of other fights around it and the lack of big names that it was not going to be a ratings blockbuster although it was a terrific show. In any event, it drew a bit lower than the average HBO card. According to Neilsen, it drew 791,000 viewers. To compare, for example, although not a great number, it was 15 percent higher than the audience that watched GGG's HBO debut last year so there is room for these guys to grow the way GGG has.

Jeremy (Ireland)

Dan, would you be just as happy if Rigo never fought again?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

No. I'm happy for him to fight and defend his title. Just not with HBO blowing premium money from its budget to bankroll the fight.

Jared (NJ)

What did you think of Victor Conte on Showtime's Jim Rome show saying that "the biggest boxers in the world" had recently came to him seeking illegal PED's?

Dan Rafael
  (1:38 PM)

I didnt hear the interview but it doesnt surprise me because big stars in all sports cheat.

Frank (PHX)

I know there's another FS1 Boxing show coming up on Sept 2nd, any other future fights on the schedule for FS1?

Dan Rafael
  (1:38 PM)

Not announced but there will be two shows a month.

Charles (DFW)

Is Schaefer's big PPV in Vegas planned for Nov. 2 or Nov.9? I've seen Broner-Maidana possibly for the 9th and Guerrero/Thurman for either date.

Dan Rafael
  (1:39 PM)

The PPV date is Nov. 9. Thurman could either be on the PPV or on a Nov. 2 non-PPV card.

Chris (Atlanta)

Why is HBO so interested in Crawford?He isn't very exciting and fights in a weak division.

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

That one I can't figure out.

Roger (OH)

Any ShowtimeExtreme coverage this weekend? Hopefully Orozco and Breazeale, if nothing else.

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

Yes, both of them were announced as being on the telecast as well as Joseph Diaz's fight.

Notorious JTB (Chicago)

Corona vs. Tecate girls never happen unless there was a purse bid.

Charles (DFW)

To follow up on V's question, Top Rank basically own the Unimas cards now. That's an option for Rigo, because the truth is until he changes to a style to attract more fans, he won't be making $1m a fight.

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

Rigo has a minimum purse in his contract for fights. So if TR wants to lose a ton of money and put him on one of those cards they could. But that isnt going to happen. TR is not taking a massive mid-to-high six-figure hit to put him on UniMas, which is basically a loss leader for them.

Frank (PHX)

If Tony Thompson pulls another upset and wins again this weekend, would he have to be considered for Fighter of the yr so far??

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

Relax.

Stephen (Topeka)

Does EPIX have anything in the works? Any word on Klitchko networks?

Dan Rafael
  (1:46 PM)

No Epix fights for the rest of this year. Hopefully next year. Klitschko-Povetkin will be live on HBO.

Austin (PDX)

If Tony Thompson wins again, Mrs Thompson deserves one of your year end awards.

Dan Rafael
  (1:47 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Steven (Los Angeles)

Do you regularly listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?

Dan Rafael
  (1:48 PM)

Honestly, I almost never listen to any of them. I have listened a few times to Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose and enjoyed them.

David (PWAY NJ)

i feel like we get an EPIX question once a week, can you start the chat off stating EPIX HAS NOTHING IN THE WORKS

Sim (UK)

What do you think eventually happens with Ward this year?

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

I think he will fight in November on HBO against an opponent none of us are happy about.

Tom (Chicago)

Read Dan's lips, NO MORE EPIX FIGHTS THIS YEAR.C'mon people, every week. You're killing me.

slater (West by God Virginia)

DTM I wouldn't say fighter of the year but I would for sure call Thompson deserves comeback of the year honors, agree?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

That is a good call. I'm down with that.

Frank (PHX)

Doesn't Leo Santa Cruz look a lot like Margarito?? And they fight the exact same as well

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

A little bit yes.

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

Check out this new addition to my boxing card collection. Been looking for one in mint shape for ages. 1938 Cartledge Joe Louis. Finally found it! http://twitpic.com/d9kgf2

Mauricio (Phoenix)

Hey Dan, I've been wondering this...do Robert Guererro, Danny Garcia, Victor Ortiz, Brandon Rios, or Mike Alvarado speak spanish? I never hear any of them speaking anything but english...

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

Pretty sure Guerrero and Ortiz do.

David (PWAY NJ)

Dan, by the way NO MORE EPIX FIGHTS THIS YEAR

jgines2001 PR [via mobile]

Lomachenko vs Oquendo Dan I think this fight would drop Oquendo a lot farther than it would raise Lomachenko, your thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

Not sure what you mean but it's a huge step to make a pro debut against a guy like that. If Oquendo loses, it looks bad but Lomachenko is not a normal 0-0 guy.

Daniel (Detroit)

Any chance Lucas might shave his hairy nipples for his fight against garcia?

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

These are my readers.

Richie (Bronx NY)

Felix Verdejo good chance of being prospect of the year?

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

None. Not enough fights or experience to qualify on my list to actully win it. But count on him making the list.

Chris (Tempe)

How do you rate Artur Szpilka? Do you think he can develop into a serious contender?

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

He's pretty young in terms of your average heavyweight prospect. Only 24. So maybe he can develop. But I get red flags when a guy struggles with Mike Mollo. Twice.

Stephen (Topeka)

Epix questions out? But hairy nipple questions are acceptable

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

LOL

Josh (US)

Dan, if Canelo misses weight, and refuses to fight if he has to pay fines, will the fight go on?

Dan Rafael
  (1:56 PM)

Are we really back to this? I feel like banning you. But I'm a good mood today so count yourself warned.

Edju Martin (Salisbury, MA)

I think the Ban Monster is going to start eating any comment that includes the words "Canelo" & "weight"

slater (West by God Virginia)

Todays chat is like a broken record with the weight questions, its getting ridiculous.

Vic G (San Antonio,TX)

lol I like when you ban ppl or almost do lol

Dan Rafael
  (1:58 PM)

You're always so enthusiastic in these chats I cant bring myself to ban you despite some of your questions.

Tom (Chicago)

Yes Josh, Canelo would give up his purse over paying fines. I hope your not a financial advisor.

Dan (Nutley, NJ)

Why do you say Saturday's SHO card is 'really good looking'? Both guys are huge favorites and I think it's doubtful there will be any drama.

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

I think Mares is and should be a big favorite but I think it could also be a fun, action fight. AS far as Terrazas-Santa Cruz I think a lot of people are sleeping on Terrazas. I'm not saying he wins but, again, I think it's a fun fight. Santa Cruz is always in a fun fight. So while maybe it's not the card of the year, it's a worthy show. I would have hoped to out to Cali to cover it but as it happens I have my family coming this week for their long-planned annual summer visit combined with it being my birthday this weekend so I am sitting this one out. But it's a good show. I write a piece on Santa Cruz yesterday and my Mares-Gonzalez story runs tomorrow.

Tom (Pittsburgh)

Dan I can't wait for Canelo to make weight and shut all these people up. After he makes weight his camp should bust out in a Daniel Bryan YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! chant.

Dan Rafael
  (2:01 PM)

That would be freakin' epic! He should also grow a beard! Pay the man, Shirley!

Notorious JTB (Chicago)

Good weight question: Worst weight miss on the scale you've ever seen?

Dan Rafael
  (2:02 PM)

Well Castillo blew weight TWICE for two of three fight with Corrales and the third was canceled at the weigh in. That was really bad. Shawn Estrada missed weight for an ESPN fight last year I think by about 15 pounds.

Daniel (Detroit)

I apologize for the hairy nipples question I can't help but notice it when he fights. Love these chats by the way.

Derek (Brooklyn)

DTM, do you think HBOs fascination with Crawford is based on what they perceive is a need to develop more African American fighters? Other than Bradley there are not many around that weight class that they can air on their network

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

Yes, for right or wrong, I know they want to have at least some African-American fighters on the network.

Randall (PHX)

How about Matthysse's hairy nips vs. Valuev's back hair?

Frank (PHX)

Happy early B-day D$!

Dan Rafael
  (2:04 PM)

Thanks.

Mauricio (Phoenix)

What do you consider the bigger fight of all time? Louis/Schmeling II or Frazier/Ali I?

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

Both were enormous fights that transcended boxing. I'd have to say with what was at stake, Louis-Schmeling 2 was more important.

Matt (Toronto)

I see that people are giving Garcia only a 1/5 chance vs Matthysse, do you think that Danny isn't getting enough credit?

Dan Rafael
  (2:07 PM)

I have a lot of respect for what Danny has accomplished but I think what me and a lot of others look at is how Matthysse is destroying solid and good opponents and then I cant help but think of how much trouble Garcia was in against Khan and even Judah late in the fight. Matthysse has a much better chin than either of those guys.

Matt (Costello County,NY)

Hey Dan, Any info on when GGG v. Stevens tickets might go on sale, and who they are looking into for the undercard...Thanks

Dan Rafael
  (2:08 PM)

Still have to get the fight signed. There is plenty of time before tickets will go on sale. As for the undercard, not sure yet at this point.

Dave, NJ [via mobile]

Is Golden Boy still planning 2 shows the week of Floyd Canelo or only going with Sept 12?

Dan Rafael
  (2:08 PM)

Just Sept. 12 as far as I know.

Dan Rafael
  (2:09 PM)

I've had people asking about tix for the MGM show on Sept. 12 and just got the official details from Golden Boy.

Dan Rafael
  (2:09 PM)

Here's the deal for the Porter-Diaz II card at MGM. Some good stuff here: Tickets priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Additionally, with the purchase of a ticket, fans will be given a reserved seat for the "THE ONE: Mayweather vs. Canelo" Official Weigh-In taking place Friday, September 13 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Fans will also receive a 10 percent discount on tickets for closed circuit viewing of the Mayweather vs. Canelo mega-event on Saturday, September 14.

Paulo (Philadelphia)

Dan - If the winner of Garcia/Matthysse is a potential opponent for the winner of Mayweather/Canelo, do you see the loser as a potential opponent for the winner of Broner/Maidana?

Dan Rafael
  (2:10 PM)

Good call. The thing is GB is so deep with fighters at 140 and 147 they have numerous fights they can make by mixing and matching guys.

Dan (Brooklyn)

What happens if Canelo misses the weight for the fight on Epix?

Jeff (Scottsdale)

Dan,Yesterday Darren Barker was discussing his plans for future fights...Macklin, Sturm and Murray....it appears his plan is to dominate the JV circuit.

Dan Rafael
  (2:12 PM)

First off, Sturm is his mandatory and still a top 10 middleweight. Murray came within a whisker of beating Martinez and a lot of people think he did win. Macklin got smoked by GGG but has been a longtime contender. All three are top 10 guys so not sure what your issue is. He had a shot at Martinez and lost and Sergio is out injured now anyway. And fights with Macklin or Murray would be big deals in the UK. So not sure what your problem is.

Vic G (San Antonio,TX)

lol Jeff from Scottsdale called Macklin, Sturm and Murray JV lol that's funny.

Tom (Harrisburg, PA)

what's the back story on your newest card acquisition - mint 1938 Cartledge Joe Louis?

Dan Rafael
  (2:14 PM)

No back story. I collect boxing cards and specifically have been buying high grade cards of certain fighters, including Joe Louis and this was a card I have wanted for awhile and finally found it in the condition I wanted it in. So I sucked it up and paid dearly for it.

Tom (Chicago)

Hey Dan, does no fights on EPIX for this year include September - December?

Brody (New York )

Over 2 hours now... Joel Julio?

Dan Rafael
  (2:15 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.

Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]

When high grade examples of things we collect become available, ask not how much it costs, rather when another might be available.

Dan Rafael
  (2:17 PM)

Believe me, that is part of the thought process.

Jeff (Scottsdale)

Dan,The issue is Barker did not talk of Quillen, GGG or a rematch with Sergio (unification opportunity)....I understand Sturm is his mandatory but is Sturm really top 5 on anyone's list? If Barker wants a JV guy to make a little cash before taking on a top guy fine but he didn't even breathe the names of the class of the division.

Dan Rafael
  (2:19 PM)

I asked Barker about a Martinez rematch at the postfight presser and he said of course he would like it if Sergio wanted to fight him again. Honestly, Barker and Quillin is fine but from Barker's point of view fights with Macklin and Murray, because of them all being from the UK, are bigger fights for him. GGG is also not a fight that is even remotely doable next. After that? Maybe. But he also may have to face Geale again. And being honest, I am not offended that guys dont call out GGG.

Vin (New york)

Does a reserved seat at the weigh in mean a good seat?

Dan Rafael
  (2:19 PM)

I have no idea.

V (CA)

To add to Jeff's point, it's also no sure thing that Barker beats Sturm, Macklin or Murray. Would he make more money fighting these guys overseas than he would, let's say, in a fight with GGG or Quillen?

Dan Rafael
  (2:21 PM)

Any of those are interesting fights but I dont think he makes THAT much more for GGG or Quillin anyway. So might as well make potentially more lucrative fights that the British public likely would embrace.

Dan (Nutley, NJ)

You like Ward but 'don't really care' what's next for Rigo. Um, ok.

Dan Rafael
  (2:22 PM)

Bingo.

Mickey (Chicago)

Jeff, you say you understand that Sturm is a mandatory, but apparently you don't understand what that means. He fights Sturm or he could lose his title.

dave (chicago)

what was your scorecard for martinez murray?

Dan Rafael
  (2:23 PM)

I had Martinez winning I think by one point.

Kev (London)

What's up dan! Do you feel cleverly can still be a force or do you think he has been found out after the beating he took against kovalev?

Dan Rafael
  (2:23 PM)

By asking if he can "still" be a force means he was at one time an actual force, which he never was so no.

Scott (York, PA)

Hey Dan, I see you going back and forth with fighters and boxing people on twitter and you always brush it off as friendly debate, ribbing etc. but there is no way stephen espinoza's tweets to you are in good fun. Really looks like the guy has it in for you.

Dan Rafael
  (2:25 PM)

Steve and I have known each other a long time, way before he was at Showtime. As far as I am concerned it's friendly debate. That is my intent. I like Steve. I think he's doing a helluva job at Showtime. That said, we do not agree on everything and what fun would it be if we did?

Paulo (Philadelphia)

Dan - Do you know if Ross Greenburg still works with Showtime and if they any plans together leading up to Mayweather/Canelo?

Dan Rafael
  (2:27 PM)

Ross is the executive producer for All Access, which debuts Saturday night at 10 pm, before the Mares-Gonzalez telecast.

Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]

Would you question the sanity of one that calls out GGG?

Dan Rafael
  (2:28 PM)

Slightly, yes. So I guess Curtis Stevens is slightly insane? Lol.

Michael (Indianapolis)

Which regular boxing venue has the highest seating capacity? How many?

Dan Rafael
  (2:29 PM)

I guess arenas like MSG and Staples Center, which probably hold over 20k for a soldout fight.

Frank (PHX)

Now that Judah is signed with GB, do you believe they'll try matching him up with Peterson?

Dan Rafael
  (2:32 PM)

I think it's possible. Even though Zab and Lamont are both coming off losses it's a fight I would stil like to see. Richard Schaefer told me he would also be interested in making that fight as well. Good East Coast fight too.

Sun Devil (Los Angeles)

Dan, in a sport filled with characters, who has given you the best interviews in your career?

Dan Rafael
  (2:34 PM)

I've had a lot of good ones. Pick any character out there. Don King, BHop, Rahman (always a great interview), Quillin is up there. Soooo many. I've had some very thoughtful and interesting interviews with Wladimir Kitschko. Interviewing Tyson many times has always been quite an experience. Bert Sugar was always great to talk to for stories. Sooooo many. Don Elbaum is another. Arum gives a great quote. So too does DiBella. Too many to name.

V (CA)

I would really love to see Judah fight Broner. I think that will be more a test with Maidana, although I like that fight too.

Chris (Atlanta)

Dan,During the build up to the fight Cleverly kept referring to Kovalev as being his Lacy.Now correct me if I'm wrong but I don't remember Lacy being anywhere near as dangerous a fighter As Kovalev is.

Dan Rafael
  (2:34 PM)

Agreed but at one time Lacy was viewed as the boogeyman by a lot of people.

Steve (Worcester, MA)

What do you make of Hopkins calling out Kovalev for taking the "easy road" and fighting Cleverly. I don't want to see BHop get hurt, but it was obvious he and GB did not want to make that fight. Even Espinoza was making excuses for him. Hopkins Murat- Yes. Hopkins Kovalev No way???

Dan Rafael
  (2:35 PM)

BHop is full of crap. Easy to say after the fact.

Stephen (Topeka)

Why is Glenn Johnson still fighting? does he need the money?

Dan Rafael
  (2:35 PM)

As you said, money.

Seth (LA)

How is cotto looking in camp with roach?

Dan Rafael
  (2:36 PM)

I have not seen him in camp and have not talked to them since right before camp started.

Jason (San Diego)

Why do you hate on Rigo so much?

Dan Rafael
  (2:37 PM)

How is disinterest in seeing him fight considered "hate"? I dont hate him. I just am not interested in his fights.

V (CA)

haha, something tells me you would get fired if you published all of Dibella's great quotes.

Dan Rafael
  (2:37 PM)

Probably wind up in jail too.

Jeff (Scottsdale)

Dan,Do you think Fonfara can develop into a top fighter? It seems Campillo has set the blueprint to beat him.

Dan Rafael
  (2:38 PM)

Fonfara is a fun fighter to watch, has a good following and is pretty young but I think he is fairly limited in terms of his ability.

Mike (LA)

Will there be a max kellerman faceoff for pacquiao rios or marquez bradley?

Dan Rafael
  (2:40 PM)

Yes. In fact, HBO announced today that Bradley-Marquez Face Off debuts Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 11 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO.

Dan Rafael
  (2:41 PM)

Thanks for chatting on Thursday this week, Fight Freaks! I'm going to enjoy a rare day off with the family tomorrow but hope you all enjoy a good ESPN2 card and then a good Showtime card on Saturday. Check out all the stories and I've also had a ton of blog updates this week. Talk to you next week. Have a great weekend. Peace.