Greetings Fight Freaks and welcome to the Friday boxing chat. I am in Orlando, Fla., for the Cotto-Rodriguez show on Saturday night and looking forward to that, plus watching Klitschko-Povetkin on a big fight weekend. We have tons of coverage of both shows so check it out, plus all the new blog posts and the updated schedule and rankings. Now let's get to it.
Good Morning Dan, Team Alexander says enable for Devon to get the proper trainning (8 week camp) a done deal would need to be made by Oct. 7th, with all the whirlwind rumor's do you think this fight get's made?
I really do not know. Schaefer says they are still working on it, Khan says he is training for it. I know Kevin Cunningham and he gets emotional sometimes, but he wants what is best for Devon. That said if they think the deal will get done I dont thinkk an extra few days is going to matter. But I don't know what will happen. I tend to think the fight will get made, but that's a guess.
What do you make of Darren Barker going to Germany to defend against Felix Sturm?
He got what was termed to me by his team as "life changing money," he got a rematch clause for a mandatory (unheard of), he got neutral officials and he, frankly, should be favored based on their current abilities. Sounds like he got an awesome deal and the right to a rematch in England immediately if he happens to lose. I think it makes sense, especially when you consider that Stum hasn't been so bullet proof in Germany lately, losing decisions to Geale and Soliman.
Any word on Chavez's hand? I'm assuming since they're trying to set up a rematch it's fine, although it looked pretty badly swollen after the fight
As far as I understand, just a bruise.
Do you think Wladimir will be his usual break the opponent down slowly, or will he be motivated for an early knockout?
Wladimir has never been one to go for a knockout. He will fight his usual cerebral fight and if the KO is there, he will finish Povetkin. I don't expect Wlad to change his ways at all. He is who he is and who he is is a great heavyweight champion.
DTM - What's your take on the biggest difference will see in Cotto from working with Freddie Roach? Thanks!
The thing Freddie talked a lot about during the promotion was getting Cotto back to what he always has done great -- left hooks and body work. I think we will see Cotto use those weapons more than he has in recent fights. Freddie also preaches to Cotto about not laying on the ropes. He wants him in the middle of the ring, so Cotto will likely try to make sure he does that.
If Cotto beats Rodriguez convincingly, what would be his best option? Canelo, Maravilla or a rematch with Floyd?
I think all three of those enter the picture in a big way. All great options to have. Cotto is in a superb position right now if he wins. He is a promotional free agent and a TV free agent.
Thank God Gwen Adair submitted a score almost as worse as mine so that people can forget about me.
what did you think of the first JMM/Bradley 24/7 episode? I thought was really good, something a lil different from the others in the past
I liked it a lot. Very, very well done.
Dan, do you ever think you give Wlad too much credit on account of him being a nice guy, easy to interview, professional etc?
Absolutely not. I give him credit because he has been the dominant heavyweight of his era and has faced all comers. 2nd-longest heavyweight title reign in history, 14 consecutive defenses (3rd most in heavyweight history), Olympic gold medal winner, two time titleholder, always in shape, trains like somebody is taking his lunch, charitable, all-around superb person to deal with, great sense of humor and usually knocks his opponents out. I don't think most people give him NEARLY the credit he deserves. I am ahead of my time because when he is done people will finally give him more credit, the same way Lennox Lewis has gotten way more credit in retirement than he ever did when he was champion.
Dan - Do you think Amir Khan has overtaken Danny Garcia as the early favorite for Floyd's next fight, whether or not the fight with Alexander happens?
No. I think Floyd has a few options. They are two of them.
What did you make of the exchange of open letters between Tyson and USA boxing?
USA Boxing is a disaster and it's sour grapes on their behalf. They run a crappy organization and I do not blame the kids one iota for trying to make a living.
My boss asked me to come in for my annual review - I asked her to wait for the end of the chat and she agreed
Legendary, chat Hall of Fame comment.
DTM, whats your predictions for tomorrows fights??
I like Cotto and Crawford by decisions and Klitschko in fairly dominant fashion.
I like Cotto and Crawford by decisions and Klitschko in fairly dominant fashion.
How did you score the Chavez Vera fight? Honestly I thought is was very difficult to score and a case could be made that Chavez won. Just not as lopsided as it was.
I had it 96-94 for Vera and I didnt think it was a hard fight to score at all. The rounds each guy won seemed pretty obvious to me.
Looking back a bit, Larry Holmes also gets way more credit in retirement than when he was champion. People really carped on getting knocked down by Renaldo Snipes and stuff like that.
22nd fight ringside for Cotto, that's insane. Who else have you covered ringside that many times?
As I tweeted earlier, this is my 22nd Cotto fight at ringside. I did a quick look over his record. I was at a lot of Cotto's early fights when he was on big undercards and have covered all of his big fights. I think because I have covered him since he turned pro and he has had so many big fights I may have been at more of his fights than anyone. I will be at Hopkins' fight in a few weeks and I think that will be my 20th fight of his.
Have you ever yawned at a fight only to have a fighter's sweat or blood spray into your mouth?
No, but what a nice thought.
Was it obvious Ward was thinking about his own bank account by praising Chavez Saturday?
Yes. Andre is a good commentator but he was selling Saturday night and I wasn't buying.
any word on Martin Murray's next opponent?
Nothing I have heard about.
Who wins, a prime Lennox Lewis or a Wlad of now?
I have no idea. It would be competitive.
I have no idea. It would be competitive.
Wouldn't Khan have more leverage in future fights if he wins the belt from Alexander?
You would think. Right now, Khan has no credibility as a welterweight whatsoever. Guerrero had more.
Dan, some shocking judging over the last couple of months. Who's card stands out as the worst for you?
The CJ Ross 114-114 for Mayweather-Alvarez is probably one of the worst few scorecards in the history of the world.
Has there been a bigger primmadonna in the sport than JCCJR? He acts like a spoiled rich kid!
He is a spoiled rich kid.
Dan, I thought Stevenson boxed very well last saturday but i was just as impressed with his trainer Sugar Hill, hopefully he can build a stable of fights like what Garcia is doing in Oxnard, and keep that Kronk thing going
Can't wait for the @30for30 docu 'No Mas' on @SUGARRAYLEONARD-Roberto. Have you read the 4 kings?
I am pumped for the docu. I had a crew at my house on Tuesday filming and interview with me for it. And this morning I was watching a rough cut of it. And from what I have watched so far it is awesome. As for Four Kings, yes. Fantastic book on the SRL, Duran, Hearns, Hagler rivalry. Covers each of their fights against each other and tons of great stories and background. Written by the late George Kimball, a fantastic boxing writer who left us too soon.
People who think Cotto is done are crazy. He was beating Trout and gassed half way through due to a horrible camp. He will look great tomorrow and be right back in a big fight next.
I guess we shall see.
Dan, do you know how much the PPV is for Marquez-Bradley?
The price for standard is $54.95 and $64.95 for HD.
Any chance of Floyd going to England if Kahn fight takes place or does he have binding agreement with MGM?
Going to UK has been bandied about by Schaefer but it will not make economic sense and if the fight happens I am quite sure it will be in America.
Could you see a GGG-Stevenson fight at 168? Bombs away!
Doubtful because I dont see Stevenson coming back to 168 for no reason. He is 175 champ with plenty of options and he brings a crowd.
Dan, I'll be at the fight tomorrow night celebrating by birthday and my favorite boxer! Hope to see you there freaka freaka!
Enjoy! Happy birthday Freak.
Dan, it astounds me that HBO gave JCCjr $2.5MM for that fight. I think subscriber money could be spent better elsewhere.
Chavez, love him or not, drew HBO's biggest fight viewership of the year (and biggest for any cable fight) -- 1.416 million viewers. Money well spent in their view.
Mr Rafael, if Bud Crawford beats Klimov does he get Burns next or does he get an eliminator while Burns's grill heals?
If Crawford wins, he likely fights for the title next, be it Burns or an interim if Burns is still out with the injury. Here's my story from yesterday on Crawford that explains the situation: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5755/crawford-closing-in-on-title-shot
Here's my piece from today on Delvin Rodriguez: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5768/rodriguez-cotto-a-huge-fight
Do you think Amir Khan is big enough in England to generate a gate similar to theones Floyd does in Vegas if they fought at Wembley Stadium?
It seems like Stevenson and Kovalev are on a collision course and the explosion is going to be epic when they actually meet. When do you see this fight happening? It has to happen right?
HBO is hoping to have them on the same Nov. 30 card. Ideally, they would fight in their next fight after that, although it might take two more fights. But I hope it happens and HBO is trying to make it happen.
Dan, any comments on if you felt that the Vera-Chavez fight was rigged?
You've rightfully criticized Ken Hershmann for refusing to speak to the media. However, I did notice that he granted some recent interviews, such as to your buddy Chris Mannix from SI. Any opinion on the content of those interviews?
I read it and my pal Chris asked all the right questions and Ken, bless his heart, found a way to say a lot of words without actually saying anything of substance whatsoever.
By the way -- with so much being asked about the rumor of Floyd vs Khan here is my blog on the matter: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5743/khan-shoots-down-mayweather-rumor
If it happens would Ward/JCCJr be PPV?
How do you think Nathan Cleverly would fair against the top Cruiserweights?
I had the fight 100-90 for Chavez Jr.
Your thoughts on Cleverly wanting a rematch with Kovalev (insane?)?
I'd like ESPN to give me a billion dollars. Neither is happening.
i think you have a better chance of getting the billion
Pay the man, Shirley!
What's your favorite Cotto performance? I gotta go with Margacheato 2.
That was a great one. I also loved he fought Shane Mosley and Zab Judah. That was Cotto at his peak to me. Also the first 6 rounds of the first Margarito fight.
Who would you pick Kovalev or Roy Jones Jr in his prime?
Chavez drawing a huge number on HBO proves one thing. He's a draw and people want to see him. However the empty seats prove that no one wants to spend extra $$ on fight/hotel etc to see him fight in person.
Correct. And with all due respect to Top Rank, which usually does a bang up job promoting its events, I thought it was terrible promotion.
Here is today's Miguel Cotto feature: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/9767772/ready
Chavez might be headed into Mayweather territory, where half the people who pay to see him fight are doing it in the hope they see him lose.
It is interesting that Floyd, Oscar and Mosley all avoided Tszyu. How do think those would have played out?
Relax. They did not avoid Tszyu. Oscar-Tszyu was supposed to happen and Tszyu got knocked out by Phillips. When Floyd was at 135, Tszyu moved over to Showtime for an exclusive deal. Mosley skipped 140 to fight Oscar, a way bigger fight and Tszyu was also at Showtime.
Glad I wasn't the only freak smelling what Andre Ward was selling.
Hi Dan - Any word if Ward will undergo VADA testing after Rodriguez's public announcement that he would?
I dont believe so. If Edwin wanted VADA that is the sort of thing you negotiate before you make a deal, not after it's signed.
If Top rank throws Chavez jr into the ring with Ward at this point its like saying there giving up on him. Cause Andre will box the ears off him and the rest of the Chavez clan
They aren't "giving up on him." They would be making a business decision to take a major PPV fight, same way they did for the Martinez fight, when Chavez was not given much of a chance to win.
How's the atmosphere / crowd in FL? Isn't this the first time in many years that Cotto hasn't fought in NY other than the Mayweather fight.
No real atmosphere at the moment because I have mainly been in the hotel and while there are fighters and Top Rank staff here, it's not really a place where fans have gathered and Cotto and Delvin and Arum are at other hotels. I will get a better feel for it at the weigh-in today, which is at 3 pm and open to the public at the arena.
On the Chavez ratings though, that's the second fight in a row on HBO where the viewership declined. He did 1.9 million against Rubio, 1.6 mil against Lee, and 1.4 mil with Vera. Seems like diminishing returns, and that's only going to get worse after the bad taste he left in everyone's mouth Saturday.
Those other fights were much more hyped, they were world title fights and Chavez wasnt coming off a one-sided loss and a suspension.
I hope this documentary is fair to Duran and really shows how great he was. Lot of newer fans seems to only think of No Mas or the Hearns fight. Duran was a legend before he even fought Leonard.
From what I have watched so far Duran is treated very well. I wont ruin it but there is a section near the end where Duran and Leonard are in the ring together re-enacting the no mas stuff. They have become friends over the years.
My blog on the big UK TV boxing deal: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5782/sky-matchroom-extend-uk-tv-deal
Which big time prospect ended up being the biggest bust, in your opinion?
Bojado, Ricardo Williams stand out.
Not sure what crosses peoples minds...never pick against a prime RJJ.
You going to try and watch Anthony Joshua's debut?
I will try to watch live but between the Klitschko fight and a column I have to write plus the live fights here, not sure I will be able to. But I will at least watch it on delay. US fans can watch the card live on ESPN3.com. Check out my blog for details: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5751/joshuas-pro-debut-to-air-on-espn3
What would happen if Hagler and Leonard were in the ring re-enacting stuff?
Hagler would probably slug Ray. lol
Any updates on either Brian Viloria or Austin Trout, both of whom last fought in April? Haven't heard any updates from them since.
Not sure about Viloria but the IBF just ordered an eliminator between Trout and K9 Bundrage. However, Trout is also in a lawsuit with promoter Greg Cohen. So not sure how much longer he will be out.
Dan, I send comments and questions under lots of different names but you never post any of them, do I just plain suck?
Have you ever been in any serious crowd trouble situations similar to the scene at the end of Bowe-Golota I?
Nothing like that but a lot of us were a bit concerned at ringside because it did get scary briefly when the brawl erupted during the Mayweather-Judah fight when the trainers went into the ring and got into it and it began to spill into the crowd.
Dan will the Gatti vs Ward be the only ep of legndary nights or are their more coming
At the moment, it's the only one set. Hopefully, it will lead to more.
Of the current group of Puerto Rican prospects, who do you think can replace Miguel Cotto?
I guess the one with the most promise if Verdejo, who is on the card here. I rode back from the press conference to the hotel with him and his team. Very nice group. Hard working kid. I saw him hitting the mitts last night in the hotel fitness center. He's quick, strong and has a good personality and friendly demeanor. He is more Trinidad in that regard than the more stoic Cotto.
Love Child v Mayweather a PPV fight?
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.
Greatest heavyweight fight of all time non Ali-Frazier??
Maybe Holmes-Norton, Holyfield-Bowe fights (all were great), Foreman-Lyle. I also loved Lewis-Klitschko. That is the best heavyweight fight I have covered at ringside.
Why does your greatest heavyweight fight of all time list not include Klitschko - Haye? Surely the savior of heavyweight boxing put up a fantastic performance!
Toe-tally forgot about that one.
Dan, is Tyson Marquez vs Gio Segura a done deal? If so, any US tv?
That fight is scheduled and it is possible it might be on in the US via small PPV. LOVE the fight.
I imagine you morons on press row would be a "bit concerned" if any of you cowards actually had to, heaven forbid, get into a tussle. Not so tough when you can't hide behind your laptops to criticize real fighters.
Another idiot not realizing my JOB, my PROFESSION, the way I pay my bills and take care of my family, it to write my opinions about boxing and boxers. You do not have to read them or agree with them.
Do you think Devon Alexander has the power to KO Khan?
Yes. I think a moth has that power.
I give you credit for even answering that bozo about your job
I bet a guy name Oral is real tough
Wow! Oral needs some love
Oral Karol is an idiot
Does your wife call you DTM, or D$?
Was re-watching Cotto vs Judah earlier this week to get pumped for this weekend. Atmosphere was INSANE at MSG that night. I know you've said Mayweather-Hatton was the best crowd, but where does Cotto-Judah rank?
Cotto-Judah is way up there. That fight was a clean sellout at MSG and the crowd was INSANE. It is probably the 2nd-best atmosphere for a fight I have covered at MSG, topped only by the utter insanity of Trinidad-Joppy.
Any news on Jayson Velez? Ive seen him fight twice and enjoyed his perfomance both times. Was looking forward to the fight against Ponce De Leon also.
I hung out a little with Velez last night and this morning, along with his trainer, Abel Sanchez. Jayson is on the undercard tomorrow. He is with the Cotto camp. His foot is better (which caused the PDL title fight to be called off). This is his first fight with Abel and he trained with him in Big Bear.
I'm such a hardcore fight freak that every morning I palm slam a VHS copy of the Somsak Sithchatchawal-Mahyar Monshipour fight into my VCR to start the day.
Dan, I'd have to say the scariest moment for a boxer was when Hopkins took the PR flag (from Trinadad) in PR and stepped on it. They were going to kill him.
I wasn't in PR for that but you reminded me of another scary situation. I was on stage for ESPN doing post-weigh-in interviews at Hopkins-Wright when BHop pushed Winky and all hell broke loose and I almost got knocked off the stage.
Where does Hopkins-Trinidad rate in terms of atmosphere -- I still get chills watching it with all the emotion in the room.
Totally different than a usual big fight. That was 2 weeks after 9/11 and first big event in NY since the attacks. People were very sad and it was a very emotional night. Honestly, just sitting here thinking about it and I get choked up. That was a very tough night.
I'm with Oral...it's so cool to talk tough on a computer.
How about the Tyson-Lewis brawl, that was wild.
I was there for that but it was different because I dont think anyone in the audience felt threatened. A lot of people at first thought it was staged as part of the open of the press conference.
Recently watched the documentary, "Klitschko," it was awesome. I wish we had more things like that from boxers
Yup, very enjoyable film. I liked some of the non-boxing parts about their lives growing up better than the fight stuff.
Dan, do you know why the Broner-Maidana card has not been officially announced?
Because the deal is not done yet.
I can only imagine if some real fighters were tasked with covering a fight.
I guarantee you that although most writers would not be good fighters we would fight better than most fighters can write.
You know what I'm sayin?
Like I said before, no. -- Floyd.
Has Lennox Lewis ever mentioned why he retired after the Vitali fight (aside from father time knocking)? That was one rematch I would have paid top dollar to see.
He and I have talked about that. He felt he had accomplished everything he could and he was content with his career and had made a lot of money. He wanted to get married and have kids and move into another part of his life. I applaud him for it.
Great to see ESPN3 picking up coverage of the Quigg/Salinas title fight (and Joshua debut) tomorrow, plus Wlodarczyk/Fragomeni III next month. I haven't seen much of Salinas. How dangerous of a fight is that for Quigg?
Also a good chance ESPN3 does Mosley-Mundine. As for the Quigg-Salinas fight, I have seen Quigg several times and think he is an excellent young fighter but I am not very familiar with Salinas and really do not know what to expect in that fight.
What would happen if Tony Thompson and his wife were in the ring re-enacting their stuff?
Pay the man, Shirley!!!
If I recall correctly, wasn't the Lewis/Vitali fight made on two weeks notice b/c both of the fighters other opponents dropped out of fights with them?
Correct. Lewis was supposed to fight Kirk Johnson, who got injured. Vitali, as I recall, was supposed to fight I THINK Cedric Boswell. It was a PPV. When Johnson dropped out, they made Lewis-Klitschko on regular HBO on two weeks' notice. HBO paid some sick number for it, like $10 million or something and it was a great fight and did one of the best HBO ratings of the decade.
"What would happen if Tony Thompson and his wife were in the ring re-enacting their stuff?"PAINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Hey, DTM. Knowing you're a Gatti fan... today is the 16th anniversary of Gatti vs Gabe Ruelas. It is also Micky Ward's birthday today.
Good call. The Ruelas fight is epic.
Any word on Edison Miranda
He lost a decision to Alvarez in Canada on the Stevenson-Cloud card a couple of weeks ago.
Dan any news on American TV coverage of Froch-Groves?
Any word on Jose Benavidez?
He hasn't fought in a year but is supposed to be back Nov. 16 on a UniMas card.
Can we get our weekly lament about Epix pulling out of the boxing business. By the way, cancelled my Epix 2 months ago and haven't missed any of that non-boxing programming since...
It hasn't been my lament. I have answered people's questions about it.
Are you more disappointed in JCC Jr's performance or the NY Football Giants?
I dont give a damn about Chavez's performance. I couldn't care less if he wins or loses. The Giants? Different story.
Dan, why are they fighting in Orlando? Cotto has a big following in NY, wouldn't it of made more sense to have the fight there?
You're totally wrong. 1, NY was not available. 2, Orlando has the 2nd biggest Puerto Rican population in the US so Cotto wanted to fight here. He owns a home here, he has trained for fights here, he likes it here. From what I am told they will have a crowd of better than 12,000ish at the fight, so it's great to bring a big boxing event to a market that doesn't get many and that gets the community excited.
You going to hit up Disney World or Universal Studios?
No sir, but I am looking forward to tonight and seeing one of my best friends from high school who lives in Orlando.
Does Harold Lederman inhale helium before he gives Jim Lampley his in-fight scoring updates?
No, but Harold is here for the show. I saw him yesterday at the press conference.
Any update if prospect Andy Ruiz will be on the Pac/Rios ppv card?
Yes, he is on that card. Supposed to be facing Tor Hamer.
Do the math Dan. ESPN DONT KNOW NOTHING! YOU DONT KNOW NOTHING! THE FREAKS DONT KNOW NOTHING! ONLY I KNOW EVERYTHING!!!
I'm sure you've covered this before but WHY is the fight next week at Thomas & Mack?
Arum's site deal is with the Wynn casino, which does not have an arena, so T&M is the venue.
It's getting near Dieter time...
Is Vivian Harris still fighting?
Pathetically, yes. He is supposed to fight Danny O'Connor. PATHETIC.
Have you ever worn a diaper to a fight so you wouldn't have to battle long bathroom lines?
These are my readers.
Deontay Wilder vs. Manuel Charr, who wins?
Probably Wilder, but that would be a decent step up for Wilder compared to the utter dreck he has faced.
Ok, so the obvious followup question is why is the Wynn casino doing a site deal if they don't have an arena? What's in it for the Wynn?
They have done several fights with Arum. They bring in their players for a big event and they gamble.
Pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel in his pants, bartender says "hey, whats with the steering wheel"? Pirate says : "Arrgggh, its driving me nuts"!!!
So HBO is broadcasting Klithscko vs. Povetkin in the afternoon and then again before the Cotto fight?
Correct. 3:30 ET/PT (live on the East Coast) and again on delay with Cotto card (9:45 pm ET/PT).
D$, You discuss network boxing budgets, fighter pay, sanctioning fee's(#wbcsucks) quite frequently. A majority of the time deals are struck that benefit all parties involved. IYO is there any way that Vladimir Hryunov is going to come close to making money tomorrow night??
I see no possible way the fight makes money off a $23.3 million purse bid unless there is some sort of pot of gold that we dont know about.
It's funny. People want to bury HBO for losing so many network 'stars' to Showtime. But the thing is, they still spank the competition in the ratings.
So when HBO touts "biggest cable fight" that is a direct shot at Showtime correct?
All cable -- Showtime, ESPN, NBC Sports Net. Just a fact.
Thanks for chatting Fight Freaks. Got to end a little early today as I need to get over to the arena. Hope you check out all our coverage and enjoy the fights this weekend. Have a great weekend and talk to you next week from Las Vegas, where I will be for Bradley-Marquez. Peace.