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October 11, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (12:00 PM)

Greetings from Las Vegas, Fight Freaks! I am here for Saturday's Bradley-Marquez card. Should be a good fight. We have tons of coverage of the card so check it out and also make sure you check out my blog, which has had numerous updates this week, as well as the news stories, the schedule and the rankings. Now let's get to it.

Kevin (Providence)

Who do you have between Marquez and Bradley?

Dan Rafael
  (12:03 PM)

Let's get this right out of the way: I have Marquez on a decision. For more specifics, check out our Hot Button: http://espn.go.com/boxing/hot?id=9799126

Danny Vermin (88 Magnum)

Is Ann Wolfe still training Kirkland for his up coming fight or as she given up on him yet?

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

As far as I know they've split again.

Tom (Yonkers, NY)

Good afternoon Dan. Do you know any other outlets to see Saturday's PPV? I've prefer movie theatres and bars because the $65 price tag is too much for me to do solo.

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

Top Rank's PPVs do not play in theaters, only Golden Boy's. The PPV is available around 1500 bars around the country and the price there is way less than $65 so look around your area or get some people to come over and split the cost with you.

Harry (Long Island)

Danastasia, shouldn't the Broner vs Maidana fight be finalized soon in order for the fighters to prepare and for the fight to be properly promoted?

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

The fight is being finalized and likely will be formally announced at a press conference on Oct. 26 in Atlantic City, where a lot of media will be for Hopkins' fight.

Mike (Dc)

What are your thoughts on Kovalev-Silakh?

Dan Rafael
  (12:06 PM)

Solid match considering what's available at 175. Deal is not signed yet but very close, according to Kathy Duva, who I saw in Vegas last night. The fight will be Nov. 30 on the Stevenson-Bellew undercard on HBO. Sillakh's chin is a big question, which is good for Kovalev.

Paulo (Philadelphia)

Dan - From what you can tell/see in Vegas, has Marquez's following or the atmosphere surrounding his fight grown since his knockout of Pacquiao?

Dan Rafael
  (12:07 PM)

So far, there is not much fight-related atmoshere at the Wynn for this fight. I got here Thursday morning and there was nothing special at all yesterday. Hoping it amps up some today at the weigh-in (which is at 2:30 PT and will be streamed on ESPN.com and televised on HBO).

Zim (Boston)

Seems like a pretty lackluster undercard. Which of the other fights do you think will be decent and why?

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

Salido and Cruz should be a decent fight based on their styles. I am very interested to see Lomachenko's debut. But I agree -- the overall card is very weak for a $55 PPV.

Mike (PA)

Do you think Cotto will fight Martinez next?

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

Yes I do.

Pratik (Charlotte)

Thoughts on Teddy Atlas saying on First Take today that Floyd can fight GGG on a catchweight? He said "GGG isn't too big for Floyd like people think he is." Any chance the fight is possible?

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

I didnt see the segment but the fight will never happen.

Justin (Seattle)

DTM, do you have your tux pressed for Wlad's wedding and do you think it will get PPV in the United States?

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Alan (South Florida) [via mobile]

Dan, who do you see Cotto fighting next? I would personally buy a PBF-Cotto rematch as the first was entertaining?

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

I'd be willing to bet the next fight is Sergio Martinez in June.

Jason (Philly)

Dan, after watching Klitschko's last fight and the boring build up to it, I now want Fury to beat Haye so that he has a chance to fight Klitschko. Even though Fury would get smashed at least it will be entertaining!

Steve (NYC)

Will you be wearing rainbow-colored crocs this weekend in a show of support for Orlando Cruz?

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

No. Nothing against gay people, but I don't own crocs or anything rainbow colored.

Steve (Hartford)

Is it true ticket sales are very slow for tomorrow s fight? What kind of crowd do they expect?

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

I really dont know for sure. I hear they're expecting a crowd of around 10,000.

Frank (PHX)

Marquez and Bradley are both known for having been knockdown multiple times in fights and still getting up fighting strong til the end. I think we could see a knockdown from each again in this fight in what should be a great scrap

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

Would not surprise me at all if both guys get dropped.

Richie (Bronx NY)

If Arum does Cotto/Martinez what are chances it lands around the PR Parade time?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

That is the date they are talking about, first weekend in June.

Pepe (Monterrey Mexico)

Really looking forward to the 30for30 "No mas" whats your inside on the show?

Dan Rafael
  (12:15 PM)

I've watched a rough cut of the docu. It's awesome.

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

Here's my Friday Bradley-Marquez feature: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/9806346/timothy-bradley-jr-juan-manuel-marquez-driven-different-forces

Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]

Do you cringe when the commercial for Bradley/Marquez comes on and proclaims "both guys beat Pac"?

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

Yes. One guy got a win against Pac but really lost, the other guy beat Pac, but also lost twice to him and drew.

Edju Martin (Salisbury, MA)

Someone needs to tell Wlad to save the clutching and grabbing for his wedding night

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Julian (Dallas/TX)

Did you think Wladimir Klitschko did an egregious amount of clinching through out the Povetkin fight to the point where it warranted a warning or point deduction?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

Yes. But referee Luis Pabon is horrible, has always been horrible and will remain horrible. As long as he wasn't going to warn Wlad why would Wlad stop doing what was effective?

Ryan (Orlando, Florida)

Hey DTM! I attended my first professional fight last week at the Amway Center. That place was jumping when Cotto got the KO! How did that atmosphere rank with the typical fight you attend? I have nothing to compare it to and know you will give a fair assessment! Also, do you see Orlando hosting future bouts?

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

It was very good, but not THAT good. But glad you had a good time. I do see Orlando getting more fights, specifically when another Puerto Rican star emerges, perhaps a Verdejo in the next few years.

HZ (Toronto)

Martinez vs Cotto is a classic waiting to Happen!

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

I agree.

Steve (DC)

Do you think the Winner of Bradley-Marquez will fight the Pacquaio-Rios Winner?

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

Cerainly possible, although Marquez has made it pretty clear he has no interest in another Manny fight. I'd also say a Bradley-Rios fight is probably unlikely because they are both managed by Cameron Dunkin, who I dont think would put his guys together.

Brandon (San Diego)

DTM, true story. My wife and I were watching the Klitschko fight and not knowing Povetkin says "OMG! Is that Ricky Hatton!? I know he gets fat but he's a heavyweight now??". I laughed and said no that's Alexander Povetkin. There's only one Ricky Hatton!

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

Epic.

Mike (DC)

Any site yet for Adamek-Glazkov?

Dan Rafael
  (12:23 PM)

Turning Stone casino in Verona, NY.

Jevin (Dallas)

Win or lose, do you feel like this is could be JMM's last fight? He seems happy with the ending of his PAC rivalry and I don't think he can go up another weight class.

Dan Rafael
  (12:24 PM)

Read my interview with Marquez. He wants to fight longer. http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5907/marquez-id-like-to-keep-going

Patrick (Boynton)

DTM....with Vitali dealing with injuries/politics, what are the chances of Stiverne getting a shot at Wlad instead. I just don't see any other future opponents for Wlad.

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

Stiverne is not fighting Wlad. He will either fight Vitali for the title or fight somebody else for the interim title or vacant title if Vitali retires.

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

Here are all the purses for Saturday's PPV: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/5891/purses-for-bradley-marquez-card

paluk (seattle)

hey dan. i'm trying to figure out why i'm not interested in this fight. i came up with this; i see marquez as the poster child of a roided up boxer. personally, i find this comparable to margarito and his plastered fists. and as likable as bradley is, he lacks the charisma and talent to be headlining a ppv. does this resonate with you?

Dan Rafael
  (12:26 PM)

I hear ya.

Matt (New York)

Do you think Martinez needs a tune up fight before facing someone like Cotto? He has been out of the ring for a while.

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

No. At his age and the stakes and money on the line, no tune-ups. You go for the big fight. Period.

Julian (Dallas/TX)

Do you think James Kirkland can be a contender again?

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Again? I never viewed him as a real contender in the first place, just a guy who could punch but was very limited with no head on his shoulders.

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

Again? I never viewed him as a real contender in the first place, just a guy who could punch but was very limited with no head on his shoulders.

Jonathan (Atlanta)

Dan, I'm sure all the freaks are wondering this. Is Povetkin's ring walk music available on iTunes???????

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

LOL.

craig (houston)

Please let's hope that HBO never dream of putting on a Terrance Crawford and Rigondeaux double header!

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Amen my brother.

juan (south texas)

why is bradley making $4 million plus when he has no real following?

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

It's in the budget and he has a good manager.

Mark (Mary Esther, FL)

Dan, just wanted to shout out to you. I was the guy that shouted out to you as you were walking in the tunnel between fights. Glad to hear he water pressure was great.Fun card at the Amway (minus the Crawford fight)

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

LOL. I remember that!

Thomas (TX)

Glad to see Quigg was added to the Froch/Groves card. I like seeing him active. Did you think he won his last fight, I had him winning by a small margin?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

I thought Quigg eked it out but a draw was a legit.

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

I thought Quigg eked it out but a draw was a legit.

Mike (NJ)

Over/under for tomorrow's PPV? 350,000

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

Under.

Brandon (San Diego)

Dan, I' ve read a ton of comments on your facebook down right saying that JMM would have destroyed Hamed. I'm trying to figure out if its because they are assuming that JMM was the same fighter then that he is now or if they were too young appreciate how good Hamed was at his peak. I think Hamed wins a UD in a good fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

The Marquez of that time in the late 90s was not the same as he is today and I would have picked Naz. Check out very cool Classic Matchup today in which the ESPN experts pick a Hamed-Marquez fight: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/9802192/juan-manuel-marquez-vs-prince-naseem-hamed

jess (northridge ca)

Dan, if Bradley would have admitted he lost and returned the belt to Pacquiao, would he have gained a strong following by now?

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

No.

James (Portland, ME)

Why do you think it is that Naseem Hamed is so underrated when talking about great, HOF worthy boxers? Loved the marquez/hamed write up, btw

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

People hold his arrogance and his ONE loss to Barrera against him for reasons that make no sense. I dont get it.

Derek (Boulder, CO)

Are you making it out to Denver for the Alvarado fight? I haven't seen him live since he KO'd Emmanuel Clottey in the final second of their 09 fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

I will be in Denver next week, stop 3 of my 5 straight weeks of being ringside for fights (Orlando, Vegas, Denever, AC for BHop and NYC for GGG).

Andy (San Diego)

Dan, has Zab/Malignaggi been finalized?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Not yet, but it'll get done.

Mike (King Under The Lonely Mountain)

Dan, was there drug testing for tomorrow's PPV?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Yes.

Tony (Reno,Nv)

Have you talked to Broner outside of an interview? If so, is his demeanor different or does he always come off like an ass?

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

Many times. I've known Broner since he was like 3-0 and talked to him many times just to talk to him, not an interview. He is a lot different when you're one-on-one in a quiet situation than when he's doing outrageous things in front of everyone.

Jackson (IA)

I think people now underestimate Hamed because there was SO MUCH style, that they forget there was also substance. Walking away after the Barrera fight didn't help reinforce the image that there was plenty of style AND substance. That said, at the time, I'd take Hamed. If you're talking prime versions of each, Marquez.

Jackson (IA)

Ha...someone better keep Zab away from Paulie's sidepiece!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:42 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Ron (Orlando)

What's up Dan, I got to experience my first live fight last weekend which was awesomw. I wanted to get you take on the entire event, the venue, the crowd, atmosphere since I have nothing to compare to. I felt like we were auditioning for more fights to come to Orlando!

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

Venue was first class, very new and modern. From my point of view, the internet connection was flawless so I had no issues filing my stuff. The crowd was into it and very good. Excellent crowd turnout. It was a top-class event and the city seemed to embrace it. The local media did a good, professional job covering it too.

John (Tucson, AZ)

Dan, there has been a lot of talk on the internet of Marquez being a cheat. Do you think it is unfair to question someone that hasn't tested positive? Or do you feel there is enough reasonable suspicion to make the accusations justified?

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

It is not unfair to question someone these days. Lance Armstrong never failed a test either. When you see a guy do things in his late 30s a lot better than in his late 20s, especially when they used a known PED guy as their strength coach, the questions must be asked.

Mike (King Under The Lonely Mountain)

I'd have to disagree with you Dan; JMM was a formidable opponent even back during the Hamed days. Morales even avoided fighting JMM.

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

He was formidable but not nearly as polished as he became.

Juan C (San Diego)

How many votes (aside from yours) does Naseem actually get for the HOF every year? Honestly, WILL he ever get in?

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

I dont know the number but he gets his fair share of support, just not enough to finish in the top 3, which is how many are elected.

Jason (San Diego)

DTM, I love how easily accessible fighters are in boxing. My first ever fight was K9-Spinks 2 at Fantasy Springs. It was a horrible fight but I was literally able to walk up and meet Oscar, Josesito Lopez, Lara and Gary Russel Jr. Is this usually the case for most small venue fights?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

Even at big venues sometimes. Of all sports, boxers are by far the easiest to interact with for fans. Most seem to genuinely enjoy it. Lots of fighters go to other fights so fans see and talk to them.

roy (from anywhere else)

hey dan! don't you get tired answering same questions over and over again?

Dan Rafael
  (12:49 PM)

Sometimes, which is why I encourage all Fight Freaks to please refer to my FAQ: http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/8834349/dan-rafael-frequently-asked-chat-questions-part-2

Roy (Reno)

As dreadful as Klitchko's strategy was--and it was AWFUL--Povetkin looked only to happy to comply with the hugging and grappling.

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

Agreed. He had plenty of chances to fire shots with free hands in close and didn't do it. Part of the blame goes to him also.

Joe (Frankfurt)

Pairing Cotto with Roach always seemed like a theoretical, perfect fit, glad they're working together now.

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

Seems like an excellent pairing at this point.

Tom (ATL)

Do you believe Lennox Lewis is really considering a comeback at almost 50?

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

Absolutely not. I spoke to Lennox yesterday and wrote something on that nonsense story in the UK media. Should be in my blog shortly.

Jiggy74 (Texas)

I know it's probably highly unlikely to ever happen, but would you be down for a Canelo/Trout rematch, Dan?

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

I am not interested in that at all.

Dave (Bethel, CT)

Dan I believe that most fans and writers consider JMM a future hall of famer. But like you said there are questions that need to be asked and would those questions keep YOU PERSONALLY from voting him into the hall of fame? Or at least not the 1st yr or 2 anyway?

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

I do not know if Marquez used anything illegal. There has been no proof offered of any kind. At this point, he is a HOFer to me.

Mickey (Chicago)

What up Dan? Other than the 4th Pac fight, what would you say JMM's best performance?

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

He had very good performances in the other Manny fights, all of which he could have won. The Juan Diaz fights were also impressive.

Martin (NYC)

Speaking of weak undercards, it's looking more and more that Pacquiao-Rios undercard will also be weak - Beibut and Gradovich on the card! 'nuff said!

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

Beibut is not on the card.

David (Oak Brook)

I think its funny that so many people took that non-sense story of Lennox as a truth, he said he would come back for a 100million, it seems to me like he was just having a little fun and everyone got a little carried away with it

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

The British writers never let the facts get in the way of a good fake world exclusive.

kramer (winnetka)

Heard Hayden is now engaged to Klitchko, found him so romantic due to constant hugging.

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Steve (Worcester, MA)

You just mentioned that Broner is essentially acting, was Naz acting or was he like that behind the scenes?

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

I covered some Naz fights at the beginning of my career. He was definitely doing his thing with a wink.

C.J. Ross (In Hiding)

I scored the Klitchko/Povetkin fight 114-114.

Dan Rafael
  (12:59 PM)

Naturally.

Jevin (Dallas)

Any more news on the possible Chavez Jr/Vera rematch? Is that still a possibility?

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

Yes, it is but if it happens it won't be until at least the early part of 2014.

Ray (Dillon)

Suppose you were a boxer, and a commission assigned Luis Pabon as referee, CJ Ross, Gale Van Hoy, and Duane Ford as referees, how much power would you have to force a re-assignment?

Dan Rafael
  (1:01 PM)

I'd probably kill myself first.

Mike (DC)

Will Ward-Rodriguez be a one fight broadcast?

Dan Rafael
  (1:02 PM)

Yes.

Balwanth (Sydney )

Do you see a possible rigondeaux vs vasyl Lomachenko match up? Btw it is 4 in the morning, will wait until the chat is done and then I am off to bed.

Dan Rafael
  (1:03 PM)

For the previous question, yes, Ward-Rodriguez is a one-fight broadcast on HBO. As for Rigo-Lomachenko, that's the fight Arum wants to do in the spring. Lomachenko would have to win tomorrow, win the title in January, Rigo has to win on Dec. 7 and then he will try to make the fight for Aprilish on HBO.

Willy (BK)

Thoughts on a potential Cotto fight possibly landing at MetLife Stadium? I'd prefer MSG, if available.

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

MetLife would be cool. A big stadium fight would be sweet.

Mike (DC)

Best part about Ward -Rodriguez is we won't have to listen to Ward talk about himself on the broadcast

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

Al (York Pa)

Is Robert Guerrero planning to fight again soon?

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

Not this year, no.

Jake (San Diego)

Out of the prospects fighting tonight: Jessie Vargas, Jessie Magdaleno, Vic Pasillas, and Jose Zapeda who do you believe will have the best career when it is all said and done?

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

Jessie Magdaleno.

Mr. Sammy (New Orleans)

D$, now that Povetkin has vacated the "regular" WBA belt, will it automatically go to someone else, or will there be a fight for it?

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

He didnt vacate it. He lost it. The rancid WBA will sanction some other fight to fill it.

Slater (west by God Virginia)

DTM have you read any of furys twitter trash talk toward lennox lewis, and do you think a loss would humble him or are we always gonna have to put up with his mouth

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

I haven't but Fury is a buffoon. If he faced a prime Lewis he'd have his head knocked off his neck.

Wesley (San Francisco)

do promoters talk to you "off the record" a lot about problem fighters or fighters they can't stand having to promote? not looking for gossip, just wondering how much they're willing to gripe.

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

Absolutely, happens all the time and fighters do the same about promoters and managers.

Craig (Dallas)

Dan, what are your thought on Andy Ruiz, Jr? Do you think he is or can be a legitimate prospect?

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

Good heavyweight prospect. Very fast hands, good team behind him, really improving his conditioning. He is being brought along very well. He fights Tor Hamer in Macau on the Pac-Rios card.

Mike (PA)

Thinking about going to the hall of fame in NY this year. Is it worth going there or is it too crowded and a waste?

Dan Rafael
  (1:12 PM)

Will be awesome this year with a mega class going in.

Chris C (Washington DC)

Hey Dan, do you think a Cotto-Martinez fight kills the chance of us ever getting a Martinez-GGG fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

That fight was never going to happen anyway.

Edju Martin (Salisbury, MA)

If you Google Joel Julio, the first autocomplete option is Joel Julio Love Child

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.

Mike (King Under The Lonely Mountain)

Any updates with Arreloa?

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

Just waiting to see how the Vitali-Stiverne situation plays out. Not going to make himself unavailable by taking another fight when he might end up with a rematch against Stiverne for the vacant or interim title.

AJ (DC)

Dan, please fill in the blanks with an adjective of your choice:_______WBC_______WBA_______WBO_______IBF

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

disgusting, rancid, putrid, gross

David (Oak Brook)

Are you a Giants fan?

Dan Rafael
  (1:16 PM)

Unfortunately.

James (Minneapolis, MN)

Dan, what can Golden Boy say to any of their fighters who complain about having to fight on much smaller viewed broadcasts on Showtime than on HBO? If they're trying to build a following for these fights I'd think they'd want to be in front of as many people as possible? Has this come up yet?

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

As long as the fighter is OK with the purse that is pretty much what matters.

markov (ph)

do you think that there will be a chance that nonito donaire and mikey garcia will fight each other?

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

No, not as long as the have the same trainer and manager.

John (idaho)

Dan. How did the Joel Julio love child thing get started?

Dan Rafael
  (1:20 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.

Micah (Scottsdale, AZ )

Dan when I was there at the Wynn for Chaves vs Martinez the weigh in you needed a ticket and it sold out...might want to let the boxing heads know if they need to get there early.

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

I think you do need a ticket for today's weight in but they are free as long as they last.

Mike (Chicago)

What did you think of Anthony Joshua in his debut fight last weekend? The British commentators were hyping him up big time!

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

He looked good against a stiff. As it was supposed to be. He has a lot to work on though. Fought way too straight up. Got to work on his feet and bend a little.

Wesley (San Francisco)

when was the last time you got wrapped up in the 'history' of a fight (ex: Pac 4th lineal title; the atmosphere of May-Hatton; Marquez KO'ing Pac, etc) and felt while you were watching it, you knew you were seeing something historic?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

There have been a lot of times you know you are at something historical. We all knew that at Pacquiao-Marquez 4 even before the KO. I knew it at Mayweather-Hatton and other Floyd fights. Same with Oscar fights and Tyson fights I've covered. I knew it when I was at Roy Jones-John Ruiz, Lennox Lewis-Tyson.

Mo (Perth Amboy, NJ)

Why do we keep hearing about another Cotto-Mayweather fight? That wasn't even a fight, Floyd beat him so easily. If it were a close fight I would understand, but a rematch seems pointless. Do you agree?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

It did 1.5M ppvs, was a very exciting fight and Cotto was competitive. Pretty obvious.

Ron (Orlando)

Wow if Rigondeaux vs Lomachenko comes off like Arum plans, we'd have a title unification fight with two champions that have a combined 15 fights! Has that every happened before?

Dan Rafael
  (1:25 PM)

And four gold medals. I doubt that has happened.

Mike (Cleveland)

Dan, I think Lewis right know could knock Fury's head off.

Chris (Worcester)

Do you think Edwin "La Bomba" Rodriguez has a chance to beat Andre Ward?

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

No, I think Ward wins easily.

Larry (Lexington)

Should piledrivers be legal in boxing?

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

No, but they should be for idiots who ask such questions.

Mr. Sammy (New Orleans)

Any word on who Bryant Jennings is going to fight next? I saw he switched promoters.

Dan Rafael
  (1:29 PM)

No, he just went with Gary Shaw. Nothing scheduled at the moment. He won't fight until early next year most likely.

The Met (T.O.)

Should Lomanchenko's nickname be "Gary Russell, I Ain't"?

Dan Rafael
  (1:29 PM)

LOL. He is fighting a better opponent in his debut than Russell has fought in 20-plus fights.

jess (northridge)

Dan, it would have been a great opportunity for JMM to do VADA to silence critics, but he only fueled suspicion by choosing an unknown, unproven, non-transparent drug testing.

Dan Rafael
  (1:31 PM)

Agreed.

Paulo (Philadelphia)

Dan - Which one do you consider to be more impressive - Mayweather's continued dominance at the top or Bernard Hopkins' championship at his current age?

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

Both are impressive.

Wesley (San Francisco)

who do you feel are some of the best matchmakers (current) in boxing? i always feel these guys do not get enough credit.

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

There are several good matchmakers, but Top Rank's Brad "Abdul" Goodman is the best in the business for my money and has been for several years.

KT (Tennessee)

Where does the blame go for Gary Russell's frustrating lack of activity and credible opponents? Is it squarely on his manager or does he take some of the blame, too, for not pushing the issue?

Dan Rafael
  (1:34 PM)

The blame goes to Gary and his father.

larry (santa barbara)

What happens to Top Rank when Arum passes away. He's not getting any younger. Do they have a succession plan?

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

It's not an unreasonable question but when the day comes that Arum leaves us, his step son Todd duBoef, who is president of the company and runs a lot of the day to day business and has for several years, will run the company.

Tim (ATL)

Where is Deiter?

Brandon (San Diego)

D$ did they ever release the final PPV #'s for May-Guerrero?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

Showtime's accountants are probably still trying to find buys to get it to exceed million buys.

Lou (chicago)

if i come to your room, can i give you a mani-pedi?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

These are my readers.

Richie (Bronx)

Any word on how Oscar Dela Hoya is doing?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

He is still in a treatment center from what I am told.

Frank (PHX)

Any of the freaks know if there's a tecate rebate for the fight tomorrow??

Dan Rafael
  (1:38 PM)

There isn't one as far as I know.

Ace (Sactown CA)

Headed to Vegas for the fight after work. If I see you around I am going to ask for a pic if you are dont look like youre busy. Hope you dont mind.

Dan Rafael
  (1:39 PM)

No problem!

Frank (NY)

Dan, there are of course many great candidates, but do you agree that Duran is the greatest Latino fighter in history?

Dan Rafael
  (1:39 PM)

Yes I do.

Dexter Morgan (Oregon)

I just watched the Crawford replay. I'll now surrender to the authorities.

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

You're sick and need help immediately. Do you also cut yourself??????????????

Chris (NYC)

Just scored tix to the weigh in. Great crowd on line - JMM fans out in force!

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

I'll be down there soon.

Micah (Scottsdale, AZ )

Your thoughts on how Stephen Espinoza gets out there on Twitter considering his position with Showtime...a good thing?

Dan Rafael
  (1:42 PM)

I do think it's a good thing for him to interact with his subscribers.

Steve (Kansas)

Prince Hamed is criminally underrated by many. EASY HOF in my eyes and I am glad to see you and Iole bring up how he deserves to be in every year.

Homer (OH)

Dan, it seems like Cotto and Juan Diaz chose Top Rank over Golden Boy because TR is interested in their futures, while GB seems to want them to be opponents for other up-and-coming stars. Is that fair to say?

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

I dont agree with that. Juan was very clear with me -- he likes both companies but between his personal relationship with Carl Moretti and that TR was cool with the pace he wanted to go at he went with Top Rank. He felt GB wanted to push him a little quicker than he was comfortable with. But that doesn't mean GB isn't also looking out for the careers of its fighters.

JIM IL [via mobile]

You should do a book called "Paying Shirley" The untold story

Jesse (Downey )

Am I sick for wanting to see Crawford vs Miguel Vazquez?

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

Yes, so sick you should go to bed right now and remove all sharp objects.

Mr. Sammy (New Orleans)

Has Seth Mitchell continued to train or is he going to hang up his gloves?

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

Seth intends to keep fighting.

Donnie (At Work)

Time to dance yet?

Liliana (San Diego)

Are the fights free to fans today at the Thomas & Mack Center? That's what I heard..

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

Yes, tonight's UniMas card headlined by Jessie Vargas is free thanks to Tecate, which is footing the bill for the event at Thomas & Mack Center.

Mike (King Under The Lonely Mountain)

Obviously the Cervezas are not free.

Dan Rafael
  (1:45 PM)

LOL, true.

EPIX Program Manager (LA)

Are we going to have any fights the remainder of the year?

Dan Rafael
  (1:45 PM)

No.

Roger (OH)

I'll one-up Jesse. A three-man round robin between Vazquez, Crawford, and Abril to determine the lineage at 135!!!!!!!

Dan Rafael
  (1:46 PM)

MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

john (modesto)

Have you ever seen a situation like Wlad's. I mean a champion where there is absolutely no chance anyone who currently fights can beat him.

Dan Rafael
  (1:46 PM)

Nope.

Brent (Detroit)

Terrence Crawford vs Gamboa would be one of the best staring contests HBO has televised in years.

Dan Rafael
  (1:47 PM)

And they're so sick they would actually like to make that piece of crapola fight.

Brady (Golden Valley, MN)

DTM, if you've mentioned it elsewhere and I missed it I apologize but will there be pre-PPV undercard fights broadcast tomorrow? If so, where??

Dan Rafael
  (1:47 PM)

They will be streamed live on ESPN.com and Top Rank's website.

Mickey (Chicago)

In ten years of watching every big fight with the same friend, who is definitely a fight freak, the Crawford fight was the only time I ever saw him fall asleep during a fight.

John (Modesto)

Honestly, where does Wlad go from him. There is virtually no one that can compete with him. Who would you like to see him fight next. Is fury a possibility.

Dan Rafael
  (1:48 PM)

He has a mandatory against Kubrat Pulev, who is a legit top 10 contender. That could be next.

Randy (NYC)

Cotto simply walking to the ring with no music was awesome

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

You know being in the arena I didnt notice and then all of a sudden, I looked up from filing my undercard story and he was in the ring.

TC (San Diego)

How does the Thomas & Mack Center compare to the MGM for a big fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:49 PM)

I am no fan of the T&M AT ALL.

Steve (Worcester, MA)

You outlined the succession for Top Rank. Does Don King promotions end with Don King?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

Yes. It's already basically finished.

Mickey (Chicago)

I had to read the "Crawford vs Miguel Vasquez" comment 3 times before I processed it because my brain did not believe someone would actually suggest that.

Dylan (Dallas)

Who is HBO putting on commentary for the Ward fight?....or can Ward just box with one hand and hold the mic with the other?

Dan Rafael
  (1:51 PM)

Roy Jones.

Manuel (NY)

Vlad should fight two guys in one night. i'm serious. and maybe a bear.

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

With one arm tied behind his back. While hopping on one leg. Wearing a blindfold.

Paulo (Philadelphia)

Dan - Is there anyone noteworthy left with Don King now that Cloud has lost a couple of times?

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

King has Stiverne.

Eli (NY Giants)

Who is intercepting all of my boxing questions?

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

LOL.

Paulo (Philadelphia)

Who do you got for Salido/Cruz? I think Cruz pulls it out on the strength of wanting to make history! BTW what do you think of his attire?

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

I think Salido is a bit long in the tooth and can see Cruz outhustling him and winning a decision.

Brent (Detroit)

Hamed and Gatti compare as their HOF cases are centered around the fact they were pioneers who solidified themsleves as MAJOR Attractions at the lower weight classes. All that aside look at Hamed's record, It's outstanding! Makes no sense he's not in.

Willie (Alameda)

Can you put a bet down on Bradley for me? I can't make it to Nevada this weekend.

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

What's my cut?

Homer (OH)

Can it be confirmed that Lomacheko was 395-1 was an amateur. If it's true, that is incredible.

Dan Rafael
  (1:58 PM)

That is the rought record I have heard but I have not seen documentation.

KT (Tennessee)

Hey, Dan. When was the last time you attended a fight without being obligated to write about it? In short, when was the last time you attended a fight as a fan?

Dan Rafael
  (2:00 PM)

There have been times I've gone to smaller shows the night before a big show and not written on it, like a couple of nights before Floyd-Canelo. I went to that card at MGM and one of my colleeagues wrote off that show. But it is very rare. I'd say 98% of the fights I have gone to have been to work.

JT (CA)

do you think Hamed's not getting into the HOF has anything to do with him being muslim?

Dan Rafael
  (2:01 PM)

There might be some bias out there that has cost him a few votes.

John (Phoenix)

Do you think it is at all tacky that you failed to mention that you and 'Abdul' are long term friends? Seems rather irresponsible to me, but I guess that should be expected from you these days. Classless.

Dan Rafael
  (2:02 PM)

I've never denied that. Abdul and I have been friends for 20 years, long before I was a boxing writer and long before he was a matchmaker.

Felix (Upland, CA)

Hamed isn't a HOFer. He fought bums and when he got his first real test he got demolished and then a few fights later was gone from the sport. He's far from a Hall of Famer dude!

Dan Rafael
  (2:02 PM)

M-O-R-O-N.

slater (west by god virginia)

DTM were you shocked that boxing news outlets fell for the 50 mil lennox lewis story. I mean im not in the know but I could tell immediately that it had to be bogus.

Dan Rafael
  (2:03 PM)

No, because a lot of news outlets dont give a crap and dont do their hometork and will print anything that gives them a click.

alex (utah)

john from phoenix wants a hug from klitchko

Brady (Golden Valley, MN)

John from Phoenix...you're mother is calling upstairs, time for lunch sweetie.

juan (south texas)

if it was in the budget for bradley to make $4 million plus why wouldnt HBO spend money for a better undercard to keep up golden boy / showtime ppv?

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

It's not HBO putting up the money. Top Rank is on the hook not the network.

Dave (Bethel, CT)

Do you see Cotto-Martinez doing over 500k in pay per view buys?

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

I think that fight would have a great shot to top 500k.

Chris (Birmingham, AL)

When you do a Hot Button, does one of you have to pick a side and make an argument even if that's not really who you think will win?

Dan Rafael
  (2:08 PM)

Sometimes but we generally do them when we can find two people with differing opinions so one can take each side of a debate.

Brent (Detroit)

Felix, I've heard the same Urban Legend you are speaking of when it comes to Hamed's career. Go look at the guy's record, fight by fight. The guy had a 5 year run as good as Anybody and did it with a completely unique style and sense of showmanship. ONE OF A KIND fighter and HOF.

Marc (Malden, MA)

What we need is Hayden Panietierre to have an affair with Vitali, so the brothers will fight each other.

Dan Rafael
  (2:09 PM)

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

Mike (King Under The Lonely Mountain)

When does the new season of FNF start for ESPN?

Dan Rafael
  (2:11 PM)

January, as usual.

Dieter (From Sprockets)

Dan and Freaks: Excuse my lateness to the chat. I was beset by technical issues today, but everything has been fixed and is now in working order. Thus, RIGHT NOW is the time in the chat when we DANCE!!!!!!!!!!

Marc (NY)

will you caress me in the moonlight outside at the Bellagio fountains?

Dan Rafael
  (2:12 PM)

No. I have other plans.

Derek (Brooklyn)

D$, my first ever live fight was Naz-Kevin Kelley, MSG was electric and the fight was awesome, I was hooked on going to see as many fights live as I could from that day fwd

Dan Rafael
  (2:13 PM)

AWESOME fight. I watched it the other day on youtube.

KT (Tennessee)

Just because DTM and Abdul are friends doesn't change the fact that Abdul is the best matchmaker in the business. Which, if I'm not mistaken, was the question...

Tony (Jersey)

My first live fight was Joppy-Trinidad and that place was electric too...Were you there?

Dan Rafael
  (2:15 PM)

Yes I was and that is one of the top 4-5 atmospheres I have ever been in for a fight. Was incredible.

Sam (Ft. Worth)

DTM, what is your favorite gentlemen's club in Vegas. You can tell us, Mrs. DTM is not following.

Dan Rafael
  (2:15 PM)

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Tom (Yonkers, NY)

I've been waiting to dance. So cramped in this cubical.

Vinnie (NYC)

My SECOND live fight was Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Rogers Mtagwa at the theater at MSG. That was an epic fight.

Dan Rafael
  (2:16 PM)

Underrated fight. I was there. Watching Lopez just to survive the last 2 rounds was incredible. He was looking at the big screens to see how much time was left.

p71 (hartford)

Is it me or is no one mentioning that Cotto-Marquez now exists in the realm of possibilities?

Dan Rafael
  (2:21 PM)

It's not totally out of the question if Cotto would go down to 150ish and JMM would come up a few pounds. That said, personally, I FAR MORE want to see Martinez-Cotto.

Dave, NJ [via mobile]

What were you and Lampley talking about while you were drinking the Sprite?

Dan Rafael
  (2:25 PM)

A) We weren't drinking the @Sprite. B) That's classified.

Nelson (NYC)

In Vegas for the fight, I just saw Gary Russell Jr. hanging out with TBD at a bar in Caesars.

Dan Rafael
  (2:25 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Ruben (El Centro, CA)

Dan has Wilfredo Vasquez Sr ever been on the ballot for the hall of fame?

Dan Rafael
  (2:28 PM)

Yes, he is on the ballot and has been for several years.

David (OAk Brook)

Love the piece on: NAZ vs Marquez, wish it would of happened

Marc (Malden, MA)

How has the boxing community treated Cruz? There are a number of pro athletes who aren't exactly accepting.

Dan Rafael
  (2:31 PM)

None of the boxing people I know give a damn that he's gay.

Brandon (Los Angeles)

Hey Dan, how much bad blood is between Martinez and Cotto? I heard something about Sergio feeling dissed by cotto a while back at an event. Should make for a good 24/7

Dan Rafael
  (2:32 PM)

Sergio felt disrespected by Cotto a few years ago but I don't know if it's true "bad blood."

Jimmy (Arlington, Va)

Have you seen any signs of Bob Arum slowing down? That guy seems to never run out of steam.

Dan Rafael
  (2:34 PM)

Arum is in his 80s and has more energy than a lot of people in their 30s. He is an amazing person, love him or hate him.

Nerky (Memphis)

Dan, have you ever spoken to a high school journalism class about your experience in sportswriting? Would that be something you'd ever want to do?

Dan Rafael
  (2:34 PM)

Never have but never been asked.

Austin (PDX)

Marc killed it with his comment. The Klitchko's fighting over Hayden., simply amazing.

Tom (Yonkers, NY)

Dan which Dec 7th NY-NJ proposed show do you plan on attending? Zab-Paulie or the HBO tripleheader with Rigo-Agbeko?

Dan Rafael
  (2:36 PM)

I dont have to decide yet. I'll wait to see the finalized cards but I will be somewhere Dec. 7 watching fights.

Jacob (Clovis, CA)

Dan, like you, I too am a baseball and boxing fanatic. I literally would have paid $1,000 to sit down and listen to the Colonel and Larry Merchant tell their old stories. The only thing that could have made this better is the quintessential raconteur himself, Bert Sugar, was there. Seriously, how much fun was it to sit down those guys?

Dan Rafael
  (2:37 PM)

As I wrote in my blog, it was a blast. I have sat and talked with both of them too many times to count both in person and on the phone, but sit and listen to their stories together was a blast.

Dan Rafael
  (2:38 PM)

Thanks for chatting Fight Freaks. Weigh-in is on ESPN.com at 6 pm ET/3 pm PT. Hope you enjoy the fights and remember to check out all of our coverage and the new blogs and follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the show tomorrow night. Have a great weekend and talk to you next week from Denver, where I will be covering Alvarado-Provodnikov. Peace.