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December 27, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Rafael

Dan Rafael
  (12:00 PM)

Greetings Fight Freaks and welcome to the 52nd and final chat of 2013! Been quite a year. Hope you are enjoying our 12 Days of Fights series. No. 1 is up now. Plenty of fights coming up too, even if there is nothing going on this holiday weekend. But still still plenty to discuss. Let's get to it.

Mauro Ranallo (Somewhere)

This is the last chat of the year in what has been a really, really great year for chats!!! Maybe the best year for chats ever!!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:00 PM)

Pipe down.

lee (philippines)

gamboa vs mikey garcia ... who is the underdog ???

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

If it happens, Gamboa would be the underdog IMO.

Chris (Brooklyn, NY)

Any chance of some kinda tv or steam here in the US for GGG's next fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

At the moment, there isn't any. Hopefully that will change.

Seth (Manhattan Beach)

Dan - have you ever noticed how Mayweather fans defend his point of view for not making the Pacquiao fight? Its like they don't want to see them fight happen either. IMO the excuses have run dry, its way past time they got it on.

Dan Rafael
  (12:01 PM)

Obv.

EmE (LF)

What's next for Kiko Martinez after his Mathebula beatdown?. Do you see a fight with Rigondeaux marketable in the U.S.? I think he has the style to make that fight interesting.

Dan Rafael
  (12:04 PM)

The Martinez camp told me he most likely will stay in Europe for his next fight, where he can make better money than coming to the US. A Rigondeaux fight is totally out of the question in my view. Nobody wants to see it. It wouldn't mean one thing at any site in the US. HBO has no plans to air Rigo's next fight and, by the way, it's a guaranteed loss to Martinez. Martinez will stay in Europe and look to make a big fight with Carl Frampton or perhaps a unification with Scott Quigg. Both good money fights for him with a lot better chance to win than against Rigo.

Pablo Villanueva (Waco, Tx)

Dan,Why did HBO boxing lose their edge? It seems as if Showtime boxing took over in one night. Can you say Floyd Mayweather has everything to do with it?

Dan Rafael
  (12:05 PM)

Showtime showed big gains in viewership this year. Part of it was the programming around Floyd and his replays. Part of it was that its exclusive relationship with Golden Boy lef to GB making all kinds of top-notch fights. HBO, however, still retains a major advantage in overall viewership, which it should since it is in about 7 million more households.

Walter Magnusson (Worcester, Ma.)

Hi Dan. I was wondering what your opinion is on a Heavyweight prospect I've been following for a few years now Robert Helenius?

Dan Rafael
  (12:07 PM)

Was once a good prospect and lower part of the top 10 contender. Then looked horrible in a series of fights (some of which I called as part of the broadcast team on Epix) and got injured. He just never got much better, never looked in top shape and seemed often to go through the motions. He's been out with injuries and promotional problems. Got a gift against Chisora. Don't think he ever becomes a top heavyweight at this point.

Chris (Brooklyn, NY)

Was 2013 a super year, regular year, inified year or an interim boxing year? Please help me figure this out!!!!!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:08 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

James law (Blackpool, England )

Dan, my Christmas present this year is 5 night stay at the MGM grand on may 1st to may 6th, specifically to see mayweather fight. What are the chances of it being pacquiao that is the latest in a long line to be schooled by floyd? (1st time questioner) (love your work)

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

There is zero chance Mayweather-Pacquiao takes place May 3.

Neville (Beverly Hills)

Any word on Mattysse or Danny Garcia's next fight

Dan Rafael
  (12:09 PM)

Nothing specific other than returns in 2014, probably in the first quarter.

Brad (Minnesota)

Dan, What in the heck is Gary Russell Jr. up to?

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

TBA.

Julian (Dallas/TX)

What would you think of Broner/Matthysse at 140? I personally like it and see it as a fight Broner would loss as well, how would you see this playing out, Dan?

Dan Rafael
  (12:10 PM)

Would love to see it.

Big T (Pennsylvania)

Dan - Practically speaking, is there any other sports job outside of boxing that would entice you to leave the sport as a profession?

Dan Rafael
  (12:11 PM)

I've never thought about it.

Neville (Beverly Hills)

Who's the leader for PACmans April fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

According to Top Rank it's Bradley or Provodnikov with Marquez saying he is not interested in a 5th fight.

William (Atlanta)

Hey Dan, what are the chances that we see a Garcia-Matthysse rematch before either of them takes another fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:12 PM)

Not happening.

Jackson (IA)

Happen to catch Floyd's Christmas card to Manny? Nice Floyd. I have a little brother that used to take a shot, then run and hide. He grew up, though...Floyd still seems 6

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

You might want to read my Twitter timeline.

Dan Rafael
  (12:13 PM)

Check out No. 2 on the 12 Days list: Klitschko vs. Klitschko: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/6928/12-days-klitschko-vs-klitschko

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

And here is No. 1 on the 12 Days list: Mayweather-Pacquiao: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/6957/12-days-mayweather-pacquiao

Marcos (Chicago)

Dan, any word on "canelo" next opponent?

Dan Rafael
  (12:14 PM)

Canelo is due back March 8 on Showtime PPV. Most likely he will face Perro Angulo.

Julian (Dallas/TX)

So apparently the Pres. of HBO does not want to have Rigo on anytime soon, I understand it is a product of his fighting style/technique but don't you think HBO would best served if they had Rigo has the opening fight or co-main event? I believe Kirkland should have headlined the last HBO fight not Rigo?

Dan Rafael
  (12:16 PM)

As an undercard against a top opponent, sure. As a main event, no way.

Big T (Pennsylvania)

Dan - From all that I've read, you're very approachable at fights as long as you're not on deadline. Do you truly enjoy meeting and talking with fans or is it just a necessary distraction that comes with the territory?

Dan Rafael
  (12:17 PM)

Of course, I enjoy meeting and talking to fight fans. Do it all the time. But like you said, dont come over 5 minutes after a fight when I'm cranking out the postfight column. Bad idea. It would be like if walked into your office while you were in the middle of something at your work.

Stanfield (Maryland)

Why the hell do we even need a Hopkins-Shumenov fight? Who gives a rat's ass?

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

LOL. I don't think anyone "needs" it. But since there are no other top light heavyweights available for BHop and Shumenov to face might as well unify their belts.

Santa Clause (North Pole)

Love Child stop asking for title shots!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child.

Wesley (San Francisco)

How dare you have an ESPN homepage that looks like a promotional poster for Pac-May. i damn near lost my mind just now.

Dan Rafael
  (12:18 PM)

LOL

Mike H (New Jersey)

Has Sergio Martinez said anything about fighting Golovkin in 2014?

Dan Rafael
  (12:20 PM)

Nothing specific. Sergi is headed to a June fight with Cotto most likely.

Greg (Nyc)

Danny boom bots...whats the delay in announcing Khan-May??? It seems like its been a done deal for a while in the eyes of the media and the fighters camps but there's a reluctance to pull the trigger?

Dan Rafael
  (12:21 PM)

Because it's not done, according to those involved. I spoke at length with Stephen Espinoza from Showtime for a story I am doing on Showtime's 2013 and looking ahead to 2014. We spoke yesterday. Stephen said 100% the fight is not done and that, in fact, Maidana is in the picture as a possible Floyd opponent too after his win over Broner. He said that win "got Floyd's attention." So maybe it will be Khan, but if Stephen and Richard Schaefer and Leonard Ellerbe are to be believed, no fight is made at this point.

Walter Magnusson (Worcester, Ma.)

Dan, What do you think are Edwin Rodriguez's plans after a dismal outing against Ward? Perhaps a move to Lt. Heavyweight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

Dont know what he does next specifically, but certainly it will be at 175.

Julian (Dallas/TX)

I recently heard Mayweather talking about how he wants Canelo on his undercard for May 3rd (specifically Canelo & Broner), do you think Schaefer makes this accomodation for Mayweather and do you think Mayweather is mentioning this because he is possibly worried about the numbers he will do in his next fight which is heavily rumored to be against Amir Khan?

Dan Rafael
  (12:22 PM)

Canelo is not going to be on Floyd's undercard. Canelo can carry (and will carry) his own promotion.

Matt (PA)

I second Wesley's comment about the promo poster!

Robert (Houston)

Dan, if Rigondeaux leaves Top Rank when his contract is over this fall...do you see GB being interested in pairing him with their fighters Santa Cruz & Mares (both would be underdogs) and would showtime be interested?

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

Rigo's contract is up this summer. As for whether GB or Showtime are interested, I have no idea. Regardless of his promoter or network, I still can't get excited about watching him.

Davis (Boston)

what would you think of Malignaggi fighting Maidana for the title on Floyds undercard and winner gets Floyd in September?

Dan Rafael
  (12:25 PM)

Not unreasonable but I doubt that scenario happens.

SENICK (GLENDALE)

Why wont the May-Pac fight happen if the WBC ordered it? Just curious

Dan Rafael
  (12:27 PM)

I explained it exactly in this Dec. 11 blog: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/6791/mayweather-pacquiao-a-pipe-dream

steve (Toronto)

Any chance GBP has the cohones to put Wilder in with Fres Oquendo. My guess is they are afraid he'll get schooled before he gets the big payday and the title shot.

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

There is no heavyweight worth anything should be fear Fres Oquendo, who is a good heavyweight but not top contender at this point.

Ray C. (SJ)

Dano, when can we expect your prospect of the year story?

Dan Rafael
  (12:28 PM)

All of the year-end awards stuff is slated to run next week thru Jan. 3. I am not sure which day prospect runs.

Seth (Manhattan Beach)

Has Malignaggi ever fought Mayweather? Seems like these guys would've fought once in the early 2000s

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Do you have Google? I should ban you.

andy (seattle)

Think Floyd is just using Mariana to get Khan's price down?

Dan Rafael
  (12:29 PM)

Maybe. It always makes sense to have alternatives to give you leverage in any deal.

E A (Australia)

Been two years since I've participated in a chat. Dan what do you think about David Haye pulling out of the Fury fight. Bogus injury or legit? Sorry I know it's old news

Dan Rafael
  (12:30 PM)

Legit injury. I think he would have destroyed Fury.

Matthias (Europe, CH)

Hey Dan, Marco Antonio Rubio is the mandatory for Martinez WBC title. Do you think, this will be a problem for a possible fight between Martinez and Cotto?

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

No. You should read my blog posts regularly, including this one from a few days ago: http://espn.go.com/blog/dan-rafael/post/_/id/6893/martinez-cotto-getting-closer

Guano Man (Puerto Rico)

Dan how about Edwin Rodriguez vs Kovalev that could be fun while it last

Dan Rafael
  (12:31 PM)

Kovalev would walk right through him.

Jason (NY)

What's the likelihood of Danny Garcia moving up to welterweight for his next fight? If he moves up, who do you think Haymon will pair him with?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

It's possible but I would suspect Danny will defend his 140 titles at least once more.

J from BK (Monroe)

When is the butterbean Chavez Jr-Vera fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:32 PM)

Supposed to be March 1.

Cowboy Tex (Visalia, Ca.)

Is is true that Rigo will be endorsing Tylenol pm?

Dan Rafael
  (12:33 PM)

I have not heard that. lol

Ben (Detroit)

Is Ward-Kovalev a possibility in 2014?...I LOOOOVE that fight.

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

Sure it's possible. Both are with HBO and Ward does plan to move up to 175 at some point.

Paulo (Philadelphia)

Dan - After winning his last fight, you wrote that RJJ continues to stay in shape and train in anticipation of a fight with Anderson Silva. Do you think that fight will really happen next?

Dan Rafael
  (12:34 PM)

Sick as it sounds, I do think there's a decent chance that it happens.

Mike (Cleveland)

Considering Freddie Roach trains both Pac and Provodnikov, how would that work. I know he would be in Pac's corner on fight night but what about before then?

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

If the fight happens (personally, I doubt it will), Freddie surely would go with Manny and Ruslan would have to get another trainer.

Brian (The Windy City)

What did you think of Tyson's Book? I just finished it.....

Dan Rafael
  (12:35 PM)

Haven't read it.

Jevin (Dallas)

Hey Dan! What ever happened to Randall Bailey? Is he retired?

Dan Rafael
  (12:36 PM)

He threw about 5 punches in his loss to Devon and then fought a shmear a few weeks ago and won.

Big T (Pennsylvania)

Dan - I've watched all of Keith Thurman's recent fights and, although he definitely is talented, I'm skeptical that he is an emerging elite fighter. What are your thoughts on his potential?

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

He has potential to be a major star because he can punch, he has heart and he has a very appealing personality. They need to be smart matching him, but he has a lot of potential to make big money.

Rick (Los angeles)

Why isn't anyone talking about maidana vs mayweather? Do you think maidana can give Floyd the same PROBLEM he gave broner

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

In fact, a lot of people are.

Hatton (UK)

There is still only one!!

Dan Rafael
  (12:37 PM)

If you are talking about Ricky, correct. Can't be so sure about Matthew.

Chris (Los Angeles, CA)

Who fights someone with a pulse first? Russell Jr. or Wilder?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

Stop insulting fighters with pulses.

Davis (Boston)

Mayweather has promoted himself as a defensive genius and with the 0 in the loss column. As much of a marketing genius Floyd is do you think he could do the same to Rigo?

Dan Rafael
  (12:38 PM)

No, because Rigo has a sour personality, zero charisma does not speak English, which will make it hard to connect with most of the fans in the country where he wants to make money.

J from BK (Monroe)

Dan, what's going on with Kessler?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

Good question. I have reached out to his camp to check in to see what was up and have not heard back.

Mike (Cleveland)

Any interest is a James Kirkland-Curtis Stevens fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:39 PM)

That would be a fun fight.

Seth (Manhattan Beach)

googled it, they didn't fight. was just being lazy, won't happen again. Am I off the blacklist now?

Dan Rafael
  (12:40 PM)

We'll see.

Chris (Templeton, CA)

Dan, you have stated multiple times that Vladimir is an all-time great heavy. Is he in your top 10 even though he was knocked out three times by nobodies, or is he top 20? The greats didn't get starched by nobodies repeatedly.

Dan Rafael
  (12:41 PM)

First off, he was never "starched." Second, he avenged the Brewster loss. Third, he has not been touched since 2006 and has made 15 title defenses, third most in history of heavyweight boxing and held a heavyweight title for about 8 years, second longest ever.

Mac (Cleveland )

Hi Dan, Just finished reading the 12 days of Xmas wish list matchups. I really like the fact it referenced Ali versus Frazier and how they were the top 2 and they fought each other. Thats the way it is suppose to be. Mayweather will more than likely finish his career undefeated but everytime his name comes up for discussion as best ever......the conversation will include "He never fought Pac Man"

John (Deltona, Florida)

Hey Dan what are your thoughts on Kazuto Ioka who fights New Years eve...He is a sick bodypuncher & has beaten some good fighters over there in his 13 fights...

Dan Rafael
  (12:43 PM)

Love him. Very exciting Japanese titleholder. Like you said, good body puncher, very good fighter.

Matt Andrzejewski (Eastlake, OH)

Dan, any word on what other bouts will fill out the Mares-Gonzalez Showtime telecast on Feb 15th?

Dan Rafael
  (12:44 PM)

Not yet, although Schaefer has told me it likely will be a tripleheader and that Leo Santa Cruz is likely to be on the card in one of the other televised bouts.

Matt (Pittsburgh)

Any chance we see GGG vs Kirkland after Golovkin's February fight?

Dan Rafael
  (12:45 PM)

Yes. As we have discussed here before, GGG is due back on HBO in April if all goes well in Feb and Kirkland could be his opponent.

T. Morrison (Denver)

Why has Top Rank continued to put on poor undercards for PPV events? Their cards overall haven't been strong in a while.

Dan Rafael
  (12:46 PM)

I wish I knew. But you are right -- the PPV undercards have been really weak lately. The Macau undercard for Pacquiao-Rios was a disgrace.

Abel Deleon (Empire) (San Antonio, TX)

Dan the Man!!! How do you rate the way San Antonio has become a boxing hot bed??? We love all the fights down here in TEXAS!!! Golden Boy and Mike Battah Jesse James Leija have done a great job, what is the next major city to become a market next year?

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

Agreed. San Antonio is one of the the best fight cities I have been to. Fans are great there and they have turned out nicely for the fights big and small. And I agree, Leija and Battah have done a really good job there.

Chris (Templeton, Ca)

Vlad was never starched? Sanders did not starch Vlad? Dude, what is a starching if that wasn't a starching? Good grief.

Dan Rafael
  (12:47 PM)

He got up. Starched is when you dont get up.

JDog (Dallas)

Do you think Mayweather always tries finds an excuse to not fight Pacman? Is he scared?

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

He's been finding excuses for years.

Tor Hamer (Obscurity)

I'm done with this chat.

Dan Rafael
  (12:48 PM)

You're fired.

Mateo (Bay Area)

What's next for Margarito?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

So Freaks, should I ban him?

Big T (Pennsylvania)

Dan - Andre Ward presents as a positive role model for the sport but seems to have gotten some bad press recently for his promotional legal issues, refusal to participate in random drug testing for the Rodriguez fight, etc. What is your take on this and do you believe that any hit in his image is somewhat self-inflicted?

Dan Rafael
  (12:50 PM)

I do think whatever negatives about Andre that some people hold have been a bit self-inflicted.

Mike (Miami)

Dan, what do you think of Jean Pascal fighting either Kovalev or Stevenson?

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

I think he better focus on the Bute fight first.

Frank Booth (Lumberton, NC)

Has Jim Gray been permanently replaced by Barry Tompkins...? *rubs rabbit foot*

Dan Rafael
  (12:51 PM)

No. Jim was in San Antonio for the Broner-Maidana card but had to leave on Saturday unexpectedly because of a family emergency.

Dave (San Jose)

Dan, I put off proposing to my girlfriend a week so I could watch the Broner-Maidana fight in peace. Freak status?

Dan Rafael
  (12:52 PM)

Not bad.

Brandon (San Diego)

BAAAAAAAANNNNN HIIIIIIIIMMMMMM

Chris (Las Vegas)

Why do people never mention that Floyd called Pacman direct before he went to prison to try and schedule a fight and Pacman did not want it to happen hence Floyd fought Cotto.

Dan Rafael
  (12:53 PM)

You're forgetting the part where Floyd wanted to pay Manny a fee -- basically take him as an expense -- rather than cut him in for a substantial and deserved percentage of the promotion. Pacquiao was right to turn down that sucker offer. It was an "offer" that Mayweather knew Pacquiao would never accept. Besides, Pacquiao was under contract to Top Rank and could not just accept it without Top Rank's involvement.

Dre (Miami, FL)

Stephen A. Smith seems to think that 40Ms that Floyd was offering Manny was a good deal.....

Dan Rafael
  (12:54 PM)

My buddy Stephen is allowed to be wrong.

Chris (Templeton, Ca)

Don't ban the Margarito guy. Your reaction to his further questions will make my year! Get him!

Matt (LA)

What is the reason GGG's team can't find a US TV home for his next fight? Asking price too high?

Dan Rafael
  (12:56 PM)

HBO has certain exclusivity to American TV rights to GGG and unless HBO allows another outlet to carry the fight it won't be seen here. That is my understanding.

Woody (Los Angeles)

What happend to the heavyweight David Rodriguez?

Dan Rafael
  (12:57 PM)

He got knocked out in his recent fight.

Corey (Louisville)

Dan, I can't understand how someone could not be impressed with Keith Thrumans last fight. Besides some defensive flaws, guy has incredible offense and most impressively seemed to have an engine that just wouldn't stop. Excellent shape, obviously taking everything seriously.

Duke (nj)

Reading your great "12 Days" piece today. Your article today says FMM/MP is the "biggest fight boxing has to offer, by far". Hypothetical question: Would a Klitschko/Klitschko fight compare? And, if so, how many buys would it do?

Dan Rafael
  (12:58 PM)

It wouldn't compare because the US is BY FAR the dominant PPV market and a Floyd-Manny fight would be far bigger than the Klitschko fight here. Not even close.

Talleyrand (Denver, CO)

40 million out of potentially 200 million is not a good deal

Ricky (NYC)

Dan How good was Salvador Sanchez? My dad always talks about him when we talk boxing

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

One of the best ever.

Gerson (Brooklyn)

Hey Danimal, What's next for Kid Chocolate? Danny Jacobs?

Dan Rafael
  (1:00 PM)

They may end up facing each other in 2014.

David (Dallas)

I know we all enjoyed Groves vs Froch and everyone believes Groves deserves a rematch, but what about a Froch vs Kessler 3 and Groves vs Ward (per Ward's tweets)?

Dan Rafael
  (1:02 PM)

I do think there should be Froch-Groves 2. There is absolutely no reason for Froch-Kessler 3. As for Ward-Groves, I said a few weeks ago I liked the idea and I wrote something about that today for a blog that should be posted shortly.

Hugo (Sanchez)

What's up with Omar Panterita Figueroa? Is my prospect of the year fighting anytime soon?

Dan Rafael
  (1:02 PM)

He had that very brutal fight with Arikawa and injured his hands, so he took off the rest of the year. He should be back in the early part of 2014, according to Richard Schaefer.

Juan (San Diego )

So why wouldn't Pacs legacy also note "never fought Floyd"? I mean he fought Clottey instead of Floyd, and has had multiple rematches instead of taking on new challenges.

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

First off, it will. But more people blame Floyd for not making the fight over the course of this soap opera than Manny, whose side shares blame but overall less of it. It has also reached the point where Pacquiao has accepted random testing and is OK with taking less than 50-50 but that is still not good enough for Floyd. I think those are the reasons.

Wallace Spector (UK)

Apparently Murray-Fletcher will be for the WBA interim belt now. The same 'title' that Chudinov won last week. Isn't that a bit of a Rocchigiani-Jones-WBC scenario if they sanction it?

Dan Rafael
  (1:04 PM)

I have no idea. The WBA is a wretched, corrupt organization that is a joke.

Billy (NY)

Mayweather-Khan is DOA on PPV. It better be Maidana.

Dan Rafael
  (1:05 PM)

I wouldn't say DOA but I dont think Floyd vs. Khan is THAT big of a fight on PPV.

Willie the Worm (East Tn.)

I never understood Floyd's reluctance to fight Manny I always thought he would win

Joel (Queens, NY)

I think you are being a bit unfair to Rigo for his performance in the Agbeko fight. Agbeko usually throws a million punches per round and once he felt Rigo's power he got scared and just ran. He deserves most of the blame.

Dan Rafael
  (1:06 PM)

Of course, Agbeko deserves some blame. But I have my opinion and you can have yours.

Chris (Los Angeles, CA)

Wow. Pacquiao fans aren't the sharpest tools in the shed but Floyd fans are beyond delusional.

David (Dallas)

Dan,Any insider info on Martinez taking a tune-up fight before he takes on Cotto? I know nothing is finally, but based on what we're reading it seems like it will happen. If you are Martinez do you want to come off an injury and jump in the ring with Cotto? Feels like a big mistake

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

There will be no tune-up fight. Period.

Mike (Cleveland)

Do you know if HBO will be showing the Bryant Jennings- Artur Spillka fight on the Mikey Garcia undercard? Fight probably wont last 5 rounds but will be fun.

Dan Rafael
  (1:07 PM)

Yes, that fight will open the televised doubleheader.

Rafael (Yonkers, NY)

Floyd VS Khan is a Joke...At least Maidana has a puncher's chance....Khan does not belong in the same ring with Floyd.

Roger (OH)

Sadly, I was under the impression that Murray/Fletcher was for the WBA "Regular" title, while Chudinov just won the "interim" belt at 160, and GGG holds the "Super" title. I feel like I owe Gilbertico a small sanctioning fee just for knowing all this garbage.

Alex (Florida)

I know it will never happen but what do you think of Danny Garcia vs Tim Bradley?

Dan Rafael
  (1:08 PM)

That would be a good matchup.

carlos (staten island new york)

rubio is ranked no.1 again who did he beat to get there

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

#wbcisdisgusting

Duke (nj)

Look at all the Floyd-haters and Manny-haters you woke up with your article today! lol

David (Dallas)

Fingers crossed, Stevenson vs Kovalev in 2014!

Dan Rafael
  (1:09 PM)

Ditto.

Alexandre (Montreal)

Dan, do you agree with people who say the quality of opposition Kovalev fought rivals who Stevenson has faced in 2013 ? I don't. Looking at what each opponent has accomplished before facing them, Stevenson fought the better group in my opinion ...

Dan Rafael
  (1:10 PM)

I agree. Kovalev is a beast but I dont thin he faced the level of opponents that Stevenson did.

Mike (Cleveland)

Chris, watch the Kovalev-Sillakh replay. Thats the definition of a starching.

Seth (Manhattan Beach)

Had an argument with a Mayweather sycophant the other day. He said Mayweather is the G.O.A.T because of his record and his career earnings... do you believe this crappola.

Dan Rafael
  (1:11 PM)

No. Tell your friend he is a moron.

Mark (Chicago)

Do you think Chad Dawson will ever be in a meaningful fight again?

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

He may be in one. Whether he wins it is a different story.

Dave, NJ [via mobile]

Will Pacquiao fighting at MGM April 12 hurt the Floyd promotion, gate, PPV, etc. since he is fighting there 3 weeks later?

Dan Rafael
  (1:13 PM)

I doubt it. They both have their own fan bases.

PeteNice (Philly)

Dan, is 2014 the year Mike Jones comes out of hibernation?

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

Who cares?

No One Ever (No where)

I would love to see Floyd fight Khan

Dan Rafael
  (1:14 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Brandon (Delaware)

I am very frustrated that Juan Manuel Marquez refuses to fight Manny Pacquiao for a 5th time when Manny gave him 4 fights and once Marquez wins one fight he wants to pack up his chips and go home, what are your thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (1:15 PM)

I see where JMM is coming from. He believes he won all four and got the KO in No. 4. If he doesn't want to fight Manny again, so be it. Life goes on.

Juan (San Diego)

Virgin Hunter talking about how Khan's speed would create a problem for Floyd: Is he hyping a potential fight, or does he have a point? Khan IS pretty fast..

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

Maybe Virgil believes it. But every trainer who ever had a fighter go against Floyd says stuff on why he thinks his fighter will win. To me, Khan has no chance against Floyd. None. Zero. Speed whatever. Floyd has speed too. Floyd has faced fighters who were fast before. Khan's speed didnt help him vs. Garcia. Or Prescott. Or even Peterson.

Rocco (New York)

Any set date yet on Burns/Crawford fight, and who you pickin.

Dan Rafael
  (1:18 PM)

Date isn't set yet, but probably Feb/March.

Keith (PA)

Dan, has their even been a big fight on New Years Eve/Day? I just figure that with most of the population home celebrating, it would be a good draw.

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

Actually, there are two major cards in Japan on New Year's Eve. It has become a bit of a tradition the past few years in Japan.

Anthony (Chicago)

Jorge Linares is pretty fast too. Let's put him in there with Floyd!

Dan Rafael
  (1:19 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

Reid (Cleveland)

Dan - what about an eventual Porter v Broner fight here in Ohio?

Dan Rafael
  (1:20 PM)

I like it. I actually mentioned it to Schaefer.

Anthony (Chicago)

I like Marquez, but he can be a big baby. A big baby who drinks his own urine.

Dan Rafael
  (1:21 PM)

He is the biggest baby ever when it comes to losses.

Nick (Michigan)

Any update on who Floyd's fighting next Dan?

Dan Rafael
  (1:22 PM)

Not Pacquiao.

J from BK (In-law's living room)

will the Ward litigation delay his next fight, possibly til the 2nd half of 2014?

Dan Rafael
  (1:23 PM)

It's possible. Hopefully, not though.

SHM (Shirley, NY)

Do you think if Pacquiao was more vociferous in his dislike for Floyd and expressed it by calling Floyd out as being afraid that that would somehow get Floyd to get in the ring with him?

Dan Rafael
  (1:24 PM)

Maybe, but that is not Manny's personality.

Charlie (Chicago, IL)

When the media, whether ESPN or some other outlet, get word of a potential fight (May-Khan, Canelo vs Angulo/Molina), is it usually actually being negotiated, or are the promoters/networks simply putting the idea out there to gauge interest?

Dan Rafael
  (1:25 PM)

Depends on the fight. Both happen.

Mike (PA)

Hey Dan, with all of these so called belts, do you know (by name) every current champion in every weight class or do you have to research it sometimes?

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

I know most of them but there are times I need to look one up, which is one reason I keep this page up to date: http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/boxing/champions

Tim (Alexandria)

Ward seems bent on squandering his prime in a courtroom rather than a ring ...

Dan Rafael
  (1:26 PM)

Or on the injured list. It's too bad.

Steven (Chicago)

Just an FYI I am now just catching back up on the chat and see you think GGG is due back in April not June.

Dan Rafael
  (1:27 PM)

GGG fights in Feb. If all goes well he will be back in April on HBO.

Andrew (Carson)

Do you see B-Hop vs Ward in the near future?

Dan Rafael
  (1:28 PM)

No. BHop is on Showtime, Ward is on HBO.

Kevin (Oakland, CA)

Is it just me or does Andre Ward think he's a much bigger star than he actually is? I don't see any scenario where breaking from his long time promoter leads to instant riches for him.

Dan Rafael
  (1:31 PM)

It's not just you.

Notorious JTB (Chicago)

Math time: TR + GB = No fight. HBO GB = No fight. TR Showtime = No fight.

Dan Rafael
  (1:31 PM)

Class dismissed.

KW (Work)

Who's next for Kell Brook?

Dan Rafael
  (1:31 PM)

He's the mandtory for Porter.

Byczko (Worcester, MA)

Danimal, Whats the update on Adamek?!?

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

Main Events told me it will try to reschedule the fight with Glazkov.

Jackson (IA)

I will give him this...Khan IS fast. Very fast. He goes from his feet to his back as fast as anyone I've seen...

Dan Rafael
  (1:32 PM)

PAY THE MAN, SHIRLEY!

Eric (Los Angeles)

So say you're on the can and get a call from Bob Arum, do you answer?

Dan Rafael
  (1:33 PM)

Of course. Obviously, there will be a lot of crap flowing. :)

Chris (Templeton, Ca)

Do you think part of B-Hops late success is match making? An aging Leonard fought Norris and Camacho and suffered for it. B-Hop appears to be going after slower guys who come to him.

Dan Rafael
  (1:34 PM)

Geee, good matchmaking being important? Wow. Welcome to boxing.

Evan (Toronto )

Do you think there is any possible way to ever get the klitschos to fight each other?

Dan Rafael
  (1:35 PM)

No. I am as sure that they will never fight that I am as sure that this is the last chat of the year.

Slater (West by God Virginia)

earlier in the chat you said "dont come over 5 minutes after a fight when I'm cranking out the postfight column. Bad idea. It would be like if walked into your office while you were in the middle of something at your work." LOL you do realize this chat every Friday interrupts everyones workday

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

Yes, but nobody is forcing you to follow it live.

Joe (Frankfurt)

Who is your fighter of the year and why is it Tor Hamer?

Dan Rafael
  (1:36 PM)

Epic.

Keivan (San Diego)

Where do you put Bernard Hopkins on the all time list?

Dan Rafael
  (1:37 PM)

Of what? Middleweights? Over 40 fighters? Guys who talk a lot? Guys who are frugal with their money?

Chris (Oxnard)

Does Kell Brook have a big following in the UK?

Dan Rafael
  (1:38 PM)

He's drawn like 10k crowds to his recent fights, so I'd say yes.

Mike (Philadelphia)

Dan, HBO and Showtime worked together to make Tyson vs Lewis happen. Why can't they make the big fights happen now?

Dan Rafael
  (1:40 PM)

That was the exception to the rule and it happened for a variety of reasons. Lennox REALLY wanted the fight and lobbied hard for HBO to make it happen as he was under exclusive contract. Tyson was under exclusive contract to Showtime but also owed Showtime MILLIONS of dollars and the only way Showtime could get its money back was to make the fight. They had financial pressures to make it happen. It was a very very very difficult and complex deal and it almost didn't happen because Tyson attacked Lennox at the kickoff presser and bit him.

Keith H (Seattle)

Dieter, where are you? It's the last chat of the year and it's about that time...

Rude (LA) [via mobile]

Hopefully the new year brings back the old hbo WCB and BAD music more legendary nights

Dan Rafael
  (1:41 PM)

Amen. And let's send the truck to the scrap heap.

MacDaddy (Philly)

B-Hp - Middleweights - #2; Over 40 fighters #1; Guys who talk alot = top 10; guys wha are Frugal = Super diamaond unified galctic cham-peen

Tom (Havre de Grace, MD)

any recent boxing card purchases? did the Mrs treat you at Christmas with a new addition to the collection?

Dan Rafael
  (1:43 PM)

Haven't found anything interesting lately but I did add a site poster from the Ray Mancini-Du Koo Kim fight to my collection.

Justin (Seattle)

DTM, am I the only Freak who would buy a PPV of the old footage or Wlad and Vitali sparring?

Dan Rafael
  (1:44 PM)

LOL. I'd love to see that, although I have heard about it from the brothers.

Dieter (From Sprockets)

Ho Ho Ho, Dieter Claus has arrived with gifts for everyone. ... and, most importantly, the gift that keeps on giving in the weekly boxing chat -- the announcement that NOW is the time in the chat when we DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julian (Dallas/TX)

In the Tyson/Lennox situation, where did the fight end up taking place, HBO, SHOW or did both have advertisements throughout the fight?

Dan Rafael
  (1:47 PM)

They did a joint PPV telecast that was not branded by either company, simply the the name of the fight. The live PPV was called by Jim Lampley (HBO commentator) and Bobby Czyz (then the Showtime analyst). But each network also had another crew at ringside to call the fight for the rebroadcast a week later. The company whose fighter won the fight got the rights to the replay. So Lennox won and HBO showed the replay, called by Fran Charles (then a backup HBO announcer) and Larry Merchant. Showtime's replay was called by Steve Albert (then the Showtime blow by blow) and Sugar Ray Leonard. It never aired, although I do have a copy of that version of the fight in my DVD collection.

Damien (Sacramento )

I rather see floyd fight maidana and then let khan and broner fight

Davis (Boston)

where can I go to find recent boxing posters like Malignaggi-Judah or Broner-Maidana?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

Ebay perhaps. Also check SPboxing.com.

Keivan (San Diego)

Which fighter do you think showed the most progress in his abilities in 2013?

Dan Rafael
  (1:50 PM)

Off the top of my head, I would say Keith Thurman.

Keith (Clifton Park)

I saw Floyd's Christmas card and thought it was pathetic. I don't remember a fighter going to those extremes to insult another that he has no intention of fighting. It really made Floyd look like a child. Actually, I have a 4 year old daughter and calling Floyd a child is an insult to her and all kids.

David (Houston)

Is there no merit to getting a press pass? Are they given out like Halloween candy or something? I see so many people that get them but don't write anything ever.

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

You're right and it is out of hand.

Aaron (PA)

Greetings from PA Dan.. Who will win in thier primes? Sugar ray Lenord or Floyd

Dan Rafael
  (1:52 PM)

SRL.

Alex (Sonora)

Great 12 days on May-Pac! Does this dream fight warrant a "legendary nights: What coulve been" ? LOL i know we should get them for the fights that did happen but My Lord (Stephen A. Voice) it will make for a great soap opera

Dan Rafael
  (1:53 PM)

Being serious, if the fight never happens, or even if it does, it would warrant a book or docu.

Aldo (Waco, TX)

Hows it going DTM? Which brand of boxing card do you prefer? My wife just got me a bunch of KAYO boxing cards for Christmas. Was wondering what you thought of that brand of cards? Thanks!

Dan Rafael
  (1:54 PM)

They're cool from several years ago but were way overproduced.

J in FLA (Cocoa, FL)

And the 2013 Francisco Bojado Award for biggest waste of talent goes to...

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

TBA... I mean Gary Russell, who let another year go by without fighting a remotely solid opponent. He fought only twice against nobodies.

Gabe (Texas)

Your ignorance towards Rigondeaux is stunning. Brilliant boxing tactician.

Dan Rafael
  (1:55 PM)

You are the ignorant one. I have never ever ever once said he was not a brilliant boxer. What I have said is that I personally do not enjoy watching him, which is my opinion. There is a difference even if you are too dumb to understand that.

Roger (OH)

I don't know that Dan's ever disputed the fact that Rigo is a brilliant boxing tactician and technician. All I've ever heard him say, is that Rigo makes boring fights.

Aldo (Waco, TX)

Damn it Gabe!!! Making us Texans look BAD! Ban him Dan!

Mike (DC)

Anything new on the Stiverne-Arreola negotiations? Or is it likely headed to purse bid?

Dan Rafael
  (1:57 PM)

Nothing new with the holidays and all. I suspect it will wind up at a purse bid.

Dan Rafael
  (2:02 PM)

I'm back Freaks. Have to share with you what I just received in the Bat Email.

Dan Rafael
  (2:05 PM)

Having trouble pasting the entire release but honored to let you know that I won the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award for "Excellence in Boxing Journalism." I'll be honored along with all the other 2013 award winners at the 2014 annual dinner. Big honor for me and I am very proud of it.

Ryan (St. Paul)

Congrats DTM, hard work! dedication!

Tommy (Detroit)

Congrats! That is pretty awesome.

Mike (Cleveland)

CONGRATS DAN!!!!!! Well deserved

Dan Rafael
  (2:06 PM)

Thank you! I'm really excited about it.

Dan Rafael
  (2:07 PM)

But the chat must continue!!! Awards cant get in the way of the Fight Freaks!!!

J from BK (The In-law's living room)

Dan is this the interim award, regular award, or super award?

Dan Rafael
  (2:07 PM)

PAY THE MAN, SHIRLEY!!!

Joydeep (Philippines)

What would rather watch, roy jones vs anderson silva or mayweather vs khan?

Dan Rafael
  (2:08 PM)

I'd have to say Floyd-Khan.

Big T (Pennsylvania)

Dan - No sanctioning fee involved in that honor; correct?

Dan Rafael
  (2:08 PM)

LOL, no.

CJ Ross (Cluelessville)

I disagree with you receiving this award.

Ryu (Japan)

Congratulations! Adrien Broner needs to brush your hair!

Keith (Clifton Park)

I know you originally covered baseball but was covering boxing always your professional life's ambition?

Dan Rafael
  (2:10 PM)

No, it wasn't. I started my career covering prep sports and some lower level college sports and minor league baseball. I hoped one day I could work at a big paper and maybe cover an MLB team.

Jesse (Downey)

Does the award make you the mandatory for Mayweather?

Dan Rafael
  (2:10 PM)

Pay the man, Shirley!

KW (Work)

Will you have the Watson twins behind you when accepting the award?

Jose Sulaiman (Mexico City)

Congrats on the award. Please abdicate it so we can sanction Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. to receive it instead.

Jason (Kansas City)

Dan, you mentioned Arakawa earlier......do we see him anytime in the near future?

Dan Rafael
  (2:11 PM)

Have not heard anything about him since the loss to Omar Figueroa but I know I'd like to see him back in a good lightweight bout.

Angel Garcia (Philly)

You don't know sh!t about journalism! They don't know sh!t about journalism! I know everything!

C.M. (Toronto)

Congrats on winning the BWAA award. And on the same day I was just about to honour you with the Dan Rafael Award for "Excellence in Boxing Chatting" for your 13th consecutive year!

William (Atlanta)

Gamboa has been working with Floyd Sr. lately. Is there a real chance of him getting Mikey Garcia in the near future?

Dan Rafael
  (2:13 PM)

It's possible but Mikey has a fight first next month against JC Burgos.

David (Dallas)

20 bucks says Arum gives Dan the finger when he accepts his award

ed (northridge)

Dan, what kind of award is it, is that prestigious?

Dan Rafael
  (2:13 PM)

It's the one major award the BWAA gives to a writer. It's a career achievement award. You can only win it once and it is voted on only by past winners.

Wesley (San Francisco)

and NEWWWWW CHAM-PEEN! congrats, Dan!

David (Dallas)

So who are some the past winners you share this achievement with?

Dan Rafael
  (2:16 PM)

Kevin Iole, Tim Smith, Dave Anderson, Wallace Matthews, Michael Katz, Ed Schuyler, George Kimball, etc...

Floyd Mayweather (Las Vegas, Nv)

Awards don't mean anything! At the end of the day I'm still the best! 45 have tried and all have come up short. Your no exception Dan

Notorious JTB (Chicago)

Congrats Dan. Will you get your award before or after Max Kellerman gets his "Rigo #1 Fanboy Award"?

Dan Rafael
  (2:16 PM)

LOL

Ricky (NYC )

Dan your skills pay the bills

WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF (Hell)

We are here to collect on your award Dan.

Dave (Cincinnati, OH)

Saw Grudge Match on Christmas. Entertaining, but I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the Golden Boy Promotions logo on the fight poster for an HBO event! A Christmas miracle!!

Dan Rafael
  (2:20 PM)

LOL. I heard the movie is a good comedy. I need to see it.

Jacob (Kansas City)

Any update on Chad Dawson's return?

Dan Rafael
  (2:22 PM)

No, but he has signed with Haymon.

jay (windy city)

dan dont u think its kinda funny when max kellerman talks bout old fighters like joe louis sugar ray robinson an henry armstrong jus to name a few when he probally wasnt even born, must try an watch some of there fights on utube

Dan Rafael
  (2:24 PM)

I talk about them too. So what if we weren't born? You can watch videos, read books and magazines about them, talk to old timers who did see them. You think every baseball writer who talks about Ruth or Mantle actually saw them play? Silly comment.

Daniel (Pennsylvania)

How do you think Jermain Taylor would do against someone like Felix Sturm?

Dan Rafael
  (2:25 PM)

They fought in the 2000 Olympics and Taylor won.

Martín Anderson (Chicago,Il. 60618)

Do you think Cotto has a shot against Martinez?

Dan Rafael
  (2:25 PM)

Definitely.

Notorious JTB (Chicago)

When is the BWAA dinner? We should organize a party/get together/roast, with a live chat and Dieter leads us in a live dance! We'll pay Shirley our deposits/sanctioning fees. Just let us know how much.

Dan Rafael
  (2:27 PM)

Dinner is not set yet. Could be in Vegas around the Mayweather fight or in NYC around the June Cotto fight.

Mike (DC)

What fight are you most looking forward to that's on the calendar for Q1?

Dan Rafael
  (2:28 PM)

I dont think there is anything scheduled just yet that really has me pumped up but I am looking forward to Pascal-Bute and the Gonzalez-Mares rematch so far. But the entire quarter is not even set yet.

Ron (Raleigh)

Where else will Pacquiao get $40 million from? A bird in the hand is better than one in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.

Dan Rafael
  (2:29 PM)

You so dont get it.

Juan (hayward, ca)

just don't let Jim Lampley introduce you, he'll get emotional and cry

Dan Rafael
  (2:29 PM)

LOL!!!!

David (Dallas)

Could a Keith Thurman vs Marcos Maidana find itself on the undercard of the next Mayweather fight or does that cost too much?

Dan Rafael
  (2:29 PM)

That would be a great fight. I dont think it's too expensive for that but it's a great main event on its own.

Rob (Seattle)

Will there be strippers at the banquet? Tecate girls?

Dan Rafael
  (2:30 PM)

LOL, I dont plan it.

kaipo (hawai'i)

Isnt it kinda funny how every museum tour guide talks abouy dinosaurs like they know them and they werent even born to witness them? Oh those idiots.

Mike (Chicago)

Any possibility Danny Garcia takes a nontitle fight at 147 in anticipation of a possible Mayweather fight in 2014?

Dan Rafael
  (2:32 PM)

I guess it is possible.

Rags (NYC)

Am I wrong to view Martinez as a slight underdog to Cotto at this point?

Dan Rafael
  (2:34 PM)

I think there will be a lot of folks who pick each guy. But I dont think you can make Martinez the underdog in my view.

Davidovich (Los Angeles)

Dan, How realistic do you think it is that we see a return to form for Martinez after his healing period?

Dan Rafael
  (2:35 PM)

I doubt he will ever be back to when he was at his best but he should never have taken the Murray fight like he did. Had not healed Now he has had a lot of time off to recover.

Pete (Texas)

Where the chat freaks the first to know about your award or is there someone else you told first?

Dan Rafael
  (2:37 PM)

I knew a few days ago, so I told my wife and my mother and my agent! (In that order.)

Carlos (Chicago)

Dan, Floyd has been tweeting A LOT about pacquiao this last week. Kind of pointless if he doesnt plan on ever fighting him. So then what do you make the purposes of all the tweets are?

Dan Rafael
  (2:38 PM)

I'm a boxing writer, not a psychiatrist.

Bill Wishes He Was You (Ogden, Utah)

Thurman, Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia or Floyd Mayweather -- who has the best chance of having their "0" erased in 2014?

Dan Rafael
  (2:41 PM)

Obviously, it depends on who they fight. But I think Floyd keeps his 0 in 2014.

Davidovich (Los Angeles)

Dan, I don't know about you, but I love the Martinez-Cotto fight. 2 Big names who have been two of my favorites for years. They seem to be in similar places in their careers, but both still seem to have some gas in the tank, either one of them could take it, and it sure is likely it will be exciting. It's no Pac/FMM but I'm stoked for it.

Dan Rafael
  (2:41 PM)

I also LOVE it and hoped Cotto would take it instead of Canelo. I LOVE IT.

Big T (Pennsylvania)

Dan - With the induction of De La Hoya, Calzaghe and Trinidad, do you think that crowds at this year's IBHOF events could rival or surpass those for the year that Tyson and Chavez were inducted?

Dan Rafael
  (2:42 PM)

Yup, there will be a huge crowd this year for sure.

Ron Katz (Bronx)

Just called Dan on the Bat Phone offering well deserved congrats on winning Nat Fleischer Award from BWAA!!!

Dan Rafael
  (2:43 PM)

yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, ya terdsak.

Daniel (Pennsylvania)

Have you ever seen Floyd and Pacquiao in the vicinity as each other? I'm guessing they'd just pretend the other wasn't there.

Dan Rafael
  (2:43 PM)

They actually fought on the same card several years ago when Floyd defended his 130 title and Manny defedned his 122 title on an HBO show in San Francisco.

Daniel (Pennsylvania)

You think Cotto will fill out the 160 limit or come in lighter?

Dan Rafael
  (2:44 PM)

I do not know if they have agreed to a specific weight yet.

Slater (West by God Virginia)

DTM I know Chisora has called out Tyson Fury, any chance that the fight actually happens?Seems like it would be entertaining and would draw in England.

Dan Rafael
  (2:45 PM)

That would be an excellent fight for England also for the division. Chisora will fight anyone. We know that already. Fury? Not sure sure.

Bobby B (Groveton VA)

Has Martinez's career been hurt by the fact he only speaks Argentinian and not english or spanish?

Dan Rafael
  (2:47 PM)

LOL!!! In the last chat of the year you get honored for dumbest question of the year. Argentinian language? THEY SPEAK SPANISH THERE!!!

Mickey (Chicago)

Cotto-Martinez is one of those match-ups that creates serious cognitive dissonance with the freaks, 2 fighters we've all been rooting for for years but somebody's gotta lose. Good thing it's a guaranteed barn-burner.

Dan Rafael
  (2:48 PM)

Exactly. Like when two of the good guys in WWE square off!

Anthony (Chicago)

Bobby, is that a serious question?

Carlos (Dallas, TX)

Bobby wants to be banned

Julian (Dallas/TX)

WOW BOBBY....you must speak Mexican?

Juan (San Diego)

Dan, being honest, does Manny deserve a 50/50 split if they fight in the second half of 2014? His PPV numbers are not what Floyd's have been, even including the Guerrero fight. Floyd obviously brings more buys, why should Pac get 50/50?

Dan Rafael
  (2:58 PM)

At this point Manny doesnt deserve 50-50 but he deserves a hefty percentage.

Slater (West by God Virginia)

Bobby also thinks David Hayes career was hurt because he only speaks English instead of American

Mattieu (Québec)

When you attend fights in Montreal, do you speak Canadian?

Charlie (Chicago, IL)

Do you think Khans marketability over here has been hurt because he speaks British and not American?

Bill Wishes He Was You (Ogden, Utah)

Curious, do you really think Broner could make 135 anymore? I always questioned people who said Paul Williams could make 147 after he'd been out of the division for more than a year as well.

Dan Rafael
  (3:01 PM)

I think he "could" make 135 but don't see it being all that good for him. He is probably best suited at the moment to fight at 140.

Kevin (Portland, ME)

How many fights are being shown on the Pascal vs Bute card?

Dan Rafael
  (3:02 PM)

3. Pascal-Bute, Mike Perez's fight and Alvarez-Oosthuizen. HBO is showing all of them.

Julian (Dallas/TX)

LOL all these language jokes hahahah

Bobby (NYC)

I thought Chisora and Fury already fought?

Dan Rafael
  (3:02 PM)

They did. He meant a rematch,which would be good.

Mickey (Chicago)

Bobby, how do you say "banishment" in Argentinian??

Mike (Chicago)

The city of San Antonio put on two spectacular cards in 2013. Do you think San Antonio will continue to be a major site for boxing cards going forward?

Dan Rafael
  (3:05 PM)

With the right fight cards, absolutely.

Rome (Sacramento)

I just read your article on the Paquiao vs Money, it is sad that we will never watch that fight. There should be a governing body that makes that fight mandatory @ 147

Dan Rafael
  (3:08 PM)

There is but it makes no difference.

Mr. Sammy (New Orleans)

Is this Spiska guy that Jennings is fighting a step up for him?

Dan Rafael
  (3:10 PM)

I think so. Not a huge one, but a little bit.

Isaac (Chicago)

For anyone that's followed the collapse of Chicago public schools in recent years, Bobby is a prime example of a failing system in need of major overhaul.

Notorious JTB (Chicago)

2/7, FNF will be back in Chicago. Yay.

J B (San Antonio)

any chance of GGG vs mayweather 2015

Dan Rafael
  (3:10 PM)

Come on. No more of this silly question.

Cody W (Kansas)

What do you think Marcus Oliveira has to do to get another title shot? You think it will happen?

Dan Rafael
  (3:13 PM)

Oh stop. Dude fought nothing but drecks and then got an undeserved shot at a secondary rancid WBA title.

Carl (Seattle)

Is there bad blood between Martinez and Cotto?

Dan Rafael
  (3:15 PM)

I dont think so on the Cotto side but Martinez was peeved when they saw each other at an ESPN studio in Mexico and Cotto blew him off when he tried to say hello. Martinez said that ticked him off and he has wanted to fight him since.

mike (DC)

What is HBO looking at for March besides Jcc-Vera 2?

Dan Rafael
  (3:15 PM)

Salido-Lomachenko for Salido's feather belt.

mike Detroit [via mobile]

What about pacquiao vs Lara?

Dan Rafael
  (3:17 PM)

Dear Mike from Detroit -- This is to inform you that you have been left back as you have failed math. As a reminder, TR + GB = No fight. Good luck next semester. Sincerely, King Freak

Dan Rafael
  (3:19 PM)

All I can say is I am freaking laughing hard at some of the comments on Bobby and his language issues. So many hilarious curse-ridden comments I can't post.

Johnny (Riverside)

you should start these chats with TR+GB=no fight...

Dan Rafael
  (3:21 PM)

Duane Ford thinks I gave Mike a math lesson and, for once, he is right.

Carlos (Worcester MA)

Happy Holidays Dan! Why is BHop still fighting? Seems like he has a good thing going with GB. What else is he trying to prove? Become LHW king?

Dan Rafael
  (3:21 PM)

Obviously. He feels good, he enjoys it, he is winning and he is making good money.

Mr. Sammy (New Orleans)

DTM, there are three types of people in this world. Those who can count, and those who can't.

Thomas (Jackson MS)

Bigger Challenge: BHOP moving down to 160 to face Mayweather or Mayweather moving up to 165 to face BHOP?

Dan Rafael
  (3:23 PM)

Neither is ever going to happen.

Daniel (Pennsylvania)

It doesn't seem to occur to some people that some guys actually enjoy fighting. It's their prerogative to keep doing it.

J from BK (The In-law's)

Dan you deserve an award for the amount of idiotic comments you answer every week

Dan Rafael
  (3:23 PM)

Amen.

Tony (New York)

At what point does Mayweather get dropped in the p4p rankings? Roy Jones was dropped behind Tito and Mosley due to his competition, even though he never lost. Andre Ward fights much better guys than Floyd does.

Dan Rafael
  (3:26 PM)

Why would Floyd be dropped? He fought twice this year and beat top opponents with ease both times, including one outside of his weight class. Are you on drugs or still drunk from the Chistmas egg nog?

Keith H (Seattle)

For those who don't know or new Freaks, Nat Fleisher was one the founders of Ring Magazine and served as editor for over 50 years. When the list of legendary boxing writers is made, Nat by definition is the first name on the list. To have won an award with Nat's name on it, this is as big as it gets.

Dan Rafael
  (3:28 PM)

Well said and thank you.

Ceez (Bay Area )

I'm still I'm aww for Maidanas performance against Broner . I'll pay for Mayweathers fight regardless but he diff deserves the shot

Luis G (Ventura, CA)

Why isn't Wladimir ranked by the WBC? He's obviously #1 at Heavyweight. Is it all politics?

Dan Rafael
  (3:29 PM)

The alphabet mafias do not rank fighters who hold belts from rival crime families.

Keith H (Seattle)

For the last chat of the year, the whacko scale is going off the charts today...

Dan Rafael
  (3:30 PM)

If you could all only see the queue of insane comments and questions. I pains me to think that this is what humankind has become.

Mr. Sammy (New Orleans)

You should publish all of the funny/crazy questions in a book and see how warped the Freak's minds are

Dan Rafael
  (3:32 PM)

It's a family website.

Robert (Houston)

More exciting Dan....Lara or Rigondeaux?

Dan Rafael
  (3:33 PM)

Oy. Lara if I must.

LD (SATX)

Dan...you should end your last chat of the year, talking about how 2013 confirmed that "Boxing is Dead".

Jorge Garcia (Denver Co)

Who is going to be Michael Alvarado's next opponent?

Dan Rafael
  (3:34 PM)

Way too soon to say. Undetermined.

Jesse (Downey)

Any chance of Abril vs Gamboa?

Dan Rafael
  (3:35 PM)

Any chance you could play in traffic later?

Gene (Denver)

Follow up to Jorge, out of the viable opponents who do YOU want to see Alvarado against next?

Dan Rafael
  (3:36 PM)

I'd like to see the Rios rubber match and dont care that they are both coming off losss.

Love Child (Colombia)

Congrats Daddy!!!

Robert (Houston)

Tor Hammer is one thing, but Alvarado was one fighter who shouldn't have been called a quitter. He was used up and took a terrible beating...gladly only a few in the media even brought it up.

Dan Rafael
  (3:38 PM)

Hamer is a quitter flat out. Alvarado is a warrior who had taken tremendous punishment deep in a fight. Huge difference. I dont recall anyone really calling Mike a quitter. Hamer, on the othe hand, is exactly that.

Jackson (IA)

Is it kinda weird that someone who is almost certainly NOT the Love Child wrote to you and called you daddy? This chat has just been weird from the start.

Mr. Sammy (New Orleans)

You think Kid Chocolate vs. GGG would be a good fight?

Dan Rafael
  (3:39 PM)

I do.

Notorious JTB (Chicago)

We ain't quittin...last chat of the year. Last round, finish strong.

Dan Rafael
  (3:41 PM)

Frank Cappucino: Chat ain't over, chat ain't over.

Jorge Garcia (Denver Co)

Dan do you think Floyd should fight Maidana?

Dan Rafael
  (3:42 PM)

Of the available options that can be made, yes.

Juan (San Diego)

The last chat of the year is starting to take on EPIC proportions! we're nearing the completion of our 4th hour. HARD WORK! DEDICATION!

Mr. Sammy (New Orleans)

Do you think Garcia has earned a shot at Mayweather? Had Mathysse won that fight I feel he would have def been given a shot.

Dan Rafael
  (3:45 PM)

Garcia has but from what Golden Boy and Showtime say, Garcia's team does not want the Floyd fight next. So once you take him out of the picture for may, Maidana is the most deserving of opponents than a deal can realistically be made with.

Randy (Memphis, Tn)

What location will the fight in Memphis take place on 01/17/2014?Also do you think Memphis will every have anymore Championships Fights again?

Dan Rafael
  (3:46 PM)

Cook Convention Center. I would love for Memphis to get some more big fight. I've been there about five times for major fights and it is a great city. Covered fights like Lewis-Tyson, Tyson-Etienne and Taylor-Wright and Taylor-Spinks there.

Aaron (MI)

Who is more likely to fight George Groves next, Andre Ward or Carl Froch?

Dan Rafael
  (3:48 PM)

Froch is ducking the rematch big time based on his comments so I think a Ward-Froch fight is possible.

Matt Stevens (Jersey City)

Why can't HBO just stick GGG's next fight on HBO2? It'll likely end in a brutal ko, which is what viewers adore, so show the bleeping fight.

Dan Rafael
  (3:50 PM)

Agreed. I think if HBO isn't going to show it, let somebody else show it.

Jeff (Oaks)

Roman Gonzalez is one of the most underrated fighters today. Do you agree?

Dan Rafael
  (3:52 PM)

To a degree. He's very good and largely unknown but has not faced top opposition much either.

Steven (Denver)

Hey Dan, One fighter that hasn't been mentioned much is Luis Carlos Abregu and he has looked pretty good since his loss to Bradley. Did he have an injury? I wouldn't mind seeing him and Matthyse fight in 2014.

Dan Rafael
  (3:52 PM)

Yes, he had an injury that has kept him out.

Mr. Sammy (New Orleans)

Have you ever partied with any of the fighters after the fight?

Dan Rafael
  (3:54 PM)

It's been known to happen from time to time.

Rob (Westbury, NY)

Why wouldn't Danny Garcia want to fight Floyd next? He'll never be more ready and that's the biggest money fight he can possibly get.

Dan Rafael
  (3:55 PM)

I dont know the reason just that his team doesnt. I am sure Danny personally would love it.

slater (west by God Virginia)

Since the chat is nearing 4 hours im gonna start throwing out really random questions. Do you think winky wright will make thw HOF? He was supremely skilled but was inactive for long stretches of his prime

Dan Rafael
  (3:57 PM)

I do think he makes the HOF. He was one of the best in the biz for a long time. Took him a while to get some major fights and when he did he most won -- two wins against Shane, great performance against Trindad and beat some other quality opponents thru the years as well and fought all over the world. One of best defensive fighters in boxing history I'd say.

Mark (America)

Thoughts on a possible Pacquiao Bradley rematch?

Dan Rafael
  (3:58 PM)

I'm not too pumped if it happens but what will be will be.

Ryan (St. Paul)

This chat is like an old school 15 round championship fight, don't rule out brain damage!

Paul B (NY, NY)

I am just catching up on the chat and HOLY CRAP...Bobby B's comment was EPIC! Almost as dumb as Dan Quayle talkimng about the people of Latin America speaking Latin!!!!

Big T (Pennsylvania)

Dan - Have you ever liked a fighter personally and professionally to a point where you had to be extra diligent to maintain your objectivity?

Dan Rafael
  (3:59 PM)

I've been able to keep things separate and there have been times where a fighter I had a good personal relationship was upset about something I wrote and I had to explain to him that business is business and nothing personal. I think he understood eventually.

Dave (Cincinnati, OH)

Dan, what's your personal, standout, defining boxing moment of 2013?

Dan Rafael
  (4:00 PM)

Personally, the birth of my son. Professionally, as far as boxing goes, winning the Fleischer Award.

J from BK (The In-law's)

Seth Mitchell should fight Tor Hamer next

Dan Rafael
  (4:01 PM)

Why? Seth is no quitter. Seth is a warrior who went down swinging.

Juan (San Diego)

Who had a better career? MA Barrera or Erik Morales? And this goes without saying, but those guys are both first ballot HOF's right?

Dan Rafael
  (4:02 PM)

I'd have to rank Barrera slightly ahead of Morales. But you are right, both HOFers.

Ace (Sactown)

which fight is the fight that made you think Erik Morales was shot?

Dan Rafael
  (4:03 PM)

Watching him get destroyed and quit against Pacquiao in the third fight.

Big T (Pennsylvania)

My first chat beginning to end and it just broke 4 hours!! King Freak - With this kind of otherworldly endurance, you need to "take the test"!!!

Wesley (San Francisco)

I went to lunch, came back and you're still going. you're a monster.

Chris (Los Angeles, CA)

Extra security at the banquet if Barrera and Morales get into the Hall of Fame in the same year?

Dan Rafael
  (4:04 PM)

Barrera likely will be elected first because he will be eligible first.

Dave (Cincinnati, OH)

I NEVER thought I'd see Morales quit in a fight. Seeing him on the canvas shaking his head to his father is something I couldn't believe I was watching.

Dan Rafael
  (4:05 PM)

Same here. Reminded me of Arguello in the rematch with Pryor. Just knew he had no chance.

Chris (Los Angeles, CA)

Amazing to think that "shot fighter" Erik Morales gave Marcos Maidana the fight of his life 5 years later.

Dan Rafael
  (4:06 PM)

He did but there was no doubt about the outcome. Morales did what a lot of greats can do -- have one more big night.

Ray (Dillon)

My friend and I were watching Rigo-Agbeko. This was the first Rigo fight he saw and said, "Doesn't it seem like Rigondeaux is just playing around with this guy and could knock him out in 30 seconds if he just wanted to?" I had no real reply.

Greg (Nyc)

Dan congrats on winning the award brother that's amazing. I remember seeing you and chatting with you at basically every AC Arturo gatti fight. Remember chatting extensively after the Branco or Damgaard fight not sure wich one. What else can u compare to Boardwalk hall for GATTI in terms of energy and support?

Dan Rafael
  (4:09 PM)

Thanks. Have to say that having covered nine consecutive Gatti fights at Boardwalk Hall, the atmosphere was always amazing. Those were some of my most exciting and memorable moments in my career.

Sean (NJ)

Dan - in regards to Lewis-Tyson, can you explain how Tyson actually owed Showtime money? did they just forward him a bunch of money and he hadn't fought enough yet to earn it?

Dan Rafael
  (4:10 PM)

Showtime had avanced Tyson MILLIONS.

Jeff (KY)

Do you think HBO would approve Rigondeaux vs Darchinyan? Vic is awkward enough to either present some problems or make Rig look great.

Dan Rafael
  (4:10 PM)

No. Nor should it.

David (Chicago)

I wonder why Pacquioa never made his own promotion company

Dan Rafael
  (4:11 PM)

He does have his own company and it promotes a handful of fighters. MP Promotions.

Keith H (Seattle)

A New Year's Toast to King Freak: Thank you for the most and longest chats of anyone at ESPN. May you, your family and the Freaks have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year in 2014.

Tom (Nevada)

Hey Dan do you think Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia might have a chance to be this generations next superstars after Floyd Mayweather retires?

Dan Rafael
  (4:13 PM)

All three have good, fan friendly styles and good peronalities, so sure.

Charles (Portland, OR)

Did you ever get a chance to meet Butch Lewis? Seems like he was a hilarious guy based off interviews.

Dan Rafael
  (4:14 PM)

I met him a few times and had one memorable time when I was working at USA Today when he called me and was upset about something I had written (which I cannot honestly remember what it was) and he cursed me out for like a half hour. I was too amused to hang up.

Michael (Cincinnati) [via mobile]

Alfredo "El Perro' Angulo in a PPV main event. Just let that stink in for awhile.

Dan Rafael
  (4:15 PM)

So? Canelo-Angulo is a good fight.

Mickey (Chicago)

I'd pay for Canelo-Angulo PPV, that sounds awesome! When has Angulo EVER been in a bad fight, or Canelo for that matter?

Alex (Norwalk, CA)

What's your opinion of boxing blogs? Personally I cant stand them because all they do is spread gossip.

Dan Rafael
  (4:17 PM)

There are some that are interesting and thoughtful and very well done and others that are pure garbage.

Maestro (New York)

What do you mean so? That's $70 hard earned dollars that they are asking the fans to dish out for a BAD headliner. I guess they'll be made aware of that from the poor sales it will produce.

Dan Rafael
  (4:18 PM)

First off, I would very much doubt it would be $70.

Manuel (Denver)

17 year old daughter just asked for a Muhammad Ali birthday cake. Fight Freak status for both of us?

Dan Rafael
  (4:18 PM)

Cool.

John (ID)

Wow!!!, i went to lunch, came back and got caught up, then started reading your chat and finally came to entry with no reply, was just reaching for the refresh button when the reply came up. Your Still Chatting!!!! Two epic chats in two weeks. AMAZING, Merry Christmas AND Happy New Years. Thanks Dano!

Dan Rafael
  (4:19 PM)

We're closing the year strong baby!

Sean (NJ)

What would you say are realistic expectations for Canelo's PPV #s?

Dan Rafael
  (4:20 PM)

Good question. I think it's really unknown. He has never had to carry a PPV on his own as the official A side. Plus he is coming off a loss. I think if he could do close to 300k that would be excellent.

Erik (Atlanta, Ga.)

Will you mention the freaks in your acceptance speech?

Dan Rafael
  (4:20 PM)

Do you have any doubt?

Alex (Norwalk, CA)

Why are people so interested in PPV numbers? From a fan's perspective I just want a good fight!

Dan Rafael
  (4:21 PM)

I think they are interested in PPV numbers the same way people are interested in TV rating and movie box office grosses. Interesting stuff to read about and debate.

Big T (Pennsylvania)

So, does this mean we have at least 7 PPV's next year (2 Pacquaio, 2 Mayweather, 3 Canelo) not to mention Andre Ward's stated desire to have one next year?

Dan Rafael
  (4:22 PM)

Nothing is set in stone. I do suspect at least one Canelo fight will be on regular Showtime.

Anthony (Chicago)

Wow. Just pulled the chat back up. This is Serious!

Mickey (Chicago)

DTM, saw you posted a link to Zamora-Zarate this weekend - I had just showed that fight to my buddy the night before! What a war that was, Zarate was the man.

Dan Rafael
  (4:24 PM)

Great fight between two great fighters. Fist time I saw it was on VHS when I was invited over to Steve Farhood's place in Manhattan one weekend when I was covering a fight in NYC. Went over his place Saturday morning to watch some old fights.

Jason (Kansas City)

Dan, my Christmas present this year is a TBD day trip to TBA from TBD to TBD to see TBA fight TBD. Thoughts?

Dan Rafael
  (4:24 PM)

TBA.

Anthony (Chicago)

Everyone was complaining about Broner being on PPV vs. Maidana. It turns out we got it on Regular Showtime. But in hindsight I wouldn't be dissapointed at all to pay for Broner/Maidana. Just give me a good fight!

Dan Rafael
  (4:25 PM)

The whole card was good.

Tyler (bay area)

Cotto/Martinez would be PPV, right? To big a fight for regular showtime

Dan Rafael
  (4:25 PM)

If that fight is made it will be on HBO PPV.

Ace (Sactown)

Does Roger Mayweather speak Argentenian ? Is that why I cant understand him?

Wesley (San Francisco)

ok, look. we need you to pee in a cup, Dan. this is ridiculous.

Mickey (Chicago)

That sounds awesome, I would pay to spend a day watching old fights with Farhood.

Dan Rafael
  (4:26 PM)

It was fun. As I recall, he also showed me some videos of Charlie Burley.

ruben (orlando,fl)

Dan, Is Martinez beef against Cotto legit, just seems so out of character for him.. Was there an incident between them? Or is he just hyping up the fight more.

Dan Rafael
  (4:27 PM)

Apparently, Martinez took the perceived slight seriously. Whatever works to pump up a fight I guess.

Malcolm (Tempe)

Have you ever talked to Al Haymon, just casually. I know he doesn't do interviews.

Dan Rafael
  (4:28 PM)

I have spoken to Al many times and am probably the only writer ever to quote him in a story in an interview. It was in USA Today and was about Vernon Forrest (Al's first boxing client) after he had done Vernon's big HBO deal.

Big T (Pennsylvania)

We're now 4 1/2 hours strong!! I now realize that the "Freak" in King Freak stands for freak of nature!!! Keep pushing, Dan. The all-time chat record is in sight!

Dan Rafael
  (4:30 PM)

There will be no record today.

Mike H (New Jersey)

Any talk of Wladimir Klitschko's next opponent? Isn't Pulev his mandatory?

Dan Rafael
  (4:30 PM)

Probably his new WBO mandatory whose name escapes me. The dude that just beat Boytsov.

Vladimir Leonidas (Boston, MA)

I know alot of people have different opinions on the cause of boxings problems but to me its Haymon. If you advise the majority of the best boxers in the sport, what incentive is there to make them fight each other? I know I know theyve been fighting a little bit more lately but he still holds all the chips in his hands.

Dan Rafael
  (4:31 PM)

Lately, his guys have been fighting each other like crazy, card in and card out.

Ryan (St. Paul)

Alex Leapai?

Dan Rafael
  (4:32 PM)

That's it.

Mickey (Chicago)

I have this image in my head of Al Haymon wearing robes like the Emperor from star wars, standing in the shadows tapping his fingers menacingly and mumbling "good, good..."

Dan Rafael
  (4:32 PM)

Epic.

Dan Rafael
  (4:34 PM)

OK Fight Freaks, thank for epic 4:30 chat today. Way to finish a great boxing year strong! Appreciate all the kind words as well on the award. There is no boxing at all this weekend, so call your mother. Have a great New Years and talk to you next week when we will kick off 2014! Peace.