Dan Rafael Chat: July 31, 2009

Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com's boxing writer, Dan Rafael, will log on to take your questions on all the latest news and notes from inside and outside the ring.

Rafael began writing for ESPN.com in March 2005 after working for five years as the boxing writer for USA Today.

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Dan Rafael (11:57 AM)

Greetings, Fight Freaks. We've got a good card Saturday night on Showtime with Bradley-Campbell and Alexander-Witter not to mention a nice ESPN2 show with Julio Diaz-Cayo. And plenty in the news, including the untimely passing of Vernon Forrest and lots of fall fights in the works. The notebook is up, there are I think three new blogs this week, including one today, and the schedule has been updated. So let's get to it.

phil (buffalo, ny)

is arreola and klitschko officially made?

Dan Rafael (11:59 AM)

Despite what you may have read elsewhere, this fight is NOT, I repeat, NOT official. It is very probable, but not done yet.

Brian (Sacramento, CA)

What up Dan! Let say Pavlik-Williams is made, who do you like???

Dan Rafael (12:01 PM)

I love the fight but I lean to Williams at this point if it happens.

Dan Rafael (12:02 PM)

Not at all. As long as it's over 140 and no more than 147 the belt can be (and should be) up. If the fight was at 139 or 148, fine no belt. There are many fights in which catch weights are used within a division and the title is still at stake. This is Cotto being petty.

Dan Rafael (12:03 PM)

Adamek. Way more. It's a better fight, it's for higher stakes (the legit cruiser title) and it will draw a much bigger and excited crowd.

Dan Rafael (12:04 PM)

I have not heard that but even though tickets haven't been officially put on sale the MGM I am sure has taken a huge chunk of tickets for its customers and Top Rank and the fighter camps have a lot of tickets on hold for their people and customers.

Sam ((Dallas, Texas))

Dan, say the Klitschko/Arreola fight gets made. How interested would you be in that fight on a scale of 1-10? I think it would have the potential to be a very exciting fight while it lasted.Thoughts?

Dan Rafael (12:05 PM)

I'm very interested in the fight. It probably will be exciting while it lasts and it is one of the few American contenders getting a major title shot. I think it will be interesting.

Joe (Gainesville, FL)

Happy Friday, Dan! How about Derrick Wilson's KO last night!

Dan Rafael (12:06 PM)

The kid looked good with that KO1. I'd like to see him again. He's got a little attidue about him as well.

phil (buffalo, ny)

Who's most likely to land a significant fight Joshua Clottey or kermit cintron?

Dan Rafael (12:09 PM)

Your guess is as good as mine. Cintron has been mentioned for Mosley if the Berto fight isn't made. Cintron and Spinks have also said they'd like to fight each other but no TV is interested. Have heard nothing particular about Clottey.

Sean Davidson (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK)

Dan the man, simple question regarding the Cotto/Pac/WBO mess. If Cotto is WBO welterweight champ, and he decides to fight within the welterweight limits, then regardless of him agreeing to a catchweight, shouldn't he be obligated to defend his belt?

Dan Rafael (12:11 PM)

100 percent. At the end of the day, the title will be on the line I believe. No way is Arum going to miss out on the promotional aspect of Manny going for a record seventh title. As much as I bitch about titles and such in this specific instance, the title should be at stake because there is more meaning to it than a normal fight. Nobody every won titles in seven divisions. If Manny wins, he deserves the belt. If it was so easy to win all those titles, somebody else would have already done it.

Kevin (Denver, CO)

Fact or Fiction: Adamek v. Golota is "seriously" being discussed for October in Poland?

Dan Rafael (12:11 PM)

Main Events, which promotes Adamek, told me point blank it's not true.

phil (buffalo, ny)

You hear shane mosley last night saying december 5th he will be facing berto? Is that finalized or is that just mosley trying to bait berto?

Dan Rafael (12:12 PM)

That's a likely date if it's made but so far they are way off on the money in terms of making it happen. HBO has made an offer over $3 million but not enough to get it done at this point.

Ryan (NYC)

Dan - Is the Danny Jacobs/Ishe Smith fight going to be televised? It should...

Dan Rafael (12:12 PM)

Yes, it's part of HBO's Aug. 22 tripleheader.

Pancho (Los Mochis)

That seemed like a might fast count for Antillon last week - he still made it up and I think he sould have been allowed to continue. Agree?

Dan Rafael (12:13 PM)

No I don't agree. He was out on his feet. It was a proper stoppage.

Besim (Staten Island, New York)

Even if Mayweather and Manny win their upcoming bouts, I still have a feeling that Mayweather will duck him for one reason or another; likely for money issues.

Dan Rafael (12:14 PM)

We shall see.

Mark (Brooksville, Fl.)

Dan,I cannot simply believe the latest news on Arturo Gatti's passing. What are your thoughts on the latest news ?

Dan Rafael (12:16 PM)

I heard the news yesterday and was on ESPNEWS discussing it. I do not believe for one second that Arturo killed himself. Not for a minute. I believe his wife did it or had somebody do it. The authorities in Brazil have a reputation for being corrupt. I have talked to many people close to Arturo and nobody believes it for a minute. I completely reject it until somebody shows proof.

Rui (Nutley, NJ)

Doesn't Gatti's "suicide" sound a bit suspicious to you given the allegations that he was found with a knife wound to the back of his head?

Dan Rafael (12:16 PM)


Greg (Los Angeles)

Does Showtime have any interest in Adamek-Cunningham? HBO is missing out on a great fight by passing.

Dan Rafael (12:17 PM)

As far as I know, Showtime hasn't shown interest in that bout. Somebody needs to step up and do it.

Bert (Minneapolis)

Thanks for all the blogs this week. A ton of great info.HBO passed on Valuev-Haye- thank you. Don't award Haye for his BS.

Dan Rafael (12:18 PM)

Exactly. I was not at all surprised HBO had no interest in that fight, especially after being burned by Haye twice in less than a month.

Brian (DC)

Is Paul Williams and Al Haymon going to throw away the chance to fight Pavlik? Would put a pretty big dent in his rep of being the 'most ducked' man in the sports, no?

Dan Rafael (12:19 PM)

I hope they make the fight. The money they are asking for is unreasonable based on what is available. They are also unwilling to sign a standard rematch clause for a non-mandatory fight. When Jermain Taylor fought Pavlik, who was the mandatory, Haymon insisted on a rematch clause and Top Rank gave in. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. That is Top Rank's attitude -- you shoved it up our rear end on that deal, turnabout is fair play.

Kevin (Boston)

Is Arum going to risk legal action from Mora and his team if they fight Williams? In his interview on FNF he seemed to have no iterest in backing away from the fight. He has a contract signed.

Dan Rafael (12:20 PM)

I am assuming they will work something out.

Harry (Calgary, AB)

Yuri Snoreman v. Daniel Santos - ugh! I think would rather eat decayed moth wings than watch that fight.

Dan Rafael (12:20 PM)

What a horrible fight.

Oscar ((Clearwater,FL))

Dan- after a tune up fight, should Victor Ortiz have a rematch with Maidana? it sure was a hell of a fight and would love to see ortiz get some redemption by all the people saying he has no heart..

Dan Rafael (12:21 PM)

Victor is out for a few months because he had wrist surgery recently.

Daniel.K (Tor,Ont)

Dantastik...... You left out the part where Paul Williams has a guaranteed HBO date reserved for Oct. 3. Whereas Pavlik wont have a fight on HBO probably tell early 2010. So Paul Williams will probably be fighting for a belt either way against pavlik or Dzindziruk. I don't see Paul on the losing end of the stick in either situation because he will probably be fighting pavlik eventually if he fights Dzindziruk first.. So back off FREAK!!!

Dan Rafael (12:23 PM)

FYI -- Williams does not have a guaranteed HBO date from what I understand. Even if he did, the money for the Dzindziruk fight (also a dangerous fight) pales compared to the Pavlik offer. According to Top Rank, it has a committment from HBO for a Pavlik fight this year. So back off Freak.

Ryan (Boston)

Dan, predictions for tomorrow night's Showtime card?

Dan Rafael (12:23 PM)

I like Bradley on a competitive decision. I like Alexander on a competitive decision.

Brent (Toronto, ON)

Alexander v. Witter has snoozer written all over it - do you think it will be a technical chess match?

Dan Rafael (12:24 PM)

It could be, but it could also be decent because Devon throws a lot of punches and Witter can mix it up when he wants to, which he might be willing to do since Devon is not a big puncher.

jeff (Phoenix)

Dan,September 26th is not that far off....can Arreola get into the kind of shape he'll need to be in by then to deal with Vitali?

Dan Rafael (12:25 PM)

The original date for that fight was supposed to be Sept. 12, but moved back to the 26th because Arreola and his people felt he needed at least those two extra weeks to get in better shape.

Mike (New York)

Dan where is the news posted on Santos-Foreman?

Dan Rafael (12:26 PM)

There's no news story but it is a mandatory fight and a purse bid has been ordered.

Dan (Brooklyn, NY)

Can you give us your favorite Vernon Forrest story?

Dan Rafael (12:28 PM)

Well I wrote about one of the greatest quotes he ever gave in my lengthy piece on Tuesday after he won his first title. But here's something I will always remember -- after he beat Mosley the first time, he came to the ring ropes by the press section at the MGG Theater and pointed at the reporters (I was there) and he went down the line pointing at each of us and yelling, "I told ya'all, I told ya'all!" He was an undersog and nobody was really picking him. He knew it. He singled each of us out individually by pointing and yelling at us.

Julio (Chicago, Il)

Dan, do you think the whoever gets a victory in the Campbell Bradley fight could reach a new status that would allow going after pacquiao at 140lb

Dan Rafael (12:29 PM)

They may deserve it based on their accomplishments but I don't see it based on their name recognition. I think if Manny wins there will be way bigger fights against guys like Mosley or Mayweather or maybe another fight with Marquez that would come first.

Dan Rafael (12:30 PM)

Hold up Freaks, be back in a second. Bat Phone.

Dan Rafael (12:33 PM)

I'm back.

Brandon (Boston)

Going to be at Mohegan Sun tomorrow. Is the Rodriguez/Hlatswayo fight worth going to?

Dan Rafael (12:33 PM)

Sure. Their first fight was pretty exciting and very close.

Mark (Brooksville, Fl.)

Dan,After reading your report on David Haye's ignorance in keeping Golden Boy informed on his fight plans my question is Haye showing fighters how to waste a career without ever fighting?

Dan Rafael (12:34 PM)

Yes. He and his team are just not smart people.

Shane (Selah, WA)

Dan, I understand your point, but if Pac is forcing Cotto to go to 145 to make the fight, then why should Cotto have to put the belt up? Why not make it at a 147 limit with the belt available?

Dan Rafael (12:35 PM)

I've been over this.

Rui (Nutley, NJ)

Mayweather/Marquez and Cotto/Pacquiao sounds like they actually might have superb undercards... This is the way it should be for boxing's megafights.

Dan Rafael (12:37 PM)

They both look at the moment. Let's see what really winds up happening.

Rags (NYC)

Apparently Haye is pursuing a Master's Degree from the Winky Wright School of Boxing....

Sean (New Jersey)

Because 147 is only the MAX for that class...not the ONLY weight in that division

Dan Rafael (12:38 PM)

Thank you. Some people don't get it or are just stupid.

Rick (Marina)

So whats the news from the Bat Phone?

Dan Rafael (12:38 PM)

None of your business.

Joel Julio (Bronxville, NY)

Dad. When will I fight again?

Dan Rafael (12:39 PM)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the Love Child. I don't know. There is nothing planned at the moment. Go to your room.

Randy (Milwaukee)

Dan - I haven't seen a ton of Arreola - what kind of chin does he have?

Dan Rafael (12:39 PM)

Still to be determined. He got dropped by Travis Walker pretty hard. He hasn't really fought any top guys. We shall see.

Kevin (Denver)

Does Salita have any chance vs. Khan? Seems to me Salita is slightly "over-rated" by the WBA.....

Dan Rafael (12:40 PM)

Salita is a great kid. I like him a lot and have known him for years. That said, I don't give him a shot in hell against Khan.

Doug (Dallas)

David Haye is a joke. That quote about "we'll see if one of the Klitchko's still want to fight me after i slay the Beast" is ridiculous. He's a coward and chose the 2nd most boring fighter in the world.

Mark (Brooksville, Fl.)

Dan,will HBO give Vernon Forrest's career a video tribute ala Gatti? I would hope he'll be remembered and honored accordingly.

Dan Rafael (12:42 PM)

I haven't heard anything but I doubt it. Not to diminish Vernon in any way, but Gatti was an HBO cornerstone with more than 20 fights on the network and many incredible fights. Vernon was only on HBO about eight times with really only two memorable bouts (first one with Mosley and the KO loss to Mayorga in their first fight).

Gerardo (Los Angeles)

Danno, have you heard anything from the camps of Marquez and Mayweather? Any interesting tidbits or business as usual? Thanks!

Dan Rafael (12:43 PM)

Seems like business as usual right now.

Armando (nj)

Vernon Forrest - HOF?

Dan Rafael (12:44 PM)

I know that question has come up a lot since his death but, with zero disrespect to him and his accomplishments, I do not view him as a Hall of Famer and would be unlikely to vote for him.

R.C. (Texas)

Let's say that Green/Bika was made. Who do you see winning that fight?

Dan Rafael (12:45 PM)

Green in a good fight.

Cory (Fargo, ND)

You're not voting for Gatti to get in the Hall of Fame are you?

Dan Rafael (12:47 PM)

I was probably going to vote for him even before his death. Besides his accomplishments, he stood head and shoulders above every single fighter in boxing for basically a decade in terms of delivering sick, over the top action fights. That counts for something to me and I will vote him in without a second thought. He was the best action fighter pound for pound for most of his career. That is important. And he wasn't just the best in that respect, he was the best BY FAR.

bob (ny)

lol dan do you ever get tired of writing

Dan Rafael (12:49 PM)

From time to time. But it's what I do. Fighters fight, writers write.

Besim (Staten Island, New York)

I looked up "Freak" in the dictionary. Go figure, your smiling face was right there next to it.

Craig (UK)

Dan who do you struggle to understand most when interviewing? Surely Enzo Calzaghe has got to be up there with Mayweather Snr and Roger. Im British and I don't understand a word Enzo says so you must struggle like crazy.

Dan Rafael (12:49 PM)

Enzo and Roger and Floyd are rough. Very rough. I've interviewed Enzo several times and I still have no idea what he said.

Andrew (Indy, IN)

Dan, if Pavlik can't work a fight out at 160lbs., could we possibly see him slip into the Super Middleweight tourney?

Dan Rafael (12:50 PM)

No, he is not going into the tourney. He wasn't invited and Top Rank has no intention of putting him in there even if he was at this point.

Duff (Abington, MA)

Anyone questioning why Cotto's belt will be on the line should go read Kimball's Four Kings. Several of those huge fights were fought at catchweights for major belts.

Riad (London)

Regarding your article on Margaritto, Bob Arun at the time of the fight said that his fighter was innocent and will back him up. Do you think that still th ecase?

Dan Rafael (12:51 PM)

Bob was saying what he thought he had to say. I don't believe everything he says. He has softened his stance. We all know Margarito is guilty as sin.

Craig (UK)

Has David Haye burned his bridges with HBO?

Dan Rafael (12:52 PM)

I'm not sure he's burned them, but it seems to me they're on fire and he needs a hose really badly.

Joe (Gainesville, FL)

Nate: "I'm an angry guy to deal with." Great quote.

Dan Rafael (12:52 PM)

Nate Campbell is one of the better quotes in this business.

Patrick (Florida)

Since it is clear that HBO is taking a pass on Haye-Valuev (as they should), do you think there will be any U.S. Television for the fight? ESPN Classic to the rescue?

Dan Rafael (12:53 PM)

No idea at this point.

Alan Clarke (South Africa)

How long before Evander and RJJ start talking to each other. I loved these guys back in the 90's, but now I feel sad when I think about them.

Dan Rafael (12:55 PM)

They were very close to a fight a few years ago but it fell apart and Roy went back to 175 and fought Tarver. I always felt had they fought it would have changed a lot of boxing history. Roy would have beaten Holyfield in my mind and been even more of a legend. Tarver would have never had the shot at Roy and neither would Glen Johnson. Many things about boxing would have changed. That fight not happening was one of the biggest things of the past decade that altered the careers of a lot of fighters.

Duff (Abington, MA)

Hey Dan, any news about Ali Funeka? I really can't wait to see him fight again.

Dan Rafael (12:56 PM)

In a nutshell, the vacant IBF 135 title is supposed to match Fernando Angulo and Yuri Romanov. They've had six months to make the fight and not done it and it's been called off twice I think. The IBF is about to withdraw the sanction and move to the next two leading contenders in its rankings, which are Joan Guzman and Ali Funeka. So they could be fighting for that vacant belt.

Nick (Charleston, SC)

I loved Gatti as much as anyone, but does making exciting fights really qualify someone for the HOF? There are tons of mid level fighters out there who make awesome fights, they're just not on HBO.

Dan Rafael (12:57 PM)

Well Gatti was on HBO, he did win two titles, he did fight a number of good quality opponents and he was THE SINGLE GREATEST ACTION FIGHTER EVER. That's why he's going into the HOF. He was head and shoulders above everyone of his era in that respect.

ChrisDiggidy (Oklahoma City)

Dan, I'll be the first to admit that I don't like Freddie Roach for a number of reasons but I took your advice and watched the Real Sports segment on Roach and it was excellent! Aside from that though, how good of a matchup is the Guerrero vs. Klassen fight?

Dan Rafael (12:58 PM)

Glad you watched. It was an excellent piece. Klassen-Guerrero is a solid fight, although I wouldn't say I am overly excited about it.

Cesar (Davis, CA)

Dan, is Cotto still with his current trainer? What are your thoughts on his corner and should he seek outside advice?

Dan Rafael (12:59 PM)

Cotto is staying with Joe Santiago as his head trainer. End of story.

Greg (Los Angeles)

Dan how close is Demarco-Valero to being made? Just something being talked about or is it very close? I see this as a very dangerous fight for Valero.

Dan Rafael (1:00 PM)

Not close at all. But it is a mandatory so worst case scenario is if one side pushes there could be a purse bid.

Besim (Staten Island, New York)

I was driving to pick up some milk the other day, and Evangelista Cotto threw a brick through my window. That kind of sucked.

Dave (Philadelphia)

Dan, you mention the RJJ-Holyfield non-fight as being one of the biggest fights to not have happen, and the rationale you cite is excellent, and it only makes me wonder: can you think of any others from either recent or long-term history that would be up there- off the top of my head: Lewis-Bowe, RJJ-Darius...

Dan Rafael (1:01 PM)

Those are other big fights that didn't happen but the fallout on so many careers from Jones-Holyfield not happening is just remarkable.

Mike (Vancouver, WA)

Dan, I couldn't agree more with your assessment of Gatti's career. I think he deserves to be HOF bound. Regarding Forrest, it's almost a what if scenario. If he didn't suffer so many injuries to his left shoulder and elbow, I think he would have put himself in a great situation. At least he got his revenge against Mora.

Dan Rafael (1:03 PM)

Forrest to me is sort of like Don Mattingly, who is my all-time favorite baseball player. He had a great career, did a lot, won an MVP, a batting title and was considered the best for a few years. But injuries killed his career and he never got to that HOF level. Had he stayed healthy, I am quite sure he would have reached 3,000 hits and collected more stats and awards and maybe a World Series at the end of his career when the Yankees were good again. But he didn't. He got injured and that's that. Forrest got injured and never was able to do the things you need to become a HOFer. Simple as that.

Brian (RI)

If exiting fights get you in the HOF then are Micky Ward and Emanuel Augustus HOFer's too?

Dan Rafael (1:05 PM)

No, they're not. I'm going to say this one more time: Gatti was the action fighter against whom all other fighters are measured in terms of being action fighters. He was in many over the top sick fights. He did win two titles. The other guys made a lot of good fights too, but nearly at that sick level for so long or with that volume. In fact, for many years Ward was a stinker and made a lot of terrible ESPN fights.

Besim (Staten Island, New York)

I woke up this morning and had two options: 1) chat online with hot chicks or 2) chat online with Dan Rafael. Needless to say, here I am.

Dan Rafael (1:05 PM)

Bless you Freak.

Thomas (Denver)

Dan, watched the replay of Gatti - Ward I last week, you were more prominently displayed than the two fighters at some point. What a sick seat you had for such a sick fight.

Dan Rafael (1:07 PM)

Not sure which you watched but it wasn't the first fight because I was home in bed with the flu that night watching with a cold towel on my head.

Nick (Harrisburg, PA)

...plus Media row is never shown on camera during fights

Dan Rafael (1:08 PM)

It is often between rounds when the camera is on one corner or the other.

jeff (Phoenix)

I shudder to think what some of those "hot chicks" Besim in chatting with online really look like (Valuev maybe?)

Frank (New Orleans)

Any chance Clottey ends up on the Cotto/Pac card?

Dan Rafael (1:08 PM)


malek (columbus, oh)

just read the notebook. good stuff, but why did you give brad goodman the "abdul" nickname?

Dan Rafael (1:08 PM)

I didn't give it to him.

Rod (Charlotte)

Dan, did the air leave the building as Forrest was pounding Mosely in the first fight? How shocked were you?

Dan Rafael (1:10 PM)

As I wrote the other day, when he knocked Shane down the first time it was like single person in the arena -- more than 5,000 people -- gasped at the same time. It was stunning and I will never forget it.

Bradley D. EdwardsR (Richmond, VA)

Green v. Bika discussions. Please let that fight be made. Cherry on top of the sundae that is the unbelievable run of fights at 168 that is coming.

Dan Rafael (1:10 PM)

Would be a very good fight in a hot division.

R! (Yay Area)

So no TV for Delvin Rodriguez vs. Isaac Hlatshwayo?

Dan Rafael (1:10 PM)

Live on the Internet, tape delayed on SNY I believe next week.

Louis (Montreal)

In montreal papers, every writer and every people interviewed (many of them being Gatti close friends) told that they don't think he killed himself. But isn't what people usually say when there is a suicide " I never tought he could go that far"

Dan Rafael (1:12 PM)

Not at all. When Arguello's death was ruled a suicide I wasn't surprised in the least. He had talked about suicide before. I don't think anyone is shocked by that one. With Gatti, it's a huge shock and nobody who I know that knew Arturo believes it for a moment.

ed ( nj)

dan, do you agree with teddy atlas about saying miguel cotto is damage goods. i personley dont beacuse jousha clotty is a very tough oppenent and cotto had a huge gash in his eye early in the fight.

Dan Rafael (1:13 PM)

I don't agree with what Teddy said at all and I thought he was over the top with his criticism of Cotto on FNF last week about it almost to the point of being personal.

Mike (Macomb, MI)

Not that I'm complaining....But, is Showtimes Boxing budget going all to the Super 6 tournament?

Dan Rafael (1:14 PM)

No. Ken Hershman from Showtime specifically said to me (and I wrote it in the notebook a week or two ago) that he still had a budget to make other important fights and keep ShoBox going during the tournament.

Jacob (Venice, CA)

Paul Williams isn't the middleweight champion but he is taking the majority of the risk to fight Pavlik, so kudos to him for trying to get all he can for the fight. Btw Williams would destroy Mayweather.

Dan Rafael (1:18 PM)

There's a difference between getting what you can get and being unrealistic.

James (Boston)

Hey Dan, how do you feel about Mikkel Kessler taking a tuneup fight (against Perdomo) right before the Super Six tourny? I think it's a good idea for Mikkel to knock off some of the "ring rust" before, what I expect, to be a very difficult fight with Ward...

Dan Rafael (1:19 PM)

I agree. Ward is also taking a tune-up that Showtime will air against Shelby Pudwill. The tune-ups are stupid, especially Ward's because he just fought and has been injury prone. At least Kessler has a mandatory and hasn't fought in almost a year.


Maybe not damaged goods, but wouldn't you at least agree that Cotto hasn't had the same bullying force he seemed to have before being plasterized? I think the special this weekend will bring even more shame to Margarito's career by the way...

Dan Rafael (1:20 PM)

Well he fought twice since the Margarito fight -- he destroyed Jennings and beat Clottey and showed big heart doing it. I'm not sure what you want.

Toby (Houston)

D-Train--Pure hypothetical for you: If Calzaghe were in the 168 tourney, would he be the favorite?

Dan Rafael (1:22 PM)

Of course he would. He easily beat the best guy in the tourney, Kessler.

Troy ((Hollywood, California))

Dan,are you going to be in studio on FNF again this year?

Dan Rafael (1:23 PM)

Yes, I have one more appearance before the end of the season, Aug. 14.

Mike (New York)

If the Santos-Foreman fight takes place would that land on the Cotto-Pac undercard?

Dan Rafael (1:24 PM)

Extremely unlikely.

Zach (MPLS)

Dan, Is there a chance that Witter-Alexander is canceled over the officials?

Dan Rafael (1:24 PM)

I guess anything is possible but I would be quite surprised.

jeff (Phoenix)

Dan,I agree that Cotto showed huge stones getting through the Clottey fight but there were time when I could sense doubt in Cotto....I think Cotto is not the fighter he was before Margacheato....but that's what helps make the Pacman fight so compelling right?

Dan Rafael (1:25 PM)

Sure. He probably isn't the fighter he was before that but that doesn't mean he's done or anything. Guys who are done don't beat Clottey.

Jack (San Pedro, CA)

Winky Wright, Vernon Forrest (RIP), Paul Williams, Shane Mosely, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto just a few fighters off the top of my head that Mayweather could have fought at some point in his career. He's all about the money and not about his legacy. He could fight some of them now, but it's not the same thing. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

Mike (Vancouver, WA)

I like Teddy a lot, but it seemed as if he had a personal vendetta against Cotto during that segment with Brian Kenny. I thought Cotto showed a lot of heart and toughness in that fight. Clottey had his chances, but it was obvious that Cotto wasn't going to wilt.

Dwight (CA)

Dan, Who do you like in the Drummond/Rossy Fight tonight?

Dan Rafael (1:26 PM)


Mike (Fargo, ND)

Showtime is putting Shelby Pudwill on the air? You're not criticizing them? Are you kidding me Dan?

Dan Rafael (1:27 PM)

I JUST got the notice. It's absolutely pathetic. I know it's a "tune-up" fight before the tournament, but it's actually gross they would televise that fight. Showtime should not have allowed Ward to have a tune-up, at least not on the air. He just fought a couple of months ago. It's just dumb.

jeff (Phoenix)

Vernon to me is the most glaring example of one fighter having another fighters number....no one has ever done Shane like that....can you think of any other examples of a "lessor" fighter with an "elite" fighters number?

Dan Rafael (1:28 PM)

Kenny Norton and Ali maybe.

Gerardo Avitia (Chicago, IL)

Dan. Soto Karras vs. Alfonso Gomes. Love that fireworks matchup

Dan Rafael (1:28 PM)

It's a sick fight that should be a war. I told joked with the matchmaker for the fight, Brad "Abdul" Goodman, that he should have his license taken away for making a fight THAT potentially violent.

Ty (Philly)

I'm surprised to hear you call Cotto petty, don't you think as the champ he's entitled to some stipulations going his way?

Dan Rafael (1:29 PM)

Well he got the two extra pounds he wanted when Pacquaio wanted the fight at 143. To me, if a fight is in the welterweight division and one fighter holds the tile, the title should be up, end of story.

James (Boston)

Dan, is it likely that (Wlad) Klitshcko faces Eddie Chambers this fall/winter? I know you have Shelly Finkel on speed dial on the bat phone...

Dan Rafael (1:30 PM)

Wlad-Chambers likely will be in December in Germany. I'm sure we will hear more about it tonight because Chambers is in the Friday Night Fights studio as the guest.

Shane Mosley (Los Angeles)

How's this for my next press release. I will fight Pacquiao at 140.1 lbs and put my WBA title on the line!!!

bert (Cebu City, Philippines)

Steven Luevano vs. Bernabe Concepcion, what do you think about this fight?

Dan Rafael (1:32 PM)

Solid match. Luevano's fight to lose. He can box Concepcion's ears off all day and night if he fights smart.

Mack (Milky Way Galaxy)

Ricardo Mayorga had Vernon Forrest's number!

Dan Rafael (1:32 PM)

That's another example.

Mike (Vancouver, WA)

Any updates on who Michael Katsidis might be fighting next?

Dan Rafael (1:33 PM)

Golden Boy is trying to do him and Escobedo. It may be on the Sept. 19 PPV undercard or on an HBO undercard in the fall.

Nick (Harrisburg, PA)

Only 5,000 people showed up for Mosley-Forrest I???? Im not saying there should have been 20,000 there or anything, but 5???? Both were undefeated, it was for the belt and Mosley was the p4p king at the time. That's shocking to me. Who promoted that????

Dan Rafael (1:34 PM)

Only 5,323 because that is what the place held. It was at the MSG Theater and was sold out.

Brian (DC)

Junior Jones over Barrera and Barkley over Hearns

Dan Rafael (1:35 PM)

Two more.

JulioA (Tallahasse, FL)

Dan the man..I think pacquiao has not been phisically tested since before the DIaz fight, not at all at 140 or 145. I would like to see how pacquiao is going to react in the later rounds at this weight against someone who will actually push him and pressure him.Thought?

Dan Rafael (1:35 PM)

I agree which is one thing that makes Cotto-Pacman so interesting.

Josh (Brooklyn)

One of the things that boxing can learn from the UFC is how to entertain the crowd in the arena. you have these hour long brakes before the main card and everyone is sitting around bored. They should show highlight videos or something like that.

Dan Rafael (1:36 PM)

I agree. I went to the WWE Monday Night Raw show in DC this week and they also do a great job with that stuff. It was a blast, even when the matches weren't going on.

Jrak (Boston)

What's your favorite JMM fight in your vast DVD collection? Mine is his war with Terdsak Jandaeng. JMM is a demon, and Mayweather's got another thing coming if he thinks he's going to simply potshot and run his way to a decision.

Dan Rafael (1:37 PM)

The fights with Pacquiao, obviously.

Shower Door (Zab's Bathroom)

I got Judah's number, it aint even close

brian (ri)

any word on James Kirklands legal situation?

Dan Rafael (1:38 PM)

He'll be sentenced Sept. 23 and will be in jail at least until next spring.

Dave (Philadelphia)

Mosely had Oscar's number, Vernon had Mosely's number, Mayorga had Vernon's number, Mayorga was 0-2 vs. Oscar

Dan Rafael (1:39 PM)

I thought Oscar beat Shane in the second fight as did a lot of people.

Nick (Harrisburg, PA)

Dan, I expect Taylor to really take it to Abraham...until he gets knocked out.

Dave (San Jose)

Boxing fans are so ridiculous, Paul Williams has looked very good lately so he would "destroy" Mayweather? Do you forget that he was outboxed by Carlos Quintana?

Kelby (Omaha)

If my memory serves me correctly, I kinda thought Campbell showed his age a bit his last fight. I have a feeling Nate fades in the later rounds tomorrow night...

Dan Rafael (1:41 PM)

That is the notion of a lot of people picking Bradley. I think whatever the issue with Nate was late against Funeka, the weight probably had more to do with it than his age.

Besim (Staten Island, New York)

My boss just came in my office and saw that I was on this chat. Instead of yelling at me, he joined in on the action. THE FREAKS ARE RISING IN NUMBERS.

Dan Rafael (1:41 PM)

Sweet. Ask for a raise.

Joel (Eastchester, NY)

Dan, whats your thoughts on Camacho Jr. headlining a PPV the end of August?

Dan Rafael (1:42 PM)

My thoughts are that it will be a great way of saving money by not buying that crap.

Taylor (SLC, UT)

Dan, I think Jermain Taylor may very well be the best 6 round super-middle weight in the world. Too bad the tournament fights are 12 rounds.

Mark (LA)

Dan, are you guys at ESPN.com required to do at least an hour of chat every week?

Brandon (Florida)

Dan I've been playing a lot of Fight Night lately and they have the original weight classes on there, how do you think boxing would be today if they still had the original weight classes?

Dan Rafael (1:44 PM)


Sergio (San Diego)

Dan,Got to disagree with you on the Gatti for the HOF. Beating Gianlaco Branco for a title and being a great action fighter against liited opposition doesn;t merit the HOF.When gatti stepped up to elite competition he got blown out.

Dan Rafael (1:45 PM)

That's you're opinion and you are entitled to it. My opinion actually counts for a lot more in this case because I actually vote for the HOF.

Marc (Potter, Wi)

I'm having a hard time believing Alexis Arguello killed himself. He was enjoying a run as mayor, he was a warrior, and he had political enemies. Also, forgive me for being naive, but isn't a gunshot wound to the chest more consistent with homicide than suicide?

Dan Rafael (1:46 PM)

The reports say he killed himself and since Arguello talked openly for years about his suicidal thoughts it makes sense. There are no suspects as far as I know and Arguello supposedly had gunpowder residue on his hand.

Benvenuto (Miami)

Alexis Arguello v.s. Sugar Ray Leonard???????? Who you got?

Dan Rafael (1:47 PM)

Leonard by knockout. Too big, strong, fast. I loved Arguello but Leonard was better.

Jonathan (Northen VA)

I'm surprised that HBO is offering more money for Pavlik-Williams than Mosley-Berto. Which fight do you think would bring in better ratings?

Dan Rafael (1:47 PM)

Pavlik-Williams is a bigger fight.

Joe (RI)

Regarding Donnie Baseball, don't forget Kirby Puckett is in the Hall with the SAME EXACT #'s. Media perception counts more than accomplishments.

Dan Rafael (1:50 PM)

Not the exact same stats and Puckett also won two World Series as I recall with exceptional postseason performances.

Brian (RI)

Why is Pavlik scared of A. Abraham?

Dan Rafael (1:50 PM)

Why are you stupid?

Jon (SF)

Is Amir Khan on the pacotto undercard?

Dan Rafael (1:52 PM)

Not at this time. If he is free from Warren I suppose it is possible. Khan and Warren may end up in a legal thing if Khan claims he is a free agent. Who knows. If he was free, I wouldn't be surprised if Top Rank, Golden Boy or any other promoter pursued him. Obviously, Freddie trains Amir and Pacquiao so it might make sense.

Steve (Hartford)

Dan, can you explain this to me? Who is Berto's mandatory Aydin or Collazo? I also thought i saw two other guys fight an eliminator for his title, whats the deal with that?

Dan Rafael (1:52 PM)

Collazo is the official mandatory and Aydin is next up.

Bucky (Denver, CO)

I don't think either Gatti or Forrest should get in. I my thoughts are with their families as both seemed like very good people. To me the HOF should be for the very special fighters. Not just a title holder. Someone who you can discuss with the other greats and how they would match up. Hall of Fames are becoming too diluted. They are all becoming the Hall of Very Good. Yes Gatti was and action fighter, possibly the best but he wasn't a great fighter. Just my opinion, I don't get a vote so its as meaningful as used toilet paper.

Dan Rafael (1:53 PM)

Gatti was a special fighter because of the action fights he made. That is the point.

Mrs. DTM (at work)

I am witness to the bedridden Dan during Gatti-Ward I -- the flu kicked his butt.

Daniel (Playa Del Rey, Ca)

Assuming Pavlik-Williams doesn't happen would Pavlik really fight Winky Wright? I know that is what you had in the notebook, but I just had a hard time believing that.

Dan Rafael (1:53 PM)

My understanding is that if the fight doesn't happen, Winky is the first option.

Derek (Edmonton, Alberta)

How frustrating does it get having mouthy kids arguing with you over issues they obviously know nothing about? I have been over and over Cotto's ridiculous "145 is not a division" stance with a few of them, and instead of listening and learning, they shoot their mouths off and argue. Thoughtful discussion is one thing, but this issue is not even up for debate. Anyone who has been involved with boxing for a decent period of time knows the fight doesn't have to be contracted at the divison maximum to be a title fight. Cotto just wants to cover his tail in case he loses.

Alan Clarke (South Africa)

Regarding Gatti and HOF. It's only opinion people and like Dan says, his opinion counts. The freaks seem overly sensitive today. Go Dan!

Dan Rafael (1:55 PM)

Thank you. Not too many Freaks from South Africa that I have noticed in here over the years. Welcome!

Rags (NYC)

Does the RING Magazine title require a sanctioning fee? Could Arum pursue that "title" to make everyone happy with Cotto-PacMan?

Dan Rafael (1:57 PM)

No, there is no fee for a Ring title. Plus, the rules on how you can fight for one are very, very explicit. Cotto-Pac can't be for the title based on their rules since Mosley is ranked 1 and you can't fill a vacant title without the No. 1 fighter in the fight.

orlie (nm)

Yes you are allowed to come in from 141-147 for it to be a welterweight fight but the issue isn't what Pacquiao can come in at its that he's forcing Cotto to come in at no heavier than 145.

Kool KC (Florida)

Yes his opinion counts . . .and it needs to change. Gatti is not a HOF fighter.

Dan Rafael (1:57 PM)

Guess what -- he will be when he is on the ballot.

Tyler ((Memphis, TN))

Did I really just read in the notebook that Winky Wright is willing to fight Pavlik for LESS than what is being offered Williams??? Did he resign as dead of the Winky Wright school of business? Good to see he's back in reality.

Dan Rafael (1:58 PM)

You read it clearly.

Mike (Fargo, ND)

"My opinion actually counts for a lot more in this case because I actually vote for the HOF." You come off extremely arrogant a lot of times. You seem to be very sensitive when someone disagrees with you.

Dan Rafael (1:59 PM)

Not at all. I am simply speaking the facts.

Benvenuto (Miami)

Hey Mike.....Fargo sucks......

Dan Rafael (1:59 PM)

When Freaks attack.

Court (DC)

Put Mike from Fargo in the wood chipper!

Rich (Cape Cod)

DTM, what were your thoughts on Sam Peter in his last fight? He looked in better shape but the opposition was weak....what's next for him?

Dan Rafael (2:02 PM)

Sam was obviously in much better shape than he was against Chambers. His manager called me yesterday and told me he will be back on the Sept. 12 Top Rank PPV undercard in Mexico again.

Mike (Vancouver, WA)

Sheesh, a lot of overly sensitive people today.

Dan Rafael (2:02 PM)

It's a little ridiculous today.

Kevin ( VA)

Dan the Man, I wasn't going to join the chat today, but I had an ephiany.... Look at what has come of the Middleweight Division since B-HOP left it. JT was suppose to carry the torch. (Wrong), Pavlik Doesn't fight, and Arthur moved up for the big tourney. Is the division relevant anymore with 168 stacked?

Dan Rafael (2:03 PM)

160 is pretty bad right now but a fight like Pavlik-Williams can sure make us forget that for a little while.

Joe (Camarillo, CA)

Please post this: ESPN webmasters...please make sure the ESPN Boxing and Dan's Blog RSS feeds are updated. It is so lame and shameful that this does not happen on one of the more popular sections of ESPN's site.

Duff (Abington, MA)

What are the televised fights on FNF tonight?

Dan Rafael (2:04 PM)

Look at the schedule or be banned.

sk (Arlington, VA)

OK, web forums (I know, I know) claim that Haye balked at the Klitschko contracts because it included a requirement to fight the other brother after the rematch ... is this true? I mean that is a crazy demand if the brothers can force his 2nd opponent ...

Dan Rafael (2:04 PM)

It's called an option, which is totally normal in a non-mandatory fight.

Edward C (Clifton, NJ)

What do you make of Calzaghe's comment's, on being able to 'beat' Klitschko?

Dan Rafael (2:05 PM)

I thought in retirement he had stopped getting hit in the head. I may have been wrong.

Dylan (Austin, TX)

I kind of understand Cotto's reluctance to not want to make it a title fight... I think that if it should be a title bout then there should be a max weight limit of 147, no catch weight. If you want to fight for a title, let there be no handicaps.

Dan Rafael (2:08 PM)

Here's the bottom line: If you are a champion in any division other than heavy (which has no upper limi) and you fight under that division limit you're title is at stake. Look at all the nontitle fights over the years. I can't think of a single one in which the champion fought a nontitle fight in which he weighed somewhere within the division. It's just that simple unless Cotto wants to vacate. In that case, nothing would stop the WBO from allowing Pacquiao to fight for the vacant title.

Duff (Abington, MA)

Huge mistake by HBO to pass on Adamek-Cunningham II. The first fight was a cruiserweight classic and a rematch could be even better.

JraK (Boston)

Would you vote Rocky Balboa into the HOF also? He was a great action fighter...good grief....

Dan Rafael (2:11 PM)

He was a multiple-time heavyweight champion, beat Creed in the rematch, beat Lang in the rematch, beat Drago too. I'd vote for him.

Derek (Edmonton, Alberta)

There have been catch weights all thru title fight history.

Dan Rafael (2:12 PM)

You're right. When BHop fought Wright, for a recent example, it was at a catch weight of 170. Hopkins' light heavyweight title was on the line.

Sam (NJ)

Rocky defeated communism... of course he belongs in the HOF

carlos (houston, tx)

DTM, if no vazquez vs. marquez then vazquez vs. jml? Marquez vs. daniel ponce de leon?

Dan Rafael (2:13 PM)

Neither guy has anything planned right yet because they thought they would be fighting each other.

Mark (Brooksville, Fl.)

Someone forgot to lock the doors at the Asylum today. The wackos have even managed to get computer access today as well!

Sean (New Jersey)

And hell, fought Drago for free! on Christmas!!!!

Alan Clarke (South Africa)

Balboa was also 87 when he narrowly lost to Mason Dixon.

Dan Rafael (2:14 PM)

Another excellent point on the legendary career of future Hall of Famer Rocky Balboa.

Mike (New York)

Dan did you see the wrestlers dump pie and cake all over HHH last week?

Dan Rafael (2:15 PM)

Yes, I was there. It was a lot of fun to see that after Raw went off the air. I was there with my wife and a friend of ours and all three of us got a kick out of it. The entire crowd that stayed after the broadcast sang Happy Birthday to Triple H. It was great fun.

chrisdiggidy (oklahoma city)

Dang Dan! I left the chat, read the notebook, made some lunch for my sick wife and my son, scheduled an mri for my back, updated my myspace page and came back expecting to read the chat assuming it was finished, and you're still going strong! Did Panama Lewis give you some 14th round special elixir today or what?

Dan Rafael (2:16 PM)

No, I refused to drink from the one he mixed.

Brett (Northern Virginia)

Dan...I notice that you live in DC. Do you ever follow the local amature scene? I train at a gym with some dynamite amateurs that won the DC/Marylan golden gloves last year....these are some great young men.

Dan Rafael (2:17 PM)

I actually also live in Northern Virginia, but I try to follow the local scene.

Steve (Hartford)

I thought Diaoncanu fought a non title fight recently during his reign

Dan Rafael (2:17 PM)

He did -- way over 175 pounds.

James (Oakland)

Scale of 1 to 10. Does Pavlik-Williams get done?

Dan Rafael (2:17 PM)

I honestly don't know. Right now it looks bad but I hope there will be some movement.

Jorge (East Los Angeles)

Dan, As you know I've been following and asking questions about Devon Alexander's career for some time now. I'm heading down to Palm Springs to hopefully see our boy pick up his first trinket. My question is, if he wins, does he have to make an immediate mandatory? If so, who is it, and do you think King will keep the kid more active?

Dan Rafael (2:19 PM)

The WBC rules say a fighter who wins a vacant title must make a mandatory in his first defense, so I would think he would have to make a mandatory.

mike (ohio)

Dan, if Roy Jones beats Lacy is he really going to go to Austraila to face Green? Or is this another of Roy's talked about fights that don't happen.

Dan Rafael (2:19 PM)

He may do it because it will probably be one of his better money options.

Angel (Orlando, FL)

Hey Dan! I understand what you mean by the weight limit in a certain division, but with Pacquiao demanding that Cotto not be allowed to reach the maximum weight limit in the welterweight division, then Cotto should have the right to say well then you can't fight for my title, and from what I've read, Cotto has stated he will vacate the title and Pacquiao can fight for a vacant title. No big deal, he still gets to fight for the title, but Cotto chose to give it up since he's being handicapped by not being allowed to reach the MAXIMUM weight limit in HIS WEIGHT CLASS...So Pacquiao gets to fight for a vacant title....

Dan Rafael (2:20 PM)

It doesn't matter WHY a guy isn't at the upper limit. It only matters that the fight is IN the division. This is getting old. Do you not understand English?

Rich (Cape Cod)

jrak, don;t forget Dan was There for Balboa's fight vs Mason Dixon!! Action packed baby!! R u a closet Ruiz fan???

Dan Rafael (2:20 PM)

Well, I wasn't actually there for the fight. I was only there for the filming of a few other scenes!

Toby (Houston)

Too bad Balboa doesn't have a great trillogy on his resume.

Dan Rafael (2:21 PM)

Does the third fight with Creed in the gym at the end of Rocky III count?

David (San Diego)

Dantacular - I'm pumped to be headed to the Bradley/Campbell card tomorrow night. I'm hearing it's pretty much an absolute sellout. Just shows once again that fighters draw well and build up good fan bases when they fight near their home town. Take notes, Chad Dawson!

Dan Rafael (2:22 PM)

It's a good card and a good fight but the sellout aspect I wouldn't get THAT excited about. The room where the fight is only about 3,000 or so and a lot going to casino customers. But I'm not knocking it. I am glad Bradley fighting at home is drawing in the local fans. That's a great thing.

Randy (Cincinnati, OH)

I know this is all hypothetical, but.... if Cotto's title was not at stake, and he lost the fight, wouldn't the title go vacant because Cotto lost a fight within the welterweight division?

Dan Rafael (2:23 PM)


Steve (California)

Is Nate Campbell still with King or for just this 1 fight?

Dan Rafael (2:24 PM)

Nate lost his court case and will remain with King beyond this fight.

TY (Philly)

You usually give it to Sugar Ray Leonard whenever freaks propose dream matches which I agree with. Do you think he would've beaten Aaron Pryor? Without the bottle Panama mixed of course

Dan Rafael (2:25 PM)

Yes I do. Leonard is one of the top 5-10 fighters ever. Pryor was also great but not on that level.

Alan Clarke (South Africa)

Not a lot about Floyd today. His poor little ego.

Dan Rafael (2:26 PM)

Poor Floyd.

Matt (San Diego)

Dan, So now it's Judah/Diaz? Why the change from Hatton? I can't see 3lbs mattering to Judah on a guy he would dominate?

Dan Rafael (2:27 PM)

The deal for their fight was for July 18. When that fell out, they sort of looked elsewhere. Hatton was looking at other fights. Judah wanted to come down in weight a little. Diaz is actually a better fight anway.

Bradley D. Edwards (Richmond (VA))

Danimal,Ibragimov retired. Darn. I needed some more great performances to help with my insomnia

Dan Rafael (2:27 PM)

His retirement is the biggest non-story of the month. It's no surprise and he had no plans to fight anyway.

Tom (Reading, United Kingdom)

Is there any truth to the rumour that Lamont Peterson will face the winner of Tim Bradley-Nate Campbell? And if there is any truth to it has there been any word as to roughly when and where it will happen?

Dan Rafael (2:28 PM)

Lamnont has the interim belt and will be mandatory for the winner. That would be the likely next fight for the winner. Lamont will be ringside for the bout as well.

Toby (Houston)

Too bad Balboa doesn't have a great trillogy on his resume.

Dan Rafael (2:29 PM)

Sell. Cotto is not comfortable with his uncle anymore so I can't see how that would help him.

Mike (NYC)

Dan- I was reading old boxing columns archived on the site, and back in 2003 Max Kellerman spoke of a potential Mike Tyson-Roy Jones fight. Was there ever a possibility of this happening?

Dan Rafael (2:31 PM)

It was always talked about when Roy was thinking of going to heavyweight and mused about by writers and fans. It would have been a monster fight.

chrisdiggidy (oklahoma city)

Dan, every time I watch Ricardo Lopez fights, I'm amazed by his talent. I'm a huge Erik Morales fan, but there is no way Erik Morales or Barrera were better than Lopez to me, do you agree?

Dan Rafael (2:32 PM)

Lopez was great but Morales and Barrera fought better opponents, accomplished a bit more and fought in much bigger fights. But strictly on talent, I believe Lopez was better than both of them.

Jowey (Puerto RIco)

Thoughts about Daniel Santos vs Paul Williamas?

Dan Rafael (2:34 PM)

I'm not too interested in seeing Santos. Dude never fights.

NYPD Blue (Brooklyn)

Hey Dan. Just wanted to thank you for the rational view of David Haye. He has a UK fanclub that believe anything he and Booth spew to the public. To me, he is nothing but a fraud as a heavyweight at this point. A win over Monte Barrett? Gimme a break!

Chris (Denver, CO)

It would seem that ESPN still has some kinks to iron out with the chat software.

Dan Rafael (2:36 PM)

Tell me about. They IT folks will fix the transcript ASAP.

Dan Rafael (2:37 PM)

OK, Freaks, thanks for the chat this week. Hope you enjoy the new blogs and notebook. Enjoy the fights this weekend. Peace.