Veteran boxing reporter Dan Rafael has been released by ESPN from his long-term position, according to internet videographer Elie Seckbach.
ESNews made the announcement on Easter Sunday, sparking a wave of social media speculation as to why Rafael didn’t have his contract renewed.
Rafael, 49, had joined ESPN in 2005 after being head-hunted by the outlet.
Eight years later, Rafael received the Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism from the Boxing Writers Association of America.
In 2016, his contract was renewed for another four years. Now, Seckbach states Rafael is no longer with the top sports company.
Rumors have circulated that Top Rank’s involvement with ESPN may have been a factor, although WBN must stress this is not confirmed.
Top Rank has a long-standing shaky relationship with Rafael.
Reaction on Twitter has been mixed since the news broke.
Not sure why the shock or semi outrage over Dan Rafael not having his contract renewed. This has been common knowledge for damn near a year now. He’ll find a landing spot or independently work, it will be okay.
Sad day Dan Rafael let go by ESPN. Never took it personally when he blocked me for suggesting he shouldn’t mock professional fighters.
Viva Dan Rafael !! He will bounce back good reporter !!!
Not going to cheer anyone losing employment at this time, I don’t know Dan Rafael and he blocked me for just having fight opinions, but still never happy to see anyone lose a source of income, wish him well.
Sort of feel sorry for Dan Rafael (if true). The life of a boxing writer is a tough one. Despite all his Top Rank pandering, Rafael tried to keep it square at times (was even thrown out of a recent Top Rank event Pensive face). ESPN’s boxing coverage was already poor, now it’s certified.
It’s almost certain Rafael will find a new home in the sport as one of the most recognizable faces on media row.
Rafael caused a stir at a Matchroom Boxing USA weigh-in recently when his chair broke from underneath him.
There’s a video of the incident somewhere, although WBN had trouble finding it.
Dan Rafael’s chair just broke at the weigh in. 🥴😭
That’s the second person in the last 30 mins.
Hearn, can we get better chairs!? pic.twitter.com/qArAZ8L96k
— Mr. Dinkles (@LilyyUlloa) February 28, 2020
He wasn’t the only one who experienced problems that day.
But on a serious note, this parting of ways has rocked the boxing world in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown.
The pandemic has seen the amount of big news slowing, giving Rafael’s plight more significance during the quarantine.
WBN would like to wish Dan well.
Furthermore, WBN has reached out to ESPN for official comment.