Popular ESPN boxing scribe Dan Rafael has responded to charges of ethical corruption made against him this week by retired heavyweight Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs via Twitter.
Briggs was highly insulting to Rafael, making a string of obscenity-laced remarks about everything from the writer's weight to his ethics, even saying he felt Rafael was paid to write positively about boxers favored by certain promoters (read the original story here).
Rafael, responding to questions raised during his regular Friday afternoon chat session on ESPN, expressed both sympathy and anger toward the boxer.
"I feel sorry for Shannon, but his anger is misplaced," Rafael said.
"I didn't steal from him and I didn't have anything to do with him getting his brains beaten in by Klitschko. Did I write my opinion on his performance in the fight? Sure. That's what I get paid to do. But for Shannon to accuse me of the things he did, he is on very desperate footing and better watch what he says."
Rafael, who in an earlier chat had expressed doubt about the validity of Briggs' current lawsuit against Empire Sports and Entertainment, went on to say that Briggs is now lashing out blindly in frustration at how his boxing career ended.
"I feel more sorry for Shannon than angry at him," Rafael offered.
"His career is over. He apparently has no money and he is angry. So he's blaming anyone he can even if he is placing blame in clearly the wrong place."
The boxing scribe, known for his often caustic commentary, couldn't resist taking one verbal poke back at Briggs, however.
When asked by one questioner why Briggs was bashing him on Twitter, Rafael replied, "Too many shots to the head I would imagine."
Briggs has now gone private with his Twitter account.
[Johnny Walker also writes for Boxinginsider.com]