One of the biggest sports days in recent memory culminates here in Las Vegas on Saturday night when Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao lace up their gloves and get it on for the Welterweight championship of the world at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. So, what picks stand out heading into the big bout?
LAS VEGAS—After five years of waiting for it, Floyd Mayweather Jr. (47-0-0, 26 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) will finally meet in a boxing ring when Mayweather looks to defend his WBA (Super), WBC and Ring Magazine welterweight titles on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Arena here in Las Vegas (PPV, 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT). The actual Weigh-In for the bout—quite possibly the most highly anticipated Boxing match in the history of the Sweet Science—will be televised on Saturday on Showtime at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. And with some reported asking prices as high as $351,000 for just a single ticket to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, you can obviously see that we have finally reached that intersection of Hype Street and Overkill Avenue here on Planet Erf, as I am pretty sure that $351,000 can still get you a pretty fabulous home these days in all 50 of the United States. Just a thought.
Anyway, we all demand to be entertained—or at least distracted it seems with Homo Sapiens now staring down at that Hard Plastic Thing in their hands 365/24/7 as if The Secret To Life was going to suddenly pop up on their tiny screens the second they stopped looking—these crazy and fast-paced days, and although many contend that this bout would have been a better fight 5 years ago when first bandied about when these two fighters were “still in their prime.” This should still be just about the same fight it would have been then in terms of the boxer’s styles, although you can the see slight losses of hand speed and reaction time in both fighters in recent bouts, although this showdown was (and is) always going to be the true test of each fighter’s career(s) in my mind. Expected to go the distance—9 of the L10 Pacquiao and 10 of the L12 Mayweather 12-Round fights have gone the distance—and to be a snoozer by so many, this fight actually has the potential to be one of the greatest fights of our lifetimes, but that will probably—like most boxing matches—depend on how willing Mayweather and Pacquiao are to actually ”go after” the other fighter and not be working to win the rounds (and the points), which in its sheer conservativeness is actually the best way to go about trying to win fights with its scoring system, as the undefeated Mayweather and native of Grand Rapids, Michigan has shown throughout his illustrious career.
Of Sharps and Squares (Why Have So Many Wagered on Unanimous Draw?)
Some Talking Mouths on the radio this week have given a knee-jerk, cliche response to why so many bettors have gone to the window and actually placed their hard-earned money on a Unanimous Draw, labeling those who have actually made this particular Proposition bet as “cynical” and part of some vast group of Conspiracy Theorists who think that The Powers That Be have already agreed behind the scenes that this needs to be a Unanimous Draw so the two can fight (at least one more time) again in The Future. Wrong, butter breath boys. Please stop insulting the intelligence of the Common Man. Most people that bet on Boxing and watch Boxing actually know that the odds the three judges who will be scoring this fight will somehow actually end up at a Unanimous Draw are pretty much slim to none. Maybe these gamblers just think the fight will be so close that this outcome (Unanimous Draw) is just something they preferred to bet on for this fight. Because one bets on any specific Prop doesn’t actually mean the bettor honestly expects it to win. It’s just a another bet. Or maybe some—like myself—saw a little bit of (perceived) value in the actual boxing odds of that particular Prop (as high as 85/1, 5Dimes; now (Thursday) high 16/1, Sky Bet) at the time and are (or were) doing it in a recreational context. Too often, members of the sports gambling media simply offer generalized blanket statements or opinions on betting action on a given sporting event, feeling the need to compare the actions—as well as the intentions and expectations—of the Common Man betting for fun and recreation (the vast majority of the betting public) with the Professionals (the elite minority). This is dumb and old.
In short, the guy betting $10 on the Unanimous Draw at 85/1 or whatever the odds are or were for this particular fight is simply not trying to do, or expecting the same thing as the so-called Wise Guys, the professional bettors and the big gambling groups are. This should be common sense by now. But some lazy, lemming-like media members need to create a Sharps vs. Squares, Big Guy vs. Little Guy, Know-It-Alls vs. Know-Nothings mentality. What happens when the perceived Square bets on Mayweather here on Saturday night? Does he become a Temporary Sharp? Or when a perceived Wise Guy touts the underdog Pacquiao? Has he strayed from his Wise Guy pack? (And will they let him back in?) Or is he simply thinking (and acting) for himself? And are all Filipinos who are simply choosing to bet on their fellow countryman Pacquiao now instant (and maybe) Temporary Squares for not doing what the big betting groups and Wise Guys appear to doing here (backing mayweather)? And does applying that same logic mean that hip-hop star 50 Cent is a Temporary Instant-Sharp and a Weekend Wise Guy because he has reportedly said that he is planning on wagering around $1.6 million on his now-again-buddy Floyd Mayweather Jr. here in Sin City on Friday night? I highly doubt that they care for (or even understand) your (and our) silly little (demeaning) definitions. We’re all just betting with hopes and expectations of winning our individual bets when you really think about it. But who has Time to think these days? Obviously not The Chirping Parrots.
So, it’s Bulls and Bears and Sharps and Squares and nobody effing cares so get a new song and dance that makes a little more sense por favor radioheads. If someone perceived as either a Sharp or a Square by this trite Labeling Process makes 1,000 bets a year, I find it hard to believe that all 1,000 bets could be defined as either “Sharp Bets” or “Square Bets,” or that money bet into markets and at sportsbooks offshore, in Europe, here in Sin City and the vast majority—illegal bets made with bookies—all fall into any easy and definable pattern. Not even close. Sports gamblers than lean to betting primarily Underdogs or Favorites are still both betting (and have the capability of betting) into markets with the same numbers, vigorish, rules and information available to the public. It’s just that one group takes it deadly serious, does it for a living, makes it a business to get the best numbers, and spends huge amounts of Time in their endeavor while the intention of the so-called Squares has never been to do it for a living, make a killing or have every sporting event subject to random events (and referees) be a Life-or-Death thing.
This tired argument is like comparing the Simple Dude trying to clean up his car and sell it to a willing buyer and just complete the transaction and move on with his Life to actual Car Salesmen who make their livings constantly getting and selling automobiles. And, as with so many things, it all comes down to one’s Intent. The intent of the Car Salesmen (The Sharp) is to always have something going, always be on the hustle, always be looking for those little edges, those off lines, those Hedging and Middling possibilities. The intent of the Simple Dude (The Square) trying to sell his car is to just sell the damn car and move on to the next thing in his Life. Because the Simple Dude is not a Car Salesman, and does want to, nor choose to sell cars for a living does not make him a Square, which often carries with it some derogatory connotations. But for some there is apparently no way of feeling good about themselves or justify what they are doing without feeling the need to tear others down to simply mentally prop up their own way of doing things. Car salesmen care about selling cars all the time and their livelihoods depend on how good they are selling cars and their Hustle. The Common Man just doesn’t care, or have to care about the constant selling of the cars or the desired profit, as his recreational $10 or $50 bet wasn’t part of some big betting group or mass play or system or anything, or even that important in The Grand Scheme of Things. Think about all this the next time you hear this tired, meaningless Sharps vs. Squares squawking. We are all actually both and neither at the same time. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Odds Movement and Coming Movement Expectations
According to reports and information in the public domain so far, the majority of tickets written (bets made) have been on 36-year-old Filipino Pacquiao, although there has reportedly been actually more money taken (thus the odds movement up to its current point) on the 38-year-old Las Vegas resident Mayweather. Odds around the globe for this particular fight have ranged from anywhere around -170 to -270, and today (Thursday) the range on the Oddschecker screen currently shows odds on favorite Mayweather as high as a -225 (bet365, BetVictor), with the lowest odds showing on the undefeated Welterweight at -183 (Bwin). Legendary Las Vegas oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro said on a radio interview on Monday that he anticipated the odds on this fight to close in the -180 range, but my feeling is that the numbers will continue to hover and close closer to the -200 mark, with some expected money from bigger gamblers (perceived in the marketplace as that “Smart Money”) likely waiting to pour in on Mayweather should the line come down to prices where they would like from expected late Square money (in their minds) on underdog Pacquiao. And many people who simply want their fighter to win will bet that way, another thing (emotions, favoritism, homerism, fandom) that has never fit into that silly Sharps vs. Squares argument. And the odds on the Draw for this fight have fallen into a horrific value-laden parameter between 14/1 (Bwin, Stan James) and 16/1 (Sky Bet, William Hill). And despite what you hear between now and fight time, these odds will all change very little now and have pretty much been hammered down to the point around which they should stay, not to say that a monumental amount of money won’t be bet between now and that first punch. This is the biggest fight in history, it’s that simple.
7 Simple Reasons Floyd Mayweather Wins this Fight on Saturday Night
1—-Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the better boxer.
2—Mayweather is the best defensive fighter ever. He has only officially been knocked down once—against retired Salvadoran Carlos Hernández—
3—The fight is here at the MGM Grand Garden in his hometown, Las Vegas, where the fighter lives, has his family, eats and trains. His Time Zone. Think about it.
4—The Odds Don’t Lie: This bout was lined a near Even fight when it was first talked about five years ago and when a MLB pitcher or NHL team is a -200 favorite (2/1 odds to win), they are expected to win. These odds number reflect a near 70%-30 % chance that Money Mayweather ends up victorious.
5-Mayweather is still mad about the incident where he and his team requested specific “Olympic-style” Drug Testing for Pacquiao for a proposed March 12, 2010 fight, thinking that the Filipino was possibly using PEDs at the time. The fight fell through and both sides chirped until they got both got tired of chirping. Why would Mayweather demand blood testing from Pacquiao unless he knew something? Toss in the fact that Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said on Wednesday that his fighter (Pacquiao) will knock Mayweather out (“in 9th Round”), and you have a reality where Floyd Mayweather Jr. will have more than enough fueling his fire and desire to actually beat this man in the ring. Mayweather may indeed be scared, but so is Pacquiao and a healthy Fear of what may happen is often the best motivator in Life and in Sports. The big question for those placing boxing picks then comes down to who is the better boxer, who can take more punches, who is in better shape, who “wants it” more and who ultimately has more to lose here. And Pacquiao will care much less than Mayweather if he should lose here on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden, whereas a loss would devastate probably Mayweather, making a potential future rematch (or two) that much less likely.
6—Who could possibly lose with your dad (Floyd Mayweather Sr.) as your trainer?
7-The ‘0.’ As in 47-0. Floyd cares more about that Zero more than all of his money and all of his fancy cars. Trust me. He is a dedicated athlete who has never smoked, drank or done drugs. And, at the ripe old age of 37, he has never lost a fight professionally. And he won’t want to start Saturday night against Manny Pacquiao.
MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO BOXING BOUT PICK: Floyd Mayweather -183 (Bwin)
PROPOSITION BET PICK: Will Manny Pacquiao Officially Be Knocked Down? Yes +300 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)