The props market has exploded for the Fight of the Century. But we’re still waiting for official boxing odds on whether Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. will have a point taken away from him.
Ask, and ye shall receive. The props market for the May 2 superfight (9:00 p.m. ET) between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is finally starting to reach Super Bowl proportions. As we go to press, you can bet on everything from whether the bout will end in a technical draw (NO is priced at –65000) to whether Justin Bieber will be in the ring pre-fight (NO is –140). That’s more like it.
But we’re still waiting for the official boxing odds on one of the more anticipated boxing props yet to come to our shores: Will either fighter have a point deducted? The first numbers we were seeing published had YES at +400 and NO at –650. Nothing’s changed since then. This isn’t one of the more exotic props out there, so we do expect it to hit our official board well in advance of the Big Fight. Let’s do some homework in the meantime and see if we can clarify this bet a little.
Welcome to Fight Club
Let’s start by defining the terms of the bet. In boxing, the referee has the discretion to deduct a point from a fighter’s running total on the judges’ score cards, if that fighter has violated one of the established rules. Since this fight is at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the Nevada State Athletic Commission rules will be enforced, and the NSAC will be assigning the referee and the judges.
The boxing rules in question are pretty standard when it comes to the match itself: no hitting below the belt, no kicking, no biting your opponent’s ear off – that kind of thing. When the referee sees a foul committed, he can (and almost always will) warn the boxer at least once before resorting to a point deduction. When the referee does decide to take a point away, he’ll stop the fight, direct the boxers to their respective corners, and motion directly to each judge around ringside to deduct a point – maybe even two points, if an injury has occurred.
Rule Six: There Is No Rule Six
So how often do points get deducted? Not nearly enough, if you ask boxing purists. Some referees let a lot of things go unpunished, especially the more common fouls like holding or pushing. Others are less lenient, and still others are downright incompetent. The referee for Mayweather-Pacquiao is expected to be announced at some point this week; whoever it is will receive the standard $10,000 big-fight payday for his efforts. Perhaps that announcement will be the moment the Point Deduction boxing prop gets finalized.
The personalities of the two fighters involved will have an impact on the boxing odds, as well. Pacquiao is considered a gentleman fighter, and while Mayweather is a showman who likes to fluster his opponents, the Money Man himself is a defensive fighter for the most part. We have seen Mayweather hit his opponent after the break, though. He did it to Victor Ortiz in 2011 and got away with it, but Mayweather was deducted a point for the same offense in his 1998 fight against Gustavo Fabian Cuello.
Pacquiao’s babyface demeanor makes us lean toward the NO side of the Point Deduction prop for our boxing picks, assuming the boxing odds come out around –650 or better. Ortiz head-butted Mayweather, probably on purpose, and lost a point in their fight. Then Ortiz kissed him on the cheek. Sportsmanship~! Marcos Rene Maidana had a point taken away for shoving Mayweather to the canvas in their 2014 rematch – and may have gotten away with biting Mayweather on the left hand. We expect Pacquiao to carry himself with a little more poise than that.