Mayweather-Pacquiao will set boxing records

February 24, 2015 3:07 AM
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Both casual and hardcore fight fans had come to accept Mayweather-Pacquiao most likely never taking place. That all changed last Friday. It’s Manny and Floyd May 2 at MGM Grand. For more than 5 years the most highly anticipated boxing match of this generation and arguably of all time was simply hypothetical.

Both casual and hardcore fight fans had come to accept Mayweather-Pacquiao most likely never taking place. That all changed last Friday.

It’s Manny (57-5-2, 38 KO’s) and Floyd (47-0, 26 KO’s) May 2 at MGM Grand. And before that we are treated to UFC 184 in Los Angeles and the much anticipated clash between unbeaten women’s bantamweight champ Rousey (10-0) and unbeaten Cat Zingano (9-0).

But first Money vs. PacMan. It almost feels surreal when I think back at how negotiations between the two camps fell apart back in 2009, then once again in 2010.

Pacquiao turned 36 this past December and though he’s the reigning WBO Welterweight Champion, he suffered two losses in 2012.

Mayweather, who turns 38 later this week, is three wins shy of surpassing Rocky Marciano’s perfect 49-0 record when he retired. It’s no secret that’s a mark he’s eager to reach.

Both fighters are considered to be the best at 147 pounds right now, and come in with a resume that guarantees they’ll be first ballot Hall of Fame fighters. For Pacquiao, he will need to use his volume to try and win rounds especially early on since historically that’s when opponents have had the most success against Mayweather.

Floyd is most vulnerable in the early stages of a bout, mostly when his opponent is unorthodox, meaning when a fighter is able to do what he normally hasn’t in the past. Mayweather’s greatest asset besides his great defense and ring IQ, is his straight right hand.

Pacquiao will need to come forward while avoiding the right hand because he’s never shown to have much power when backing up. If he allows Mayweather to stalk and pot-shot, it could be a very long night for the Filipino superstar.

Pacquiao will need to get his respect immediately in an attempt to stop him from being the aggressor and coming forward. Mayweather is a master counter puncher and that’s exactly where Pacquiao will need him to remain if he is to have any chance of beating one of the sport’s most efficient technicians ever.

Now it’s no secret Mayweather is tough to beat in his adopted home of Las Vegas, in fact it’s never been done. But we’ve all seen how judges can and have been swayed by fans plenty, and it’s expected this will be a pro-Pacquiao crowd.

When you factor in the obvious fact he is also more charismatic inside the ring than Mayweather, who seems to have somewhat of a disconnect with fans, that at-home advantage may not be there this time around. More importantly the opposite may be true as Pacquiao seems to understand what the public wants and likes much better.

Right now I haven’t drawn any conclusion as to which fighter I’ll be placing my wager on. I do expect this line to drop some more as money is expected to continue to be wagered on the underdog Pacquiao, at least until the weekend of the fight when Mayweather supporters step to the window.

Rousey-Zingano

Due to injury and the postponement of the scheduled UFC Middleweight title fight between champion Chris Weidman and challenger Vitor Belfort, the Rousey vs. Zigano bout is now the featured main event.

This highly anticipated fight is two years in the making and one that’s coming at a time when both fighters are peaking, and I for one am glad it’s happening now instead of back then.

Rousey has become much more than an elite judo practitioner with the sport’s most deadly arm-bar, she is now a complete fighter who continues to improve and add to her skill set. Zingano is believed to be the strongest woman competing at 135 lbs. and possibly the division’s most dangerous striker.

So this comes down to that old fight cliché of “styles make fights” and the combatant who’s able to impose her will should exit the cage victorious.

Zingano has landed 73% of her strikes and has avoided 55% of opponents’ take-down attempts, while being successful on 100% of her own. Rousey averages more than 5 submission attempts and 8 take-downs per 15 minutes and has been successful on 72% of her attempts. So statistically both are as impressive as it comes when considering the level they compete at.

Surprisingly Rousey is currently listed as high as a -1000 favorite, so the take-back on Zingano is +600. That means a bettor would need to conclude the champion’s win probability is better than 91% for a wager to be justified as having value, while Zingano supporters need a 15% chance of having her hand raised.

Personally, I don’t believe the heavy chalk is warranted. Granted, Rousey is one of the most dominant fighters in all of MMA, and hasn’t even been challenged much to date. But after studying tape of both women, there is no way I could confidently say Rousey’s chances of beating Zingano are greater than 91%, or that the challenger has less than a 15% chance of pulling the upset.

As a professional bettor who’s only goal is to get my money down when receiving the best of it, trusting the math that over time the positive expected value will result in profit, win or lose this one particular wager I still am confident taking +600 or bettor with the underdog allows me to get the best of it.

PICK: ZINGANO +600

Vegas-Runner is a professional bettor/handicapper featured on CNBC, ESPN, FOX, Yahoo, CBS This Morning, The Herd, JT the Brick, & More. Follow VR on Twitter @vegasrunnerand at the home of the Animals, Phillygodfather.com. Contact Vegas Runner at VegasRunner@GamingToday.com.