It was never too late for Floyd vs. Manny
March 17, 2015 3:05 AM
by Vegas Runner
We are now a little more than 6 weeks away from what is undoubtedly the most highly anticipated matchup in all of sports and arguably the most illustrious fight in the history of boxing between Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KO’s) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (47-0, 26 KO’s).
Boxing historians may weigh in with names like Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis, or bring up epic bouts such as Rocky Marciano vs. Jersey Joe Walcott, Ali vs. Frazier 1 & 3, or Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns, and claim those were more sensational.
Though the possibility of Pacquiao vs. Mayweather has intoxicated both casual and hardcore boxing fans for years, the question many are asking is whether the actual fight itself will ultimately live up to the hype.
Unlike many other spectacular bouts, this one is more than 5 years in the making. Therefore all the drama and excitement leading up to May 2 has been felt in different ways for much longer than the day it was officially announced back in February.
With all of the attention it’s attracted, which will only increase as we approach fight night, is the so called bar set way too high? And are we fans and bettors alike simply setting ourselves up for disappointment?
I say NO.
For starters, our very own host city knows better than any other how to handle an event of this magnitude. Having been here for almost 20 New Year’s Eves, Super Bowl Weekends, March Madness Tournaments, and of course, the biggest boxing and MMA bouts of our generation, rest assured fight week in Vegas for Pacquiao/Mayweather will surpass anything we’ve ever before witnessed.
Next, I expect the casinos and sports books to cater to us bettors like they do for the biggest events. A record breaking handle is expected. I have zero doubt the money bet on this bout will even surpass what’s predicted.
Speaking of betting line, since opening as high as Mayweather around -240 here in Las Vegas, it has currently dropped below -200. That reflects the betting market is predicting a very competitive fight since we the bettors are the ones who ultimately shape the betting lines with the money we wager.
This fight should rival Super Bowl betting, in that it will attract money from casual fans who may not have wagered on a fight all year and those betting on boxing for the first time ever. It’s just that type of event, where almost everyone will have an opinion and want to back that opinion with cash to make it even more entertaining.
As for the fight, I believe it will not disappoint. Many have said it’s being contested a few years too late and both men are no longer in their prime. Again, I have to disagree completely.
Granted, both may have been more at their peak physically in their early 30’s rather than late 30’s, but we are still talking about the No. 1 and 2 top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. More importantly, I believe both obviously have more experience now than they did back then.
Mayweather, who may have the highest ring IQ of any boxer ever, has had many more challenges between then and now, which I see as an asset to his skill set. While Pacquiao has shown since dominating Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth fight before recklessly jumping into a counter punch with just seconds remaining in the sixth round to lose by knock-out has since shown much more discipline inside the ring.
So I am predicting right now that Pacquiao vs. Mayweather will not only live up to expectations, but as a whole surpass them no matter how high we continue to set the bar for this mega-fight that I can’t wait to experience. And though I am still in the process of gathering information, speaking to sources who I trust for their expertise, before finalizing my own pick on who wins, I believe my initial prediction is a lock and this fight can’t miss.
Roars for Rousey
Now let’s switch gears to MMA, most notably the UFC, and touch on one of the sport and promotion’s biggest stars, Ronda Rousey, who has 9 wins by submission and 2 by knockout, without any defeats on her ledger. She’s coming off her most impressive showing to date by handling what many were calling her toughest test to date in 14 seconds. That’s correct, it only took Rousey 14 seconds to lock on her patented arm-bar on the previously undefeated Cat Zingano.
As remarkable as that win was, the fact the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion was such a significant favorite against her so called “toughest opponent,” Rousey was listed as high as a 10-1 and as low as a 7-1 favorite to retain her title leading up to her cage walk. Though I for one made the mistake of thinking it was too high, she proved nothing could be further from the truth.
I have always been a huge fan of Rousey and continue to be impressed by her evolution into one of the most well-rounded and complete MMA practitioners in the game today…and that includes the men.
So what’s next for Rousey?
Fans obviously want to see her finally face off with Christiane Santos, who’s better known as simply “Cyborg” (13-1-1). The Brazilian is best known for beating the first lady of MMA, Strikeforce’s Gina Carano, in the very first round by TKO in 2009.
In 2011 Cyborg faced a 1-year ban for testing positive for a banned substance after a fight, but returned to action in 2013 and has since competed in both MMA and kick boxing.
Cyborg has been trying to secure a fight with Rousey by calling her out and saying the champion’s afraid to face her.
One of the main roadblocks is the difference in weight classes. Rousey competes at 135 lbs. and Cyborg at 145. And though the challenger has agreed to meet in the middle at the catch-weight of 140, UFC President Dana White says that’s not going to happen.
White has stated the champion is wanting and willing to fight Cyborg but for that to be a possibility, the challenger would need to come down to the bantamweight limit.
Recently, Santos has said she is currently working closely with a doctor and attempting to see if she can be at her best when making the weight cut.
I for one hope she does get to 135. A fight inside the Octagon between the two at 100% would be one of the biggest bouts in UFC history.
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 @vegasrunner, and at the home of the Animals, Phillygodfather.com. Contact Vegas Runner at VegasRunner@GamingToday.com.