Pacquiao-Bradley one final time at MGM

February 16, 2016 3:03 AM
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Over the next few months boxing fans have much to get excited about as three world title fights have been scheduled.

It all begins on April 9 when the MGM Grand Garden Arena plays host to what will serve as the trilogy between Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2) and Timothy Bradley (33-1-1).

Though most would agree Pac-Man won the two previous bouts, the official record shows they’ll both enter the ring 1-1 against the other.

I had the privilege of witnessing their first encounter, which also took place at MGM Grand, and found myself as shocked as almost everyone else inside the arena when Bradley was awarded the decision. I’m sure many remember the outcome being scrutinized by the media and fans alike who almost all believed Pacquiao should have easily been declared the victor.

Sure enough a rematch eventually took place and the second time around Manny completely dominated from the opening bell. As subjective as judging may be, all three scored the bout for Pacquiao.

Some may feel there really isn’t a need for a third installment as the Filipino boxing icon has already proven to be the better of the two fighters. According to oddsmakers, who installed Pacquiao as high as a -270 betting favorite, they also seem to think the result won’t be much different this time around.

Then in May we get to see another rematch take place, this one for a handful of heavyweight hardware when former champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-4) meets the undefeated newly crowned title holder Tyson Fury (25-0) again.

Like their initial encounter, the second meeting will also take place in Germany. Few gave Fury a legitimate shot this past November when he won by unanimous decision and put an end to an almost 10 year reign for Klitschko. In fact, bookmakers had the future Hall of Famer as better than a 5-to-1 favorite to retain all of his heavyweight straps.

Wlad had not tasted defeat in over 11 years when he entered the ring to face Fury, who had been calling the former champion since 2013. When the challenger finally did get his opportunity he did not let it slip away, and even after having a point deducted in Round 11 all of the judges agreed a new champion had emerged.

For their upcoming May 7 rematch the betting odds reflect the outcome is more or less a coin-flip as both fighters are currently listed at -110. Simply put, neither man is deserving of being named the favorite and should be considered an underdog. Which way the betting market forces this line to move is anyone’s guess as so far it’s been pretty idle.

Finally, for mixed martial arts fans the wait for a decent fight is much shorter as UFC Fight Night 83 takes place this Saturday night in Pittsburgh. The main event features Donald Cerrone (28-7) making his return to the Octagon after coming up short in his quest for a UFC championship belt.

Cerrone was on an eight fight win streak when he got stopped in the very first round this past December against current 170-pound champion Rafael dos Anjos.

His opponent for this main event, Alex Oliveira (13-2-1) has won three straight bouts under the UFC banner after losing his debut. Two of those three wins came inside the distance as the Brazilian has shown he’s got one punch knockout power and a dangerous submission game.

The betting line has Cerrone listed as high as a -290 favorite with the take back on Oliveira +240. Since their bout is the main event on this card, it’s scheduled for 5 rounds.

Personally, I would be very surprised if the outcome is left in the hands of the judges since both men are finishers. More importantly, I believe Cerrone holds a major advantage no matter where this fight takes place.

If he remains standing Cerrone is more accurate, has better defense, and throws more strikes. He’s also been able to avoid 69% of his opponents’ takedown attempts, but even if this fight does hit the mat, Cerrone’s submission offense and defense are superior to Oliveira.

Therefore without the so called “punchers chance,” it’s tough to see Oliveira getting his hand raised at the end of this one. So I’ll go ahead and say from a bettor’s perspective it’s Cerrone or pass.

PICK: Cerrone.

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 @Greek_Gamblerand at the home of the Animals, Phillygodfather.com. Contact Vegas Runner at VegasRunner@GamingToday.com.