IT'S the Fight Of The Century, and we've got it covered here at WeLoveBetting thanks to Iwan Evans (@IwanEvans19). Some great bets here.
Floyd Mayweather Jr v Manny Pacquiao | Sunday 05:30 | Sky Box Office
Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Floyd Mayweather Jr (47-0, 26 KO's) clashes with Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KO's) in what's being dubbed as the “Fight Of The Century”. Mayweather's WBC and WBA Welterweight titles are on the line, as well as Pacquiao's WBO 147lb crown.
There hasn't been a great deal of big fight build-up, which is what you usually see with a bout of this magnitude, however as has been mentioned, it hasn't really needed extensive promotion given the value of the respective names.
Without sounding too sombre, I can't see the fight delivering to the hype, it will be a fight for the purist, given these are two excellent boxers, not KO heavy bangers, and both have slowed down over the last couple of years, with Mayweather troubled by the unheralded Marcos Maidana in May 2014 (won the September rematch in better fashion), while I've been incredibly disappointed in Pacquiao's lack of recent killer instinct.
Mayweather has long been at the top of the sport, he was again named as Forbes highest paid athlete in November of last year, with a reported earnings of $105 million, with Pacquiao coming in 11th place, with a modest $41.8 million.
Incredibly only $0.8 million of the combined amounts come from endorsements, which shows the drawing powers of both men. The man dubbed “Money” has been involved in the two biggest fights (based on PPV buys) in the sport's history already, both times against Mexican/Mexican heritage fighters in Saul Alvarez in 2013, and Oscar de la Hoya in 2007.
The Alvarez victory was his most impressive in recent years in my eyes, ignore the fact one judge scored it a 114-114 draw, Mayweather cruised to a victory over a naturally bigger man, who could well become a force at Middleweight at the end of this year.
2013 saw Floyd produce two of his finest displays, he totally outboxed Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero a couple of months earlier, but failed to hit those heights in 2014 clashes with Argentine slugger “Chino” Maidana.
The Oxnard based banger's aggressive, high work-rate style, gave the ex self-proclaimed “Pretty Boy” huge problems in May of that year, and in my eyes it was a clear sign of Mayweather's slight, and I must emphasise slight, regress, given I still consider Floyd the finest active fighter, who has fantastic timing, foot work, and hand speed.
Pacquiao has had to make a comeback to the top of the boxing tree, given he suffered harrowing defeats to Timothy Bradley (controversial split decision), and four time foe Juan Manuel Marquez (KO6) in 2012, taking 11 months out of the ring before cruising to a 12 round decision win over Brandon Rios in November 2013.
He reversed the Bradley defeat in April 2014, and in November last year, destroyed Chris Algieri, scoring several knockdowns, which to many suggested he'd not lost his power, however years ago someone like Algieri would have barely lasted six rounds with the man from General Santos City.
I feel that Manny has gone backwards since he was voted in as a Congressman in his homeland, his work outside the ring has to be celebrated, he helps out with many less fortunate people than himself, but there's been a lack of focus for a good number of years now.
Two of his last three contests have been over in the gambling hotbed of Macao, China, dubbed the “Vegas of the East”, it's a clear sign that his star power has decreased over in the States, and to many experts, it's been a while since they saw an impressive all-round display from Pacquiao.
For several years people have pointed out different ‘blue prints' on how to take Mayweather's long unbeaten record, Maidana's all-out aggression certainly troubled him, and I for one could see the speed of Britain's Amir Khan, or the strength of his countryman Kell Brook, giving “Money” a real hard night's work.
Pacquiao certainly brings the speed, which could well make it a close fight, but he's not even weighed in at the division's limit in any of his last three bouts, and I worry that a lack of strength will cost him over 12 rounds.
Floyd has two fights left in the major TV deal he signed with US Network Showtime, and I think they are made for a couple of contests with Pacquiao (interestingly 6/4 is available with Paddy Power on there being a rematch within a year). Given that both guys are slowing down, I can see this bout ending in controversial circumstances, which is why I'm tipping up Mayweather to win by split decision at 7/1 with Paddy Power as my headline bet.
I wouldn't put anyone off the 8/11 with Ladbrokes on Mayweather to win by decision, that's pretty good value, but given I'm expecting this to be a close chess match, which could see several rounds being tough to score, the price on a split decision looks like a bet to be on. Given how much money this fight will produce, the demand for a second could well be just as big, if not even bigger.
Another very interesting bet I found at a price of 10/11 is for Pacquiao's punch landed % (recorded by Compubox) to be under 27.5%, a market offered by Paddy Power. Even though I've said it's going to be a close contest, I expect defence to be hugely important, and Mayweather is one of the finest defensive boxers of all-time.
Floyd's multi-millions have been made on the “hit and don't be hit” style, it's why he's had such a long career. He's never going to be someone who throws hundreds and hundreds of punches, you'll probably see him lay on the ropes taking Pacquiao pressure in a a good few of the rounds, but what should be noted is how many of those shots will land, and I don't expect there to be many in Manny's hurricane like flurries.
Compubox have worked 38 Mayweather fights and in May last year, they recorded the highest amount landed against him, as Maidana landed a 221 of 858, at 26%. The Argentinian totally caught Mayweather off guard, and his work-rate was incredible, but in the second contest he threw just 572 and landed just 22% of his shots.
Floyd's defence was far better, he fought a more intelligent fight, and what I would note is I can't see the Filipino throwing anywhere near that 858 mark. Given he landed just 36% and 34% against Rios and Algieri respectively, who were far too easy to catch, it's hard to see him having anywhere near that amount of success against the world's #1 P4P fighter.
Finally a bet worth maybe a couple of quid could be for Pacquiao to be deducted a point, which is available at 20/1 with Betway. Given Maidana used rough house tactics that gave Mayweather problems (deducted a point in the 10th in second fight), and also the simmering tension that's been between these two for years, we could well see Manny throwing a sneaky low blow or rabbit punch.
He's not known as a dirty fighter, but given Floyd's style has frustrated several fighters in the past, most notably Saul Alvarez, that frustration does tend to boil over, and I wouldn't be surprised if it affected the quietly spoken Pacquiao.
Floyd Mayweather Jr v Manny Pacquiao – Mayweather to win by Decision (8/11 Ladbrokes)
Floyd Mayweather Jr v Manny Pacquiao – Mayweather to win by Split Decision (7/1 Paddy Power)
Floyd Mayweather Jr v Manny Pacquio – Pacquiao Punches Landed Under 27.5% (10/11 Paddy Power)
Floyd Mayweather Jr v Manny Pacquio – Pacquiao to have a point deducted (20/1 Betway)
Floyd Mayweather Jr v Manny Pacquio – Rematch Within A Year (6/4 Paddy Power)
Betfred have come up with a cracking new customer offer for Saturday night's big fight.
Just join up before midnight on Saturday night and you'll be able to back either fighter at 8/1 to win.