Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are finally set to get in the ring together for their long-talked about and much-hyped championship fight on May 2nd (a.k.a. Kentucky Derby Day!). With a mega-fight comes opportunities for astute bettors. Let’s take a look at some of the action you can get on the bout, along with some fun props.
Mayweather/Pacquiao Fight Odds:
Odds to Win:
- Mayweather: 1/2
- Pacquiao: 8/5
Mayweather is a 1/2 favorite to win the fight (by any means), while Pacquiao is an 8/5 dog. Based on his 47-0 record and Pacquiao’s recent form (two losses in his last five bouts), the value is with Mayweather. If you take Pacquiao at 8/5, it means you think he has, roughly, a 38-percent chance of winning.
Odds to Win by Knockout:
- Either fighter: 3/2
- Mayweather: 5/1
- Pacquiao: 6/1
The odds that the match ends in a knockout (by either fighter) are 3/2. You can get 6/1 on a Pacquiao KO and 5/1 on a Mayweather knockout.
Only one of Pacquiao’s last nine fights has been won by a KO; the other eight have gone to a decision. Mayweather, meanwhile, has gone to the cards in five straight and seven of his last eight. If that doesn’t convince you that this fight is going to a decision, then consider this: in over 100 fights between them, Mayweather and Pacquiao have been knocked out a combined one time. (Pacquiao was KOed by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, the fourth time they squared off.)
Over/under on the Number of Rounds:
- over: 1/3
- under: 8/3
The over/under on the length of the fight is 11.5 rounds with the over as a 1/3 favorite. That accords with the high probability of the fight going to a decision.
Odds to Win by Decision:
- Mayweather: 2/3
- Pacquiao: 9/2
Mayweather is 2/3 to win the fight by decision; Pacquiao is at 9/2. Pacquiao’s last seven wins have come by decision while Mayweather has five straight wins that have gone the distance. While the payout isn’t great on a Mayweather-by-decision outcome, there’s better than a 60% chance of it happening, in my view, meaning that’s where the value lies once again.
Over/under on PPV Buys:
- 3.05 million o/u
No fight has earned more cash from pay-per-view than Mayweather’s 2007 split decision victory over Oscar De La Hoya. (The match generated $130 million in total revenue with a record 2.44 million television buys at $55 per screen.)
But that won’t be true for long.
Ordering the Pacquiao/Mayweather fight on PPV is expected to cost around $100, and the over/under on PPV purchases is at 3.05 million. I don’t have a play, here, I just want to point out that this fight is expected to gross 2.5-times the next biggest fight!
Which Celebrities Will Be in the Audience?
Supposedly, tickets will be so hard to get that celebrities are being asked to pay full price to get in. (The audacity!) That said, we know who likes to attend the biggest fights, and we know who has the connections to find a seat. Our best bets to be ringside are:
- Ronda Rousey (1/3)
- Jack Nicholson (3/2)
- Sylvester Stallone (2/1)
- Brad Pitt (3/1)
- Mariah Carey (4/1)
- Russell Crowe (4/1)
- Arnold Schwarzenegger (4/1)
- Donald Trump (4/1)
- David Beckham (5/1)
- Will Ferrell (6/1)
Odds One of the Fighters Fails a Drug Test:
A lot has been made of the drug testing leading up to the fight. In fact, it was one of the sticking points that prolonged negotiations. But both fighters have been pretty adamant that they’re not going to fail any testing, with Pacquiao apparently going so far as to propose a $5 million penalty for a positive test.
So what are the chances of a positive drug test? A modest 15/1.
What are the chances there will be accusations of drug use? A robust 1/9!
Odds of the Entourages Getting into a Brawl:
And finally, since this is boxing, where ears get bitten off and dudes sometimes parachute into the ring, it seems like a brawl involving the fighters’ entourages is possible. It’s not likely, but 35/1 seems reasonable.
Odds of Winning that Brawl:
- Freddie Roach: 2/5
- Floyd Mayweather Sr.: 5/3
If they do duke it out, the main event would be sure to feature Pacquiao’s 55-year-old trainer Freddie Roach and Mayweather’s 62-year-old trainer/father Floyd Sr.
Roach is seven years younger and retired in 1986 with a 40-13 record. Mayweather Sr. went 28-6-1 in his pro career and once fought Sugar Ray Leonard. However, Mayweather Sr. has a lung disease, and that makes the younger Roach a solid 2/5 favorite.
Obviously, the latter part of this article is tongue-in-cheek. Please don’t get mad at me when you can’t lay money down on Floyd Sr. jabbing Freddie Roach into submission.
(Photo credit: Chamber of Fear (Flickr: Floyd Mayweather) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)