This Saturday is arguably the most anticipated day for gamblers, I mean sports fans. On deck we have two potential Game 7s in the NBA, one NHL playoff game, the New York Yankees versus the Boston Red Sox, the back half of the NFL Draft, the Kentucky Derby and lastly the most anticipated boxing match to date. Floyd Mayweather facing off against Manny Pacquiao. I like to call this fight the “fight expected to generate $60-100 million in bets, twice the average for megafights”.
Pacquiao has wanted this fight for five long years, far more than Mayweather who was shamed into taking it instead of having to live the rest of his life being asked why he always ran from Pacquiao. Mayweather recently told Stephen A. Smith he lost his love for boxing about six months ago, but now has it back.
Pacquiao has quicker feet, equally quick hands and a strategic mind. He’s also a far more powerful puncher with deeper desire found since becoming a devout Christian.
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, stated, “Manny just wants this fight more than Floyd does.”
The hype machine was kicking especially through ticket sales. As the fight approached, ringside seats started at $30,000, floor seats, $22,441. Tickets were only available to fans that have a $250,000 line of credit with the MGM casino. Pay-per-view will cost 100 of your hard-earned dollars. That’s an all-time high, $20 higher than the Mayweather vs Canelo Alvarez fight in 2013. If you have not figured it out, this fight is a big deal especially for The Money Team, no pun intended. Pacquiao can be the first fighter to add a number one in Mayweather’s loss column.
Mayweather has a long history of domestic violence (five convictions, the last resulting in a two-month jail term) and when recently asked about it by Stephen A. and ESPN’s John Barr, Mayweather refused to show even a hint of remorse or to assume any guilt.
“I focus on doing my job and being at my best,” Mayweather stated.
With nothing to prove outside the ring, Mayweather feels he has more to lose in the ring. His 47-0 record is on the line; not the first time favorites of a fight walked in the ring unblemished. “In the sport of boxing, I have accomplished a little more than Manny has accomplished but he is a solid competitor. I’m a smart fighter, very calculated,” Mayweather stated.
History may not be on his side. Notable first losses: Mike Tyson (37-0), 1990: Buster Douglas surprised Tyson with a 10th-round KO. Muhammad Ali (31-0), 1971: Joe Frazier beat Ali by unanimous decision to win the heavyweight title. This fight will seal Mayweather’s legacy.
Boxing is what built the desert land to the destination it is today. This might be Vegas’ biggest night ever. That night only one boxer can share the moment. I predict the winner to be Pacquiao. His will is stronger. A Christian will. Mayweather has all on his side with money, hype and as a proven winner. Mayweather’s defense is impenetrable however, Pacquiao lands a tough punch. In 12 rounds of boxing, I see Pacquiao winning eight of the 12.