The prices for tickets to this Saturday night’s mega-event featuring the bout between Floyd Mayweather (45-0) and Marcos Maidana (35-3) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada are pricey even despite the discounts that can be found on the secondary ticket market. Ordering the fight on Showtime pay per view will set you back $70. One might think that the economics here suggest a highly anticipated fight between two evenly matched competitors. The oddsmakers beg to differ. Word around the boxing world is that you can find odds ranging from 8 to 1 up through 14 to 1. Bovada (www.bovada.lv) lists Mayweather at -1000 and Maidana at +600; www.sportbet.com has Mayweather an even bigger favorite at -1100 and Maidana at +700; and www.bet365.com lists Mayweather at 1 to 12 with Maidana backers getting 7 to 1. That doesn’t suggest an uncompetitive fight… it says you should anticipate a glorified sparring session between a pound for pound king and a rank amateur.
Stylistically and athletically, that seems to make sense. Mayweather is a slick defensive fighter who rarely gets hit because of his outstanding technique, fast feet, quick reflexes and super conditioning. While he is no offensive juggernaut, Mayweather does have fast hands and his accuracy is tremendous. Maidana seems to be the opposite. He is very heavy handed but slow in foot and hand speed. The Argentine’s defense is not that great as evidenced by him being touched by the ancient Erik Morales and the not-quite world level Josesito Lopez and Jesus Soto-Karass.
You may be thinking then… how did Maidana get this fight if he has no chance. The reason is because he is an exciting fighter who scored a huge upset in a prominent December fight when he became the first fighter to defeat Adrien Broner. That performance, where Maidana scored two knockdowns in an excellent action fight, enabled Maidana to rise from just being known by hardcore boxing fans to being recognized more widely. The Broner win also netted Maidana the WBA welterweight title. Thus, Mayweather, who had been looking at a fight with Amir Khan, turned to the Argentine for his next challenge.
With odds like this, no real analysis is needed… Mayweather is the pick. Virtually no expert, journalist or boxing person outside of Maidana’s camp is picking him and it says here that you shouldn’t either. So where can you make money? Bovada will give you -280 to bet the fight going the distance. That seems to be a reasonable place to start making some money on this card.
Where you want to look to make some real cash is the co-featured bout of the pay per view which will find Khan (28-3) taking on Luis Collazo (35-5) in a welterweight fight. Khan is listed as a -260 (SportBet), 4 to 11 (Bet365) or -270 (Bovada) favorite. The Pakistani-Brit is the favorite because he is a former Olympic Silver Medalist and multi-time 140 pound titlist while Collazo is years removed from his one welterweight title run. Khan is an athletic speedster with natural talent and fast hands. He also has quality wins over Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi and the night’s main eventer, Maidana. Collazo’s best win is his most recent: a February second round knock out of Victor Ortiz; and he is most well known for a close loss to Ricky Hatton and a wider loss to Shane Mosley. This would suggest that Khan would be the pick but the most important factors here are that Khan has been on the shelf for a year waiting for a Mayweather bout and he still has a leaky defense and terrible punch resistance. In the win over Ortiz, Collazo showed he knows how to punch with a puncher and land a knock out punch. Upset city here… Collazo is the pick.
The rest of the televised card features easy fights to pick. Adrien Broner (27-1) is a massive (-3000 by SportBet) favorite over Carlos “Not the one in Jail” Molina (17-1-1). Broner is looking to get back on the winning track since getting beat by Maidana in December and Molina is a career 135 pounder now fighting at 140 pounds after not fighting since a December 2013 loss to Khan. Easy one here… Broner is the pick. In the televised opener, J’Leon Love (17-0), the best prospect in the limited Mayweather Promotions stable, will face former super middleweight title challenger Marco Antonio Periban (20-1-1) who is the only Mexican fighter on this Cinco de Mayo weekend event. Love has only really had trouble with Gabriel Rosado who is heavy handed tough fighter with decent skills. Periban showed in his loss to Sakio Bika that he is not very skilled at all. Love is only a slight favorite (-125 on SportBet) but he should be able to stick and move against Periban… Love is the pick.
Author’s Record for the Year: 15-9 (My last set of picks had a big loss with me picking Malignaggi to beat Shawn Porter and then I missed picking Showtime’s mismatch card where all three favorites won even though Omar Figueroa’s win was controversial and Lucas Matthysse had to go through hell in his fight of the year win over John Molina).
Author’s Record in 2013: 70-24-6