The hype around May 2nd’s Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr welterweight showdown is getting heavy, but it is clear both men are preparing at the highest level for this one. Looking back at the original line, Mayweather had come in a (-270) favorite, with Pacquiao returning at (+225). Now, Pacquiao has pulled in some money as he is down to (+170), with Floyd returning (-200). The over/under for this 12-rounder is set at 11 1/2, with the over paying ( -335) and the under (+275). Now, I refer to the fight as “1” in the title, as in the first of a series, and that is what I’m expecting to happen here. The over/under odds show that the match is expected to go the distance, and that leaves the door wide open for a rematch. In a scenario where Floyd wins by knockout or some other overwhelming fashion, then the point is moot, but he has not KO’d anyone in more than half a decade (eight years to be exact if you take out the 2011 Victor Ortiz stoppage, where Victor was just trying to get one more hug in before fighting and Floyd popped him coming in). A whitewash by Mayweather makes him (48-0) and he can pick and choose who #49 and #50 will be and ride off into the sunset a very rich man. But on top of all the in-ring reasons that makes this one feel like it is going the distance, in the back of his mind Mayweather knows he will be even richer if thaty last series of fights developed into a signature trilogy. If Pacquiao wins by KO or stoppage, the rematch is absolutely a no brainer and may even be assured to Mayweather in the paperwork. Regardless, Pacquiao’s coffers will always need replenishing with the lifestyle he leads, and after pulling in less than half a million PPV’s for his bout with Chris Algieri, he needs Mayweather to stay in the really big money. Should Pacquiao win by decision, it is sure to be close and the re-match is just about as likely and for the same reasons. If it is a close win for Manny, there is no way with two camps that are so divided in their opinions that the Mayweather people will not scream “robbery”. If Mayweather runs away with a decision, he won’t need a rematch, but if Pacquiao can keep it close or even if a wide disparity in the judge’s cards leads to some post fight controversy, there will be calls for a rematch. After all, Mayweather gave Maidana a rematch, and Maidana does not bring the following and therefore the money that Manny Pacquiao would bring even after a loss. So you see where this is headed? If Mayweather goes (2-0), then he gets to pick and choose who #50 is knowing he dominated the series. Manny would face the pressure of having to up his performance after the last outing and he will need to break through to cause the third match. The rhetoric coming from both camps has seemed a little canned and stale. Yes, there has been some back and forth about interference with sparring partners, and as the fight approaches something is sure to come up, but in general both men are playing it professional and by the book, without a lot of smack talking. We’ll have to wait and see what both combatants drum up as the big day approaches.
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