Jackie Kallen on Boxing: Gamblers hoping for Victor Ortiz magic


By Jackie Kallen

A big gambler friend of mine who bets in the high five figures is taking a huge risk and laying a ton of money on Oritz. At 8-1 odds, he figures he can make a killing. He’s done it before. He is one of the gamblers who scored big on Tyson-Douglas twenty years ago.


Photo by Gene Blevins/Hogan Photos

He has to make the bet at the exact right time so as not to drop the odds. It’s a science and he is a master at it. He admits that he might be facing an uphill battle here, but he is willing to roll the dice.

An article in the LA Times quotes several top boxing insiders as saying that they are concerned about the age difference. Is this the fight where we see Mayweather age in front of us? It happens to every boxer eventually and no one can predict when and against whom.


Photo by Gene Blevins/Hogan Photos

The Mayweather fans will point out Bernard Hopkins and say age is not an issue. Larry Merchant says that “Hopkins is a freak. But that’s not normal. Younger, quicker guys trying to prove something to the world usually beat the older guys.”

At 34, Mayweather is hardly a senior citizen. But as Ray Mancini points out, ” My father always said that at 28 you are still a young man, but you are an old fighter.”

Damn, I hope Ortiz wins. It would be just what boxing needs. Who knows if and when a Pacquaio/Mayweather fight will happen. And the longer it takes, the less excited people seem to be. Even if Ortiz loses a close decision and looks good it will be a boost to the sport.

The gamblers have nothing much to interest them in boxing anymore. My friend says he wouldn’t bet a Klitschko fight under any circumstances. It’s a lousy bet. So he focuses more on basketball and now football.

The amount that is bet on an event indicates the interest in it. If no one cares, the numbers are low. Boxing used to be a huge draw for the high-rollers. They could make a lot of money on an upset and they were willing to try.

Jimmy Lange, who just won the WBU Jr. Middleweight belt last Saturday, says that he does not see the age difference as a factor at all. “Hell, I feel I am a better, stronger fighter today than when I was 22 or 23. Do not look at Floyd Mayweather as an old boxer. You’ll be making a big mistake. I like Victor Ortiz, but I wouldn’t drop $50,000 on him even if the odds were 100-1. That’s a pretty risky bet.”

Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen

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