By Ivan G. Goldman
In order for Marcos Maidana to win Sept. 13, say the oddsmakers, he can’t let Floyd Mayweather make it to the final bell.
They’re so confident Maidana won’t win by decision they’ll put up $1,000 against your $100 wager. The same oddsmakers will pay only $700 if you bet on Maidana winning by knockout, which they see as more likely.
Built into these odds is the assumption that Mayweather has brought more money into Las Vegas than any fighter in history, and a judge who scored against him would be biting the hand that feeds him and many of those around him. Plus, Floyd, who owns titles in the welterweight and super welterweight divisions, has a style that wins legitimate points. He’s clever, hard to hit, and can snap out an accurate right hand and recover with his opponent feeling but never spotting the shot.
The line on a Mayweather victory ranges from minus 750 at one betting shop to minus 1,000 at another, meaning one of them demands the bettor lay out $750 to win $100 and the other won’t budge for less than $1,000. At the Maidana end, the line ranges from plus 475 to plus 650, meaning a $100 wager can win only $475 with one bookmaker all the way up to $650 with another.
Those odds aren’t as wide as they might have been. Now that Floyd has turned 37, the gambling soothsayers tell us, he’s getting closer to vulnerability and if he keeps fighting legitimately tough opponents like Maidana, one of them will eventually beat him. Meanwhile, a bettor would have to be crazy to wager on a Maidana kayo when a bet on Maidana victory by any means at all pays only a little less.
Oddsmakers, by the way, give Emanuel Taylor less chance of beating Adrien Broner this Saturday in Cincinnati than they give Maidana to defeat Mayweather. Broner, fighting at junior welter in his hometown, was minus 1,100 to Taylor’s plus 700. The match will be carried on Showtime.
Televised on the same card will be Argentine kayo artist Lucas Matthysse, 35-3 (33KOs), versus Roberto Ortiz, 31-0-1 (24 KOs), in another junior welter match. In the latest published odds Matthysse was a minus 920 favorite and Ortiz a plus 620 underdog. Ordinarily two big-time fighters competing in the same weight division in back to back matches on the same card would be setting up a showdown against each other. But Broner and Matthysse both fight out of the Al Haymon stable, so we’re not promised Broner versus Matthysse.
Whatever Haymon is planning he wouldn’t tell us anyway. Although he’s managing and “advising” a long string of fighters – about 50 we’re told – and although communicating with fans is part of his job description, Haymon refuses to speak with news media or fans. He allows dribs and drabs of information to seep out, but it’s all carefully controlled.
Haymon’s fighters are on Showtime because HBO won’t do business with him anymore and because Stephen Espinoza, the Showtime boxing czar, acts more like a Haymon flunky than a Haymon associate, rubber-stamping his increasingly uncompetitive mismatches.
Also on the Cincinnati card will be Andre Berto, coming back from shoulder surgery, against Steve Upsher Chambers. The odds on this one? Get this. Berto minus 4,000 against Chambers plus 1,400. You have to be $4,000 to win $100 on Berto. The odds on a Chambers victory are in the same vicinity as a lightning strike. Berto is another Haymon fighter.
A couple more interesting sets of fight odds:
Bernard Hopkins plus 145 versus Sergey Kovalev at minus 185, November 8 in Atlantic City. In other words, the oddsmakers are giving 49-year-old “The Alien” Hopkins serious respect in this light heavyweight title unification.
Manny Pacquiao minus 1,300 versus Chris Algieri plus 700, November 22 in Macau, China. The line gives Algieri’s pitty pat punches no respect at all against the hard-hitting Philippines congressman. Did I mention HBO is presenting this farce on pay-per-view?
New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman’s Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag was released in 2013 by Potomac Books. Watch for The Debtor Class: A Novel from Permanent Press in spring, 2015. More Information Here