Mayweather Still Favored Over Pacquiao But Odds Tighten
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As impressive as Manny Pacquiao looked over 12 rounds in his decision win over Keith Thurman on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, boxing’s top bookmakers don’t seem impressed enough.
Not enough, at least, to install the 40-year-old Pacquiao as the betting favorite against historical rival Floyd Mayweather in a potential rematch next year.
According to New Jersey-based sportsbook 888Sport, Mayweather is the -230 favorite to again defeat Pacquiao, +180, should the two meet before August 31, 2020. That would be a matchup fans of boxing betting would salivate over.
Potential Rematch Has Similar Pricing as 2015 Blockbuster
Mayweather was a similar favorite back in 2015 when the two biggest boxing superstars of the last two decades met in what was considered the biggest fight in recent boxing history.
The undefeated Mayweather was around -240 when fight week came around four years ago with Pacquiao hovering around +200.
Mayweather boxed brilliantly in the fight. His footwork and counterpunching stifled the usually very active Pacquiao’s offense, and the savvy Mayweather was rewarded a career-defining decision win by the three ringside judges who scored the bout 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112.
It seems boxing’s best bookmakers expect that a potential second fight, which really is nothing more than a rumor at this point, would go the very same way should the blockbuster megafight rematch indeed be made.
Mayweather 2-0 Since Mayweather-Pacquiao
Perhaps the most interesting dynamic to the whole situation is how differently the two fighters have proceeded since their first epic encounter. Mayweather has fought only twice since Mayweather-Pacquiao with neither opponent really being considered a threat to his undefeated record.
Mayweather defeated Andre Berto by decision in September 2015 in a fight that was considered virtually meaningless by most viewers other than it supposedly being Mayweather’s last fight.
He did briefly retire after the win, only to come back to boxing two years later to face UFC star Conor McGregor in a blockbuster crossover battle between the two most popular fighters in the world.
Mayweather stopped McGregor in the tenth round in a fight that was largely panned as a circus act by the boxing media but still a huge financial success at the box office.
Since that fight, Mayweather has mostly toyed with the media about making a comeback, even going so far as to travel overseas for an exhibition boxing match against 125-pound kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, which he won by first-round knockout.
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Pacquiao Has Better Resume Since 2015
Pacquiao has been much more active than Mayweather over the last four years, and he’s competed against a higher level of competition.
Pacquiao is 6-1 since losing to Mayweather, though most would consider his decision loss to Jeff Horn in Australia the product of errant judging.
In any event, Pacquiao’s wins over Tim Bradley in 2016, Adrien Broner in 2018 and Thurman on Saturday night are considered good evidence by most that Pacquiao has remained capable of winning at the very highest levels in the sport.
More importantly, and unlike Mayweather, Pacquiao has actually proven it inside a boxing ring against other top fighters.
Pacquiao’s dominant win over Thurman, who was an undefeated world titleholder ten years his junior, was particularly impressive.
Indeed, especially during the first half of the fight, Pacquiao looked more like the fighter some people believed might have had a real chance against Mayweather circa 2010 when both fighters seemed to be at the peaks as professionals.