Rapper 50 Cent plans to bet $1.6 million on his former friend, Floyd Mayweather Jr., saying that he has no doubt that Mayweather will easily defeat power-punching Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao in their monumental megafight on May 2.
But the Las Vegas oddsmakers say, “not so fast.” The gambling capital’s legal bookmakers say that while Mayweather remains favored in the hotly anticipated matchup, bettors have been leaning much more strongly toward Pacquiao than they expected.
In fact, at this point with just under two months to go before the historic bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, sports books say they’ve never seen odds as close for a Mayweather fight as they are now.
“I’ve never seen Mayweather this low eight weeks out before the fight,” Jimmy Vaccaro, a bookmaking veteran of 40 years in Las Vegas told the Associated Press on Tuesday. “This is as close as we get to a legitimate pick ’em fight since Mayweather fought (Oscar) De La Hoya.”
Mayweather and “Golden Boy” De La Hoya fought on May 5, 2007, in what was then the most-hyped fight of the current boxing era, with Mayweather winning a split decision after De La Hoya, who seemed to be getting the better of Mayweather though the early rounds, faded in the latter half of the fight.
That fight set a record for pay-per-view sales that still stands, but is expected to be shattered by the sales of the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao broadcast.
And despite the fact that many boxing experts, including De La Hoya himself, predict that the May 2 fight will ultimately prove boring, thanks mainly to Mayweather’s airtight defense and likely reluctance to engage with Pacquiao, it appears that at least recently, bettors are surging with belief in the Filipino’s ability to crack Mayweather’s guard.
“It’s a one-way attack on Pacquiao,” Vaccaro, who runs the South Point Hotel sports book, told the AP. “We’re well into a six-figure loss right now if Pacquiao wins.”
Of course, that trend will change significantly when rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson lays down the bet that he promised to place in an interview Tuesday morning.
Despite the fact that former BFFs 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather have been publicly engaged in a war of words over the past several months, the rapper’s faith in Mayweather’s in-the-ring abilities remains undiminished, as Jackson announced that he planned to place a $1.6 million wager on the Grand Rapids, Michigan, native, who now makes his home in Las Vegas.
“Champ ‘gon smoke him,” Jackson told a radio interviewer, “It’s gonna look like [the fight] was pumped up for no reason.”
According to odds released Monday by Station Casinos, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is -200 favorite to defeat Manny Pacquiao, meaning that a bettor must put $200 down to win $100. In other words, if 50 Cent wins his $1.6 million bet, he would walk away with a profit of $800,000.
[Image: Larry Busacca/Getty Images]