Will Mayweather-Pacquiao Bets Pay Out Big Once Again? Probably!

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While some boxing observers may have been surprised at the September 15 announcement by Floyd Mayweather of his intention to fight Manny Pacquiao in December they shouldn’t be.  Mayweather has a number of very good reasons to come out of retirement for a rematch with the Filipino superstar.

To be more exact, he’s got 220 million ‘good reasons’-- $220 million was his take for his May 2015 fight against Pacquiao.  Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 1 drew a record 4.6 million PPV buys and despite both men being three years older they’ve still got enough left in the tank to make for a compelling fight.  More importantly, there are enough viable storylines surrounding the matchup to make it interesting to the public.

Not long after Mayweather’s announcement via his Instagram account, BetOnline.ag posted the opening odds on the fight:

FLOYD MAYWEATHER, JR.                     -250

MANNY PACQUIAO                                              +210

The fight must take place by December 31, 2018 for action.  These prices are in line with those from the first bout between the two.  For that fight, Mayweather opened as a -275 favorite with takeback on Pacquiao at +235.  After what was called an ‘unprecedented’ number of wagers for a boxing event betting on the fight closed with Mayweather -200 and Pacquiao at +160.

Mayweather is now 41 and Pacquiao 39 and while both are well past their prime they’ve looked decent enough in their recent action to make this fight worth watching.  The most interesting storyline is a ‘callback’ to the first fight.  Mayweather dominated that matchup over a listless Pacquiao who landed only 81 punches to 148 for his opponent.  After the fight, Pacquiao claimed that a right shoulder injury was the reason for his substandard performance.  This could be the case, or it might be that Pacquiao just couldn’t lay a glove on defensive virtuoso Mayweather.

The most important reason to think that this fight could work has nothing to do with boxing—Mayweather is a masterful promoter and has few peers when it comes to ‘selling’ a fight.  He has the ability to transform himself into the biggest ‘heel’ in the sport and with the very likable Pacquiao in the other corner that should give him all he needs to promote this fight.  If Mayweather/Pacquiao 2 even generates half the amount of interest as their first meeting it’ll translate to over 2 million pay-per-view buys and another huge payout for both men.

Ultimately, that’s likely the reason that Mayweather wants to put his 50-0 record on the line against Pacquiao.  As he quipped in his Instagram post announcing the fight: "We gonna take the belt. We gonna get the payday. And I don't want no shoulder excuses."

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