Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 | 2 a.m.
If You Go
- What: Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0, 25 KOs) vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs), 12 scheduled rounds
- When: Sept. 19
- Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena
- Tickets: $150-$1,000, mgmgrand.com
- TV: HBO pay-per-view, $49.95
- Father is back in Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s corner (9-15-2009)
- The merry Mayweathers: Legendary boxing family makes amends (9-14-2009)
- Mayweather Sr.: I wouldn't call Manny Pacquiao a good fighter (9-10-2009)
- New strategies to show boxing isn't dead (9-9-2009)
- Statement match (9-3-2009)
- Floyd Mayweather Jr. says distractions won't hurt him fight night (9-2-2009)
- Breather from bravado (9-2-2009)
- Mayweather-Marquez puts boxing back on the big screen (8-24-2009)
- Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s car found at shooting, search warrant served (8-24-2009)
- Judah, John-Juarez rematch highlights big Mayweather-Marquez undercard (8-19-2009)
- Police: Mayweather uncle arrested in Vegas scuffle (8-4-2009)
Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s self-imposed 21-month hiatus from boxing has not discouraged oddsmakers or the betting marketplace from making him a heavy wagering favorite in his return to the ring Saturday.
Mayweather figures to enter his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand as a significantly bigger favorite than he was in either of his two most recent bouts, against Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya, both in 2007.
Mayweather is listed as a minus 360 favorite (risk $3.60 to net $1) to beat Marquez, a plus 280 underdog (risk $1 to net $2.80) according to odds at all Station Casinos properties. Other books around town, including the Las Vegas Hilton, have Mayweather as a larger favorite at minus 400 with a price of plus 330 on Marquez. (As always, odds vary by casino property and can change by the minute.)
The round proposition offered in Las Vegas sports books suggests the fight is likely to go the distance, which makes sense considering the matchup pits a tactical expert in Mayweather against a counterpuncher in Marquez.
The round prop at Station properties asks whether the fight will last 12 full rounds, with a price of minus 125 on the “will go 12” side, and a price of plus 105 on “will not go 12.” Some books have an over/under of 11 1/2 rounds, with a premium of minus 150 on the “over.”
In the result proposition, Marquez to win by knockout is listed at 8-1 and Marquez to win by a decision is 4-1. Mayweather to win by knockout is an 8-5 choice with Mayweather by a decision 4-5, according to Station odds. It’s 15-1 the bout will end in a draw.
As a point of comparison, a prominent offshore sports book favors a Mayweather knockout (plus 112) over a Mayweather decision (plus 165), in contrast to the Las Vegas consensus.
Mayweather opened as a minus 300 favorite against Marquez on an early line from Las Vegas Sports Consultants, though Station oddsmakers opted to open Mayweather at minus 430.
Those figures are closer to the odds Mayweather commanded as a big favorite against Zab Judah in 2006 or Arturo Gatti in 2005 than the lines on Mayweather’s clashes with Hatton or De La Hoya.
Before he manhandled Hatton on the way to a 10th-round technical knockout in December 2007, Mayweather was listed as a betting favorite in the range of minus 200 to minus 280. The price was likely held in check by legions of British Hatton fans backing their man at the windows.
A 2-1 favorite against De La Hoya, Mayweather delivered for his backers with a split-decision victory in May 2007.
Mayweather was a favorite in the range of 4-1 to 5-1 leading to his unanimous-decision victory against Judah. The line on Mayweather opened at minus 360 and closed around minus 500 in his fight against Gatti, which Mayweather won by a sixth-round stoppage.
Given the lopsided betting line, it’s tempting to dismiss Saturday’s bout as a poor betting fight. It’s not without intrigue, though. The price on Mayweather is based in part on the physical matchup between the two men. Besides his vaunted defensive and technical skills, Mayweather is projected to have an advantage in strength and power. His edge in these areas depends, of course, on how much muscle Marquez has been packing on while training in Mexico City.
Underdog players could find it tough to resist Marquez, often considered one of the top three boxers in the sport, at such an attractive price against anyone, let alone a fighter returning from a layoff of nearly two years.
Mayweather, for his part, has a stock quip he uses to dismiss suggestions that Camp Marquez has solved the mystery of how to defeat him.
“All 39 had a plan,” Mayweather says, referring to his 39-0 record as a professional.
If Mayweather makes it 40-for-40 Saturday, bettors will probably have to wait for a proposed match against Manny Pacquiao to find Mayweather in the neighborhood of pick ’em at the betting windows.
One speculative (but real-money) Las Vegas betting line had Mayweather-Pacquiao as a pick ’em earlier this year.
The revised odds on that fight, if it does take place, will be based not only on the outcome of Saturday’s fight but on Mayweather’s performance in it.