Pac Man Is Boxing Betting Favorite

Boxing betting fans hoping to get a rare chance to bet on Fighter of the Year Manny Pacquiao as an underdog in a bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr., will instead have to lay some serious cash if they want to back the Pac Man when he faces Mayweather replacement Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium, March 13. The Pacquiao-Mayweather bout, in which Pacquiao would have opened as a +140 underdog (bet $100 to win $140) was canceled when the two fighters could not agree on terms.

Instead, Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs), opened as a -600 favorite (bet $600 to win $100) over Clottey (35-3, 21 KOs), the +400 underdog for their pay-per-view world welterweight championship fight. Pacquaio will be defending the WBO 147-pound title he earned in his last bout, a 12th round stoppage of three-time world champion Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao’s victory made him the first man to win seven championships in as many weight divisions. Pacquiao, who has not lost in five years, boasts a resume that includes victories over Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.

Clottey won the IBF version of the welterweight title when he beat Zab Judah in 2008 but lost his most recent outing, dropping a 12-round split decision to Cotto in June of last year. Clottey is ranked as the No. 1 contender by the WBO and No. 4 by the WBA.

Boxing betting enthusiasts who are a bit squeamish about laying the big price on Pacquiao or taking just 4/1 on Clottey have several other ways to bet the fight, including how long the scheduled 12-rounder will last:

            7 1/2 rounds      8 1/2 rounds      9 1/2 rounds

Over         -250                  -190                  -160

Under       +200                 +150                 +120

You also can lay -110 that the bout goes the full 12-round distance or -125 that it does not.

Gamblers also can bet on any of the five possible outcomes to the bout: You lay -150 that Pacquiao wins via KO, TKO or DQ; +150 that the Pac Man earns a decision; +900 that Clottey notches a KO, TKO or DQ victory; +1200 that Clottey takes a decision; and +3300 that bout ends in a draw.

Many sportsbooks are offering bettors the opportunity to dissect those options even further. For example, a Pacquiao win by unanimous decision is +185 but a Pac Man victory by split decision is worth +1000. The unlikely outcome of Pacquiao winning by majority decision (two judges for Pacquiao and one judge calling the fight a draw) is +4000.

Sportsbooks also are offering round and group round betting. In round betting, the bettor must choose the winning fighter in the exact round. Prices on individual rounds range from 10/1 to 28/1 for Pacquiao in a specific round. Pick the exact round Clottey stops Pacquaio and you get 66/1.

Group round betting is non-specific to fighters and brackets the rounds in groups of three:

Rounds 1-3        +400

Rounds 4-6        +350

Rounds 7-9        +350

Rounds 10-12    +500

Pacquaio, who’s been named “Fighter of the Year” in three of the last four years, has become a big enough attraction that sportsbooks have begun to offer “specials” on his bouts. “Specials” is another way of saying that it’s time to trot out unconventional propositions. To that end, you can bet on whether either fighter is knocked down (-350); Clottey is knocked down (-160); Pacquiao is knocked down (+500); both fighters visit the canvas (+900); or neither fighter is knocked down (+250). It’s +1000 that Clottey is knocked down in the first round; +2800 that Pacquiao is knocked down in the first three minutes; and +600 that either fighter sees the canvas in round 1.

In a prop reminiscent of the mindless coin flip toss for the Super Bowl, you lay -120 that the fight is won in an odd numbered round or -120 that’s won in an even numbered round. You can get +1400 that the fight ends in the first round; +4000 that Pacquiao wins in the first 60 seconds and +8000 that Clottey shocks the boxing betting world with a triumph in the bout’s first minute.

Of course, with all of these knockout propositions, if the fight goes the distance, the house pockets the money.

Neither that prospect, nor the absence of Mayweather, is likely to dissuade boxing betting fans from betting on the Pacquiao-Clottey bout with both fists.