Books climb back in the ring after Bradley-Pacquiao controversy
Sportsbooks are climbing back into the boxing ring after last week’s controversial decision between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao.
Bradley’s split-decision victory came under fire from sportsbooks, who were furious over what looked to be a win for Pacquiao.
Many operators voiced their concern over the possible corruption in boxing. Jay Kornegay, sportsbook director at the Las Vegas Hotel (who could not be reached for comment), even tweeted, "I know it won’t happen but I feel this should be the last boxing match we’ll ever book @LVSuperBook. #ridiculous”.
However, sport – like life – goes on.
“It is what it is,” Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports for MGM Grand Resorts, told Covers. “There are bad calls in basketball that decide games, and bad calls in football that decide the game. We’re still open for business.”
Books are offering odds on two of the bigger fights this weekend: a middleweight title bout between Julio César Chávez, Jr. and Irishmen Andy Lee, and a heavyweight bout between Eddie Chambers and Tomasz Adamek.
Oddsmakers don’t expect fight fans to be scared off of this weekend’s action because of the black cloud hovering over boxing following the Bradley-Pacquiao decision.
“Boxing bettors have a short memory,” Jimmy Vaccaro, longtime oddsmaker for Lucky’s Race and Sports Book told Covers. “They take too many left hooks in the corner too.”
Here’s a quick look at the action on these bouts:
Julio César Chávez Jr. (-480) vs. Andy Lee (+300)
Rood says the action is about a 90-10 split in favor of Chavez, who will have a huge crowd advantage fighting in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. He's the son of Mexican boxing great Julio César Chávez Sr.
Chavez (45-0 31 KOs) opened as a -400 favorite while Lee, who is 28-1 with 20 KOs, was priced at +275. Rood says there has been a little buy back on the underdog.
The bout was actually postponed due to fears that Mexican drug cartels would clash. Chavez's girlfriend was rumored to have ties to one of the gangs, however, the fighter denies those rumors. The fight is expected to bring $4.5 million into the El Paso economy.
Eddie Chambers (+220) vs. Tomasz Adamek (-185)
This heavyweight bout hasn’t garnered much buzz and is a 12-round fight for the lackluster NABF heavyweight title.
Chambers rebounded from a loss versus Wladimir Klitschko, defeating Derric Rossy via decision in February. Adamek, who fell at the hands of Vitali Klitschko in 2011, defeated Nagy Aguilera in March.
According to Vaccaro, this fight hasn’t moved from its opening odds. He says if it was held in Las Vegas, instead of New Jersey, the bout would take in 20 to 30 percent more handle.
“We would have written a lot more money if these were on the undercard of that Pacquiao fight,” says Vaccaro.