Manny Pacquiao’s knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 marked the end of the mass hysteria surrounding a potential Floyd Mayweather-Pacquiao bout. Sure, the fight could happen at some point, but the days of it being the richest fight in boxing history are long gone.
With Mayweather-Pacquiao out of the question for the time being, here are four fights that boxing bettors have on their Christmas wish list for 2013 as well as the projected odds (courtesy of BetSDI.com) for these possible matchups:
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (Junior Middleweight)
Odds: Mayweather -500, Alvarez +350
There is no need to throw a charity benefit for Mayweather. He still has plenty of lucrative options, including Alvarez - an undefeated 22-year-old Mexican superstar with red hair and Howdy Doody freckles.
Mayweather-Alvarez could happen in 2013, either on Cinco de Mayo weekend in May or Mexican Independence Day weekend in September. At 35 (36 in February), Mayweather has lost a step or two but is still the world’s top fighter. The question remains: When will Mayweather cross the threshold from aging to old?
If Mayweather-Alvarez happens in 2013, don’t bet against Mayweather. Many bettors have done that before and have nothing but an empty bankroll to show for it.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 5 (Welterweight)
Odds: Pacquiao -130, Marquez +100
More than two weeks have passed since a Marquez right hand left Pacquiao concussed on the MGM Grand Garden Arena canvas. Pacquiao holds a 2-1-1 advantage in the series, and with both men in the twilights of their respective careers, a fifth fight makes dollars and sense.
For Pacquiao, the betting public has come around to the fact that he’s a diminished fighter. Pacquiao opened as a 4-1 favorite against Marquez last time out before being bet down to 2-1. If a fifth fight happened, Pacquiao would present some betting value for the first time in a long time. And with Marquez turning 40 in August, Pacquiao is the bet.
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Vitali Klitschko (Heavyweight)
Odds: W. Klitschko -155, V. Klitschko +125
No reason to get excited, folks. This fight will never, ever happen. If it did, it would be the richest fight in boxing history and an event that would captivate the sporting world.
Wladimir is five years younger than Vitali, has not lost since 2004 and holds three of the four major world titles. Vitali, who at 6-foot-7 is an inch taller than Wladimir, has won 10 straight since coming out of retirement in 2008. Wladimir is more athletic, but Vitali has an iron jaw that would withstand whatever punishment Wladimir dished out.
It would be a savage heavyweight chess match, but in a pick’em sort of affair, Wladimir is the bet.
Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. 2 (Middleweight)
Odds: Martinez -260, Chavez +220
When the two fought in September, Martinez was a 2-1 favorite - a safe bet by many to school the son of the Mexican legend. For 11 rounds, Martinez did just that. Then, the 12th round happened. Chavez battered Martinez, knocking him down and nearly out before losing a unanimous decision.
The calls for a rematch started soon after Martinez’s 12th round Houdini act. Had Chavez finally found the key to beating Martinez or had Martinez just gotten careless? A rematch would draw plenty of two-way wagering action, but with 11-plus rounds of domination in his back pocket, I would bet Martinez to repeat the deed.