Two of the sport's premier attractions, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Miguel "Junito" Cotto, will square off in a special 145-pound catch-weight bout before a packed house at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and an HBO pay-per-view television audience on Nov. 14 in which boxing betting fans will have dozens of wagering options.
Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 knockouts), opened as the -240 favorite (bet $240 to win $100), not much of a surprise given the Filipino's most recent efforts, a second round KO of Ricky Hatton in May and a stoppage of Oscar De La Hoya in December of 2008. Pacquiao has won six world titles in as many different weight divisions ranging from 112 to 140 pounds.
Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs) opened as the +190 underdog (bet $100 to win $190), an unfamiliar role for the Puerto Rican, who has held a world title every year since 2004. Cotto's only setback, an 11th round TKO at the fists of Antonio Margarito in July of 2008, may lack legitimacy, given Margarito's suspension for using illegal hand wraps against Shane Mosley in his next fight. Cotto rebounded from that questionable loss with wins over Michael Jennings (Feb.) and Joshua Clottey (June) to set up the showdown with Pacquiao.
As is becoming more frequent these days, many bookmakers are offering a series of over/under wagers on the scheduled 12-round bout. In effect, gamblers get to choose their price based on a sliding scale of rounds:
Rounds9 1/28 1/27 1/26 1/2
Under -135 -137Even-400
Boxing betting fans also can wager on the exact outcome of the fight. Gamblers lay -125 that Pacquiao wins via KO, TKO or disqualification or take +333 that Pacman succeeds by decision. A stoppage by Cotto is worth +275 and bettors get +650 that Cotto wins via decision. It's also +2500 that the bout ends in a 12-round draw.
Some ambitious books have even gone a roundhouse right farther, offering prices on a KO, TKO, DQ, unanimous decision, spilt decision and majority decision. For example, you can get 14/1 that Pacquiao wins by split decision or 33/1 that Cotto wins via disqualification.
Far more traditional—but even more unpredictable—is choosing which fighter will win in which exact round. The price on a Pacquiao KO or TKO range from a high of 28/1 in round 1 to a low of 12/1 in round 6, round 7, round 8 or round 9. Odds are more generous for the underdog with Cotto listed at 50/1 for an opening round stoppage and 33/1 for a KO or TKO of Pacquiao in round 6, round 7, round 8, round 9, round 10 or round 11.
The less clairvoyant (that would be anyone other than Kreskin) can try their wagering prowess at group round betting. In this gambling option, you receive a block of three rounds with each bet. For example, Pacquiao by KO or TKO in rounds 4-6 is a 5/1 proposition. You get odds of 15/2 that Pacquiao stops Cotto in rounds 1-3. Cotto by KO or TKO in rounds 7-9 is 14/1 and it's 18/1 he gets the job done in rounds 1-3.
There's also a more generalized form of block round betting in which you just select the rounds, not the fighter. For instance, you get odds of +300 that the fight ends by KO or TKO in rounds 1-3; +250 that it ends in rounds 4-6; +275 that it ends in rounds 7-9; and +450 that it ends in rounds 10-12. You can also lay $275 to win $100 that the fight does not go the distance or risk $100 to win $200 that the bout is decided by the judges.
There even are prices on either fighter being knocked down (-1000), Cotto being knocked down (-400), Pacquiao being knocked down (+110), both fighters being knocked down (+175) and neither fighter being knocked down (+150).