Mayweather-Pacquiao: Biggest Fight In History


San Francisco , CA– When the great Herb Lambeck was the top oddsmaker in the world of boxing in the 80s and 90s, he operated out of Leroy’s Sports Book, a joint that was just that, a joint. Located on a side street in what was then a dirty part of downtown Las Vegas, at any given time, this before there were sports bars were on every corner in America, Leroy’s would show horse racing from various tracks around the country, this in addition to baseball, basketball and NFL games. A man whom everybody respected, Herb, AKA Herbie “Hoops” Lambeck taught me how to set the odds on boxing matches.


Always a generous sort with both his time and money, Herb was extremely pleased when I won the last held ESPN Top Rank boxing handicapping tournament. To his credit, promoter Bob Arum gave me $250 in cash and congratulated me for beating out Las Vegas’ best handicapper Dave Cokin, and others like the late writer Jack Welsh. Winning by just one fight after a year long battle, Lambeck applauded me because I never asked him for any advice. Once he taught me the ropes in the late 80s and told me I had the methodology down, Lambeck stepped back and watched his protege take it to the bog boys “Sin City.”


There are a lot of times when setting odds is not a difficult task. I mean if you have a fighter like prime rib going against hamburger, well then it isn’t very hard to figure out who to favor and by how much. It is the close, competitive matches, the fights that are compelling to both the handicapper and the fight fan, these are the matches that make you “him and haw.”


Unless Manny Pacquiao gets upset by nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12, a fight that I list as 3-1 favoring Pacquiao, or Manny goes back on his reported willingness to submit to Random Drug Testing sans any 14-day windows or clauses, both he and Floyd Mayweather will fight in early 2012, probably in either March or May. That being the feeling both here and from insiders attached to both sides.


Some fans are calling the fight a 6’5 pick ’em event, meaning they see it as an even match. But much to the chagrin of some Pacquiao fans, Floyd Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) will open a 2 to 2 1/2 to 1 favorite. At this juncture in this article, I can already hear the moans coming from Internet cafes in the Philippines saying I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) or boxing. And while they will see these opening odds as somewhat of a slap in the face, these odds allow them to “get down” on Pacquiao a fat wad of cash, and get something for their wager. For example, $1000 on Pacquiao at 2 1/2 to 1 is a $3,500 return, thus if Pac wins, those putting down the early money shall prosper the most if Pac wins.


With every betting sports fan in the nation of 7,000 islands, as well as the huge Filipino population here in the US, these odds will fall faster than Paris Hilton’s drawers when she slept with that famous boxer on June 6, 1996. When the first bell rings, Mayweather might still be favored at something like 7 or 8-5, but that will be a far cry from the 2 or 2 1/2 to 1 opening odds.


Some of you will ask why would the Las Vegas odds gurus make Floyd the favorite? Well, there’s a saying in boxing that you go with the unbeaten fighter until he loses. Those that think Manny should be favored here will talk about his being more active than Floyd and his beating the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. While this is true, with the exception of Hatton, who had the same attitude William Joppy had when he fought the physically smaller Felix Trinidad, a total lack of respect for the smaller man’s punching power, only to get knocked out in less time than you would spend in line for a beer at a fight, Hatton, having no respect for the Pacman, got drilled in the blink of an eye, while Mayweather shut Hatton down before halting him late in the fight.


The fights with the weight drained De La Hoya, Cotto, and Margarito, while they were all big wins for Pacman, the fact that they were forced to fight him at unnatural weights is enough to make future historians diminish the value of these victories. To date, Pacquiao’s most impressive outing was his putting Hatton nearly to sleep in two rounds.


The aforementioned legend, Herb Lambeck was of the opinion that “Proposition Betting” or prop bets were for suckers. While you can great odds on a particular fighter knocking his opponent out in a certain round, the chances of being successful are somewhat slim. One proposition that both Herbie and I agreed on was the “Under-Over” bet. Take for example, if the “Under” is set at seven rounds, if you bet the “Over” and the bell rings for the 8th round, then you are a winner. Lambeck, who once put $10,000 on the Ray Leonard-Wilfred Benitez clash of 1979 to go the entire 15 rounds, nearly had a heart attack when referee Carlos Padilla stopped the fight with less than 15 seconds left to go. From that day forward, you couldn’t mention Padilla’s name around Herbie without the great oddsmaker unleashing a barrage of expletives.


With all the international attention this fight will be getting, and bookies worldwide taking bets on the Mayweather-Pacquiao match up, I think it’ll eclipse any prior boxing match in history. The masses of people will likely go with Pacquiao, while the wise guys will back Mayweather. Either way it goes, Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao will be the biggest fight in history. The only way it won’t be is “if” Juan Manuel Marquez can pull a rabbit out of his hat and beat the physically bigger Manny Pacquiao come November 12. And according to the experts, that’s a huge “IF.”

Pedro Fernandez


  • That last line was friggin high larious Pedro!

  • Ultimately, Mayweather should be the favorite. He is officially undefeated with only one result which could be interpreted as a loss. Pacquiao has several losses (albeit only one in the relevant time period) and a few more near misses.

    Floyds record of excellence goes back farther. He learned the basics of boxing beofre many kids could ride a bicycle, and knew how to manage weight and prepare for tournaments before he was 14.

    While Manny’s long and sometimes staggered road to being and elite fighter is ultimately the more impressive acomplishment, the depth of Floyd’s foundation must be considered an advantage.

    There was a fairly long stretch from 2003 until early 2008 where Manny was really kicking Floyd’s ass in terms of P4P quality of opposition and it was certainly justifiable to rank him ahead of Floyd P4P. Had the fight happened in 2008, it might have made sense to call it 50/50 with Pacquiao being much more ready to rise to big challenge whereas Mayweather simply didn’t need anywhere near his best stuff (and it showed with some flat, uninspired sparring efforts like the Sosa & Baldomir bouts and much of the first 7 rounds vs. Oscar…). But this potential comoetitive advantage has mostly levelled out over the past couple of years.

  • To answer your last question first… Her name was (undisclosed) and she had Red Hair… I married Janet about 4 years after that… THING!

    As to the other stuff, is is BS and Shane treated you like crap. I’m not going to deny that and I’m certainly not going to back him for doing it…. You just don’t do people like that… That being said… Different world my man. It goes back to what I was saying in another post. Separate set of rules for us and them.

    Shane slammed your name, what else was he going to do? You nailed him, his most easy recourse (and this is far too often used and accepted tactic) was to slander YOU and try to destroy YOUR rep… Because God knows. Taking you on; head-to-head in an honest exchange, while addressing things from conflicting, yet open and factual standpoints… Would have exposed him for the liar he was.

    And they all do lie about it Pedro… And come their ‘Judgment Day’ … When they get caught red handed… The first thing they are going to do is blame someone else they happen to find beneath their “self aggrandized” stature under the bus…

    I learned that lesson reading Brian Bosworth’s book “The BOZ” when I was a teenager and by then, it was already a practice that was well in place. Boswoth admitted much later on (nearly 20 years later) that he was lying about his Steroid abuse… But I could tell, reading that book that something didn’t add up… But he had a nearly concrete reason for everything… And that being said; he too threw people under the bus… Bosworth was a jerk, liar and everything else under the sun whom was HANDSOMELY REWARDED for being exactly who Shane Mosley was towards you!

    So I guess you are in some good company Pedro… You had the truth on your side and the TRUTH has no agenda… Shane was lying about his PED abuse, he absolutely had an agenda.

    I wish I could agree with you that Shane believed he needed Roids and EPO… But I have a far too resounding memory of a man’s voice in my head that dates back nearly a decade long now… “Everyone in the sport, who has a name that means ANYTHING… They are all on something!”.

    Don’t go for the Pyrrhic Victory Pedro… You have the truth on your side. Learn to slip and slide a bit my man.

  • The logical betting favorite and the intuitive pick to win can be two different things.

    For example Paul Williams could and should reasonably have been favored over Lara even comming of a crushing KO loss, just based on the weight of his pro record and being relatively young & fresh. But the smart & intuitive pick was Lara, having the skills & talent to make it almost a routine win – if not for unanswered questions about Lara’s intensity & mental toughness, it would have been an easy pick.

    Marco Antonio Barrera was a very justifiable favorite against both Pacquaio & Junior Jones – while being a justifiable underdog against Kennedy McKinney. But in reality, there were alot of good intuitive reasons to pick the underdog in all those bouts.

  • Why split hairs? Lets just have an asterisk beside every fight for which the official weigh-in is on the day before. I mean if you can have 15lb weight differences at the openning bell, what possible integrity can the weigh in have?

    This leaves a lot more room for an advantage than a contracted weight which was known and agreed to by both sides 3 months in advance.

    There is an intelligent point in the weight argument, but one which is being used cynically and selectively. Odd how much less time is spent talking about how weight drained Diego Coralles might have been before being an accessory to Mayweather’s career defining win.

  • For five years he tarnished my reputation, said I was a liar and I saw his BALCO testimony. He was scared of Oscar at 154, so he needed steroids and EPO. That’s cowardly……When’s the last time you ran from somebody that wears pumps and fishnet stocking Jack?

  • Pedro,

    If you are going to disqualify the word of every fighter who ever lied about Roiding and/or fought like $hit at age 38… The list of people you take at their word just might fit on a 3X5 card… And even then, you just might want to write that list in pencil.

    Shane isn’t a coward and you know this; look at his past. He was an old, shot guy who got both a big payday and title shot offer; neither of which he deserved… What was Shane going to do? Say “No man, I haven’t earned the offer. Give that 5 million dollar payday to XYZ. He’s more worthy right now”…

    I agree with you, he fought like $hit and ran against Pacquiao and he wasn’t that much better against Mayweather… But he was old, shot, shopworn and every other thing they carve into a shot/old fighter’s tombstone… All Shane did was repeat history.

    What was he supposed to do? TRY?!!! If he did in either case he would have been KTFO… And a lot of guys have that thing about being KOed. It is taboo, they don’t want it on their resume. It is like the Boogieman. Shane is one of those guys and everyone knows it.

    He’s not a coward… What you saw from Shane was the result of terrible, yet intentional matchmaking and people looking to cash in on a mismatch, versus the name of a corpse being rolled out of the morgue while it still had some name value. Something that has now become the norm for Boxing.

    Even liars like Mosley tell the truth sometimes Pedro… Respect.

  • “When Floyd destroys the myth of Pacquiao, where will all you Pacnuts be then”

    where were the PacNuts when Pacquiao was not popupar yet or when the PacNuts do not him yet? just here working hard, making both ends meet and loving the sports of boxing…the same will be when he is gone.

    Where will Ringtalk forum be when the PacMan is gone? terribly lonely and forgotten unless he keeps on writing about PacMan’s PED use or whatever…For truth be told, this forum is nothing without the great Manny Pacquiao. Your love for Maynever will not bring you followers to this forum ONLY those people you derogatorily called PacNuts through Manny Pacquiao will bring people to this forum whether you admit it or not.

    Forget about the PacMan-Maynever fight. It will never HAPPEN. Maynever will always find an alibi not to fight. Listen to boxing’s reputable analyst or commentators like Bert Sugar and Larry Merchant who believes Maynever don’t want tp fight Pacquaioa not because of that crappy accusations of PED use and drug testing issue. It is because Maynever don’t want to lose and don’t want to fight fighter/fighters who has a great chance of beating him pure and simple. An element of fear is also playing great factor why he doesn’t want to fight. He knows PacMan is energetic and throws punches on different angle and in volume that two or three out seven will hit Maynever punches that he cannot see which is more devastating and will know him out. Maynever is not a devastating puncher and is slowing down as Freddie Roach observed.

    I will bet my hard earned $100 dollars Pedro for PacMan if ever, only if ever your hero, Maynever find his balls at last and fight the great PacMan. I hope you, Pedro, will bet for Maynever for $100 bucks…it is not much but let us put the money where our mouth is….

  • Pedro: I agree with you those pounds make all the difference in the world. I’ve been physically fit most of my life and maintained a training routine while fasting for 10 days (i know, not the same) which included at the time wrestling, running, bleachers, etc. I have an idea how much of a difference it makes when your literally starving and working out at the same time. But with that said someone with your experience of struggling to make weight, you know all of that info at the time when you called the cotto pac a pick em fight did you not? All I’m saying is if its a pick em, then props should be given to the winner because with ALL things considered, you yourself isaid it was a toss up. Anyways, mad respect to you Pedro and all those that put in on the website. You guys are a cut above the rest…

  • Shane was making bank, Shane has no balls anymore, never tried to win the fight, just like the Mayweather fight after landing the shot. An admitted Steroid & EPO cheater, I would need to verify if he said the sun was going to rise in the morning!

  • You train differently to make 145, than you do 147. I fought at 139, to make 137, even though I weighed 138 & change on occasion would have been physical and mental torture. Unless you’ve fought and struggled to make weight, you just don’t know 1200. Respect, pedro

  • Pedro: I hear ya regarding Cotto saying that he feels Pac is on Ped’s. The problem I have with that though is he lost and for sure his opinion is biased. Cotto got on his bycycle as early as the 4th round after he got dropped in that exchange. Recently, Berto accused ortiz of taking some sort of ped’s after the loss. It just stinks that people can throw that around without any proof of evidence as an excuse. And everybody knew the weigh in was at 145 and I’m sure you knew he weighed in at 146 his fight prior, therefore you shoud’ve factored that in when you called it a pick em fight. Kind of unfair to not give full credit after the fight itself.

  • Pedro,

    Looking forward to your story “Pacnuts Ignoring The Facts” … I think it will be an insightful read… And I know I’ll probably learn a few things from it.

    I just hope you aren’t going to the trouble of doing this with the expectation that laying out … “facts” … is going to anything to change the delusional mind of a Pacnut.

  • Pedro,

    Mosley also said he had never before been hit as hard by anyone in his career.

  • The having to weigh 145 played a role. P;us, Cotto told me last october in Colombia, never before has he saw a fighter get so strong in the late rounds. To me, he is suggessting Manny is on PED’s.

  • Veracruz, I will do a story on: Pacnuts Ignoring The Facts! Floyd would slap Pacman silly period! Listen to the Greg Haugen interview on “Ring Talk” Saturday at 11 AM PT at http://www.sportysbyline.com

  • For sure Floyd will be rooting and praying(does he know how to pray?)that Marquez beats Pacquiao, so that the fight with Manny won’t happen. But should Pacquiao destroys JMM as expected, Floyd would claim that Pacman is on PED. Either way, he has reasons to say, no go to the fight. Can’t you see, Mayweather is so scared of Manny!

  • Pedro, I remember clearly you being on the fence with the cotto pac fight, calling it a pick em…So I don’t see how YOU don’t give him credit for that walloping of cotto. Regarding having Mayweather over pac, can’t really get mad at that because I think a great argument can be made for both.

  • Let’s focus on the present, not the past.

    We know what Manny has presently agreed to, “random testing, with a 14 day window” which is what Floyd wanted originally.

    Since then, Floyd has flip flop and changed his mind. Floyd is not stupid, he knows Manny will NEVER agree to drug testing “all the way up to fight”, thus causing another delay. He knows that it will be a huge mental distraction for Manny, and an advantage he desperately is seeking.

    I know it sound lame to Floyd fans, but what is even “lamer” (not sure if that is a word..lol) is Floyd missing court because he “had to train” for the Ortiz fight that was 3 months away.

    As far the “3 no hopers”, we can blame BOB ARUM, Floyd, Clottey and Shame. At least, Margacheato fought back and took his beatdown like a real man. Even though it was a one sided contest, it was WAY more entertaining than Floyd vs Dela Hoya.

  • We love Pac and what he brings. Don’t like his not taking the drug tests and instead fighting three no-hopers. Long live the Pacman!

  • Pedro, The real question is, where would YOU (RING TALK) be without all these PACNUTS? I will bet my left pacnut your site would dramaticaly lose half the hits you are receiving now if you did NOT blog about Manny or mentioning his name in any of your articles. Manny is the face of BOXING at this very moment in time. Embrace it my friend, there will not be another one like him for a while. Peace!

  • This will be the scenario. After Pacquiao beat Floyd, Pedro will eat crow again and then again find excuses. Same as what happened when Pacquiao beat Oscar. LOL!!!

  • Nice breakdown R.Cameron, I tend to agree.

  • “When Floyd destroys the myth of Pacquiao, where will all you Pacnuts be then?”

    Searching for a new Filipino superman..probably Donaire!! LOL!!!

  • When Pacquiao sends Mayweather to the hospital like the other fighters he distroyed, when will you be then Pedro? You have all the right to call Pacquiao fans “Pacnuts” the same way we have the right to call you “Flomo” or “Floydiot”.

  • When Floyd destroys the myth of Pacquiao, where will all you Pacnuts be then?

  • Do not forget to put an asterisk by *Floyd Jr vs Marquez… That was a “catch weight” fight at 144, which JMM missed by 2 lbs and Floyd, over by 2lbs.

  • Please, stop grasping for straws, the only place Floyd is going is to the bank!

  • pacman vs cotto, cotto weighed in 145 (catchweight). cotto weighed against clottey at 146. he was not drained. cotto had some decent early rounds in with pacman.

    1 more pedro. factor in roach.

  • real boxing people that been around long before miss pacman, an most of the real boxing world dont pay any attention to anything filipinos say when it come to boxing. we dont care what you say, cause it will be all over soon if pac really take the random test, then Floyd will put him away so easy, an we wont never ever have to hear from u people again, but in case you dont no it yet, filipinos are Floyds biggest fan base, u follow Mayweather everywere, all over the net 24/7, ya’ll eat sleep Mayweather, you even gonna make him richer then anyone in the history of boxing, i no you dont mean to do that, but its to late, but whats gonna really upset u people the most, is miss pacman will get stop easy in 3rds,lol

  • “Floyd might be going to prison, if that’s the case…all bets are off, as well as the fight”

    Mayweather was taken into custody on September 10, 2010, but was released after posting $3000 bail. Initially, Mayweather was charged with felony theft stemming from the disappearance of Harris’s iPhone, but on September 16, 2010, two felony coercion charges and one felony robbery charge were added to the case, along with one misdemeanor domestic battery charge and three misdemeanor harassment charges. If convicted of all charges, Mayweather could face up to 34 years in prison

  • “I can already hear the moans coming from Internet cafes in the Philippines saying I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to Manny Pacquiao…” Pedro, you amaze me. Bulk of the PPV numbers for each Pacquiao fight do not come from the Philippines. Please do not ignore Pacquiao’s North American and South American fans. you make it sound like Filipinos are the only ones obsessed with Pacquiao.

  • That fight will never happen because Maynever will not fight Pacquiao…pure and simple.

  • Until the dotted line is signed and this fight is made who cares? All it does is amps up the fans on both sides. I hear the same thing from Pac/FMJ fans.

    Pac fans: Pac has agreed to the tests click on this youtube video to prove it.

    FMJ fans: No he hasn’t check out this article to prove he hasnt.

    Blah blah blah! We talk more about these two guys not fighting than of actual fights going on. Boxing will be better when they are both gone!

  • Floyd has to be the favorite against Manny for many reasons. Sure we all know Floyd’s undefeated, but Manny has had trouble with counter-punchers(Marquez, Morales)and Floyd is the best counter-puncher in the sport. If Manny makes the mistake of lunging at Floyd, he will pay a dear price for it. Floyd is also the most accurate, best defensive fighter in the game and it will be difficult for Manny to connect with a clean knockout shot, as he did against Ricky Hatton. Now it’s true that Floyd has had some trouble with southpaws(Zab Judah and Chop Chop Corley both hurt Floyd with right hooks) and that’s the shot that Manny would need to land against Floyd to get to him, but as Floyd has shown against every fighter who has stunned him, he can adapt and survive. With knowing both guy’s history, I don’t see how there is any way Manny will go into this battle as the favorite, even though Manny has A LOT of fans backing him.

    I agree with your point about catch-weight fights, I’m also not a fan of them. Old school fighters like Henry Armstrong, Roberto Duran and many others have moved up in weight and won numerous world titles the right way. A World Welterweight title fight was exactly that: Two fighters who fight at 147lbs, not at 144 lbs.

    This fight will shatter the Floyd vs Oscar PPV record if Manny takes care of Marquez, as he should. I don’t believe at this stage of his career that Marquez can beat Manny. He’s 38 years old and has been in many wars since their last fight and Manny has improved since then. I’m not saying that Father Time is close to tapping Marquez on the shoulder, but he will have a ringside seat and will be keeping an eye on Marquez. I believe Manny will stop Marquez within 8 rounds.

    Another great article Pedro!

  • Hahahaha, maraming Pinoy voted!!!


    MAYWEATHER 12.2%
    PACQUIAO 84.8%

  • The saying goes, “A good big man beats a good little man” well in that case Money Mayweather takes this no problem!!!

  • floyd might be going to prison, if thats the case…all bets are off, as well as the fight.

  • Pedro you forgot another possibility for the fight not happening: Pacquiao beats Marquez and looks good doing it prompting Mayweather to retire yet again!

  • I know how the betting game works well enough and it isn’t all about reality but rather a large portion is based on money flow and a prime example of this can be displayed by the first Holyfield – Tyson fight. Where the odds opened up at something like 20-1 and closed at around 5-1… People who were reliable betters on Tyson short pay-offs, in other words, the guys who laid down 20 million in the past to make 1 mil… Looked at Holyfield, knew who he was and knew that he wasn’t safe money, so they helf off and in a good number of cases put long money on Holyfield… And this went on until the opening odds shrunk to 20-25% of what they were… And when Holyfield beat Tyson, if I am not mistaken, it was the single biggest financial beating the gambling industry ever suffered over a sporting bet.

    Strip away all the BS and place this fight in a vacume, where there is money flow and there are no bets being placed… I can’t find anything within me that says this fight is closer than 3:1 favoring PBF and that means, no intangibles, no BS. Show up roided, show up roid free… show up with a pistol… Manny’s going to be in serious trouble. PBF is superior to him in every way except perhaps the fact that Floyd has a history of hand issues… The only way Pacquiao beats Mayweather, IMO, is if May breaks a hand or shows up with Father Time standing in his corner like The Grim Reapor… And since that can happen, that is why this fight is 3:1 and not 5:1…

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