By Lewis Gould

Back in the day, when boxing was a real sport and millions of Americans followed it, there were huge fights:

Leonard-Hearns, Leonard-Hagler, Ali-Frazier, Hagler-Hearns, Arguello-Pryor.

And some of them came to pass long past the time when the boxers were in their primes, like Leonard-Hagler.

But the anticipation never waned.

And so it is for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Paxquiao.

Mayweather’s the favorite, but the early money is on Pacquiao.

With negotiations in the final stages for the past few weeks, Las Vegas sports books have had lines on a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao fight for 2015. Those bets are now live, as the megafight was officially announced Friday night for May 2.

Las Vegas Superbook, at Westgate Hotel, has Mayweather listed as a minus−275 favorite and Pacquiao a plus-235 underdog. That means a Mayweather bettor must wager $275 to win $100. A $100 wager on Pacquiao would net $235 profit.

Other sports books in town don’t have Mayweather as quite as big of a favorite. CG Technology lists Mayweather at −230 and Pacquiao +190. William Hill has Mayweather −240, Pacquiao +200.

“This fight will be the biggest bet fight in the history of Nevada,” William Hill director Nick Bogdanovich told Ray Brewer of the Las Vegas Sun.

“You are talking a ridiculous among of money (wagered).”

How ridiculous? MGM’s Jay Rood told’s David Purdum he expects some bets in “seven figures.” According to the Las Vegas Sun, 94 percent of the money wagered at William Hill so far has been on Pacquiao.

Bettors favoring Pacquiao isn’t a surprise, given his overall popularity and the chance to get him as an underdog. It also can be attributed to Mayweather bettors waiting until the price is right to grab the favorite.


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