Pacquiao underdog versus Mayweather

by Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 27 2011 08:27 AM | Updated as of Nov 27 2011 04:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines - If and when the fight happens, sooner or later, Manny Pacquiao should be the underdog against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

It’s been quite a while since Pacquiao, the only boxer in history to win eight world titles in as many weight divisions, has worn the underdog tag.

He wasn't given a chance in his US debut against Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001 that oddsmakers didn't even bother to come up with betting lines for the fight, and yet he pulled it off.

Pacquiao was also the underdog in his first match with Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003, which he won via knockout, and against Erik Morales in 2005, which he lost on points.

But Pacquiao hasn't lost a fight ever since, winning 15 in a row. The last time he was tagged as the underdog was against Oscar dela Hoya in their dream match of 2008.

Everybody knows what happened. Pacquiao turned the tables on the Vegas oddsmakers, and for eight full rounds turned dela Hoya into his own whipping boy.

On that cold night in December, dela Hoya climbed the ring as the -180 favorite against the smaller but faster and stronger Pacquiao who was at +150.

If the super fight against Mayweather takes place, hopefully in May next year, Pacquiao should be back to his old role as the underdog.

In fact, when negotiations for Pacquiao vs Mayweather rolled on in 2009, oddsmakers were quick to point at the undefeated American as the favorite.

They listed Mayweather as the -160 favorite (you need to put in $160 to win a hundred bucks) and Pacquiao at +150, which translate to $150 for every $100 bet.

Sensational victories by Pacquiao over his recent fights, against the bigger, heavier guys like Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, however, narrowed the gap a little bit.

The odds for Pacquiao vs Mayweather, still posted in some betting stations, hover at around -140 for the American and +110 for the Filipino congressman.

The odds move from in different directions considering the results of the latest fights of Mayweather, who knocked out Victor Ortiz last September, and Pacquiao, who barely survived Juan Manuel Marquez a couple of weeks back.

Still, whatever the oddsmakers say, Pacquiao surely wouldn't mind.

"I don't care about the odds. Because once the fight starts, it's an entirely different matter," he said.

Pacquiao said the other day negotiations are quietly on regarding the fight with Mayweather, one that could fetch the boxers over $50 million each in guaranteed purse.

"Siguro nga, pag si Mayweather, underdog na ulit tayo. Mabuti yun (Yes, if it's Mayweather, we should be the underdog. That's good)," he said.

Everybody loves the underdog.