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What Are The Odds: Mayweather vs Pacquiao

Pacquiao and Mayweather
The fight of the century: Mayweather vs Pacquiao (Image: mayweathervspacquiaotickets.com)

It has been years in the making but finally the “Fight of the Century” has been confirmed with Floyd Mayweather set to go toe-to-toe with Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on 2nd May, 2015.

As expected with such a high profile fight, the interest from the betting market is astronomical with bookmakers already offering odds on the bout. It is anticipated to be one of the highest grossing fights in history, predicted to hit the $400 million mark, and is set to attract millions of bets from punters.

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The fight is such a talking point that even celebrities are weighing into the discussion with their thoughts on who will win. US rapper 50 Cent even went as far as stating he would bet $1.6 million on a win for Mayweather.

50 Cent
The American rapper 50 Cent (Image: hotnewhiphop.com)

It has been confirmed that both fighters will put their belts on the line with Mayweather currently holding the Unified WBA (Super) and WBC Welterweight belts and Pacquiao in possession of the WBO Welterweight belt.

Mayweather is the current 4/9 favourite with most bookmakers. He has built a brand on being undefeated and that winning streak stands at 47 wins with 26 of those victories coming by a knockout. Pacquiao is listed as the 15/8 outsider possessing the slightly less prolific record of 57 wins, 2 draws, and 5 defeats. He has won by virtue of knockout 38 times.

A win for Mayweather by decision or technical decision is on offer at 4/7 with a win for Pacquiao via the same method is available at 5/1. However, Pacquiao is being favoured to win by knockout with bookmakers at 9/2 whereas a knockout win for Mayweather is only listed at 13/2. The odds on a draw or technical draw are ranked at 22/1.

Bookmakers are fully expecting the fight to go the distance with the majority of bookmakers offering 1/3 on the fight lasting the full 12 rounds. Odds of 9/4 are being listed for the fight to finish before a judge’s decision is required.

Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather (Image: blackcelebritygiving.com)

The momentum of betting on the market is suggesting favour towards Mayweather to prevail victorious on points at 4/7. Pacquiao to win on points is the next best priced standard of victory at 11/2. Punters can find odds on a Mayweather or Pacquiao win during a specific round available between 33/1 and 100/1 with the latter rounds linked to the lower odds.

A range of specials have also been added to the betting market ahead of the fight. Odds on either fighter deciding to retire within one week of the fight taking place are available with a yes decision listed at 5/2 and a no decision priced at 1/4.

Other bookmakers are also offering wider odds on how the fight will end without an allocation towards a fighter. These include a unanimous decision at 4/6, technical knockout at 7/2, split decision at 5/1, knockout at 6/1, majority decision at 15/2, disqualification at 11/1, and technical decision at 13/1.

Pacquiao
Manny Pacquia (Image: clarkisit.com)

The fight will be the most hotly anticipated clash since Muhammad Ali took on Joe Frazier back on 1st October, 1975 in the historic Thrilla in Manila match up. On that occasion, the favourite Ali won by TKO in the 14th round.

Critics are backing Mayweather to maintain his undefeated record against Pacquiao with some suggesting that had the fight taken place when negotiations had initially begun back in 2009 then Pacquiao may well have been considered the slight favourite. However, Pacquiao has suffered two defeats in his last five fights and has received criticism of his performances with his activity in film and politics over the past few years believed to be a negative influence on his boxing career.

Mayweather has also seen his career caught up in controversy over recent years. In 2012, Mayweather was forced to serve an 87 day jail term at Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas for domestic abuse. He was released after serving two months of his sentence. He has since enjoyed four victories since including defeating Argentine talent Marcos Maidana twice.

Ticket prices for the fight in May are ranging from $3,500 to $250,000 and boxing fans are already making their predictions about who will win the “Fight of the Century”. Mayweather appears to be the early favourite with the bookmakers but only a fool would rule out a boxer as talented as Pacquiao as the underdog.

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That Time Pablo Escobar Had His Own Football Team

Columbian drug baron Pablo Escobar was famous for a lot of things throughout his life – cocaine smuggling, violence, his community work. What is less well known is that Escobar had a huge influence on Columbian football through his ownership of Atletico Nacional.

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With the return of Netflix’s Narcos, we’re taking a look at the sportier side of Escobar.

An image of Pablo Escobar
Image Credit: gettyimages.co.uk

The Rise of Escobar

Escobar was born on 1st December, 1949 in Rionegro, Columbia. He spent his early years on the family farm before he and his brother, Roberto, were sent away to live with their grandmother in the city of Medellin.

Despite attending La Universidad de Antioquia studying political science, Escobar could not afford the tuition fees and dropped out. It was not long before he and his brother became embroiled in a life of crime.

via GIPHY

The charismatic Escobar soon became a leader in the underground world of criminal activity.

He brought major drug traffickers together to form the Medellin drug cartel that began operating in the 1970s. It was not long before the cartel had a firm grip over the cocaine market.

An image of Pablo Escobar making a public speech
Image Credit: all-that-is-interesting.com

By the time the 1980s arrived, Escobar and his cartel were earning millions of dollars by smuggling over 70 tonnes worth of cocaine into the US every month.

It was not long before the authorities waged war on Escobar and his cartel. At its peak, it was reported that Escobar had ordered the bombing of an airliner in an attempt to assassinate presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan.

110 people on board the plane died. Galan was eventually murdered whilst giving a speech to 10,000 people in Soacha in 1990.

An image of the millions of dollars Escobar was in possession of
Image Credit: kickassfacts.com

It soon became apparent that Escobar needed more creative ways of transferring his funds without raising the attention of the authorities.

One of those options was purchasing a football club.

Justice Minister Rodrigo Bonilla was assassinated in 1984 after he launched a campaign to end cartel ownership in football and it was an area the Columbian government was not keen to touch again.

Escobar did exactly what the police had feared when he bought Medellin-based Atletico Nacional in the late 1980s.

Football Funded by Drugs

A photo of Pablo Escobar and his new football team
Image Credit: taringa.net

Escobar was soon laundering millions of dollars every year through his football club. Falsifying attendances at home games, giving incorrect figures for transfers, and lying about the cost of certain types of investment in the club allowed this to happen.

It can be argued that he simply did what a number of football club owners do these days.

The fortunes of Columbian football soon benefited from this increased financial support. Atletico Nacional would go on to win their first ever Copa Libertadores trophy in 1989 when they defeated Paraguayan side Club Olimpia 5-4 on penalties after drawing 2-2 after 90 minutes.

The Atletico Nacional side consisted of a large number of domestic players such as goalkeeper Rene Higuita and the late defender Andres Escobar.

A photo of another Columbian club owned by a drug baron
Image Credit: pesmitidelcalcio.com

Other Columbian clubs were soon taken over by drug barons. Millonarios were owned by Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez, also known as El Mexicano. America de Cali were bought out by Miguel Rodriguez, nicknamed El Senor, of the Cali cartel.

During this period, Columbian football fans referred to it as Narco-futbol.

Sinister Forces at Work

By the 1990s, Columbian football was in a state of resurgence.

Iconic players such as Carlos Valderrama, and Leonel Alvarez were setting tongues wagging at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Columbia held eventual winners Germany to a 1-1 draw in the group stages but succumbed to a 2-1 defeat after extra time to an impressive Cameroon.

Just as it appeared that Columbian football would reach is pinnacle under the financial backing of Escobar and other drug leaders, the times changed.

On 2nd December, 1993, Escobar was shot dead by the Search Bloc whilst on the run after escaping from his La Catedral prison.

An image of Pablo Escobar's headstone
Image Credit: kn3.net

He died with an alleged fortune of $30 billion to his name. It was hoped that his death would cut the head off the Columbian drug trade. On the contrary, the authorities had eliminated the one man keeping the drug traffickers in check. Chaos ensued.

In spite of the death of Escobar, the nation entered the 1994 World Cup in the USA with high hopes.

The legendary Pele even tipped the team to go all the way and win the tournament.

Thanks to heavy investment from drug barons in the domestic game, the Columbian national side had a wealth of talent including Luis Carlos Perea, Faryd Mondragon, Freddy Rincon, and Faustino Asprilla.

Unfortunately, the tournament would end in tragedy.

After Escobar

Without Escobar in charge of the national team’s interests, different cartels became involved in heavy betting on the team’s games.

An image of Barrabas Gomez, a controversial player
Image Credit: kienyke.com

Before the pivotal group stage game versus the USA, a message appeared on the dressing room television screens informing the squad that they would all be murdered if Gabriel Barrabas Gomez played.

After losing their opening match 3-1 to Romania, Columbia went on to lose against their bitter rivals 2-1. A 2-0 victory over Switzerland was not enough to see them qualify.

Tragically, upon returning home, defender Escobar was shot dead outside a nightclub in Medellin on 2nd July, 1994.

An image of the footballer Andres Escobar
Image Credit: cbc.ca

He had conceded an own goal in the loss to USA and it was alleged that his murder came as a result of the notorious Gallon brothers losing $3 million to criminal leader Carlos Castano due to that goal.

The Legacy of Narco-Futbol

The murder of footballer Andres Escobar was a watershed moment for Narco-Futbol.

The Gallon brothers were never found guilty of the crime but their bodyguard Humberto Munoz was sentenced to 43 years in prison. He only served 11 of those years.

Those involved in the drug trade realized that the stakes were now too high and drug-backed investment in football started to diminish.

An image of the recent Colombian national team
Image Credit: theparisreview.org

There is no doubt that the money from drug trafficking did give a huge boost to Columbian football. The funding helped create the golden generation that so nearly took the world by storm. Sadly, it ended in absolute devastation and death.

Narco-Futbol produced a number of memorable moments in Columbian football that will live on forever though.

Pablo Escobar may have been a morally dubious man but he changed the face of domestic football in Columbia. He inspired future generations with the likes of James Rodriguez, Falcao, and Juan Cuadrado the modern examples of that.

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