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Mayweather solves what may be his only issue vs. Berto

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LAS VEGAS (AP) Floyd Mayweather Jr. found himself with a problem as he headed to work Tuesday to try and sell skeptical fans on what he insists will be his last fight.

It wasn’t with Andre Berto, his hand-picked opponent Saturday night for the 49th fight of his long career. It’s hard to find anyone – much less Mayweather – who thinks Berto is going to give Mayweather many problems in his final fight.

The issue Mayweather was dealing with came in a text from one of his daughters. She was in Los Angeles wondering if she had to fly commercial to come see her father or if he would send his private jet.

“I said I’d send the jet,” Mayweather said.

Just another day in the life of the highest paid athlete in the world, who pulled down more than $200 million for his fight in May with Manny Pacquiao. No need to get too hyped up for Berto, not that Mayweather gets too worked up about any of his opponents, including Pacquiao.

“This is normal for me,” Mayweather told a small group of reporters after his official arrival for fight week at the MGM Grand hotel. “I’ve been here before, met with all you guys before. And the results will be the same as before.”

There are some things, though, that are quite different than the last time Mayweather went into the ring.

The opponent is Berto, not Pacquiao. There is little hype, and little chance Berto will rise to the occasion and become the first boxer to ever beat Mayweather as a pro.

Instead of $200 million, Mayweather will settle for a reported $32 million. And instead of seats going for thousands of dollars, there were still a lot of tickets for sale for just a few hundred dollars for a fight that is getting little buzz.

Not that Mayweather seemed terribly concerned about it.

“I just try to stay positive and keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best,” he said about the slow ticket sales.

Mayweather is a 20-1 favorite in man-to-man betting to keep his titles in the welterweight fight, which will be televised on pay-per-view for a suggested price of $74.95. He said again Tuesday that this will be his last fight, and he will not be tempted to break Rocky Marciano’s mark of 49-0 or to open the new arena on the Las Vegas Strip with a big bout next spring.

“I’m not breaking that 50-0,” Mayweather said. “Don’t worry about that.”

Mayweather defended his choice of Berto as an opponent, even though Berto has lost three of his last six fights, two of them to fighters Mayweather easily beat.

“He’s a former world champion so it’s obvious he did something right,” Mayweather said.

Mayweather said he was secure in his place in boxing history and wants to step back and promote other fighters.

“I’m really ready to see another fighter at the top,” he said. “I’ve done it all. I’ve broken so many records I don’t even know all the records I’ve broken.”

Manny Pacquiao loses WBO welterweight title on points to Jeff Horn

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BRISBANE, Australia (AP) Manny Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight world title to Jeff Horn in a stunning, unanimous points decision in a Sunday afternoon bout billed as the Battle of Brisbane in front of more than 50,000 people.

The 11-time world champion entered the fight at Suncorp Stadium as a hot favorite but got more than he bargained for against the 29-year-old former schoolteacher.

Still, Pacquiao dominated the later rounds and the result could have gone his way.

Pacquiao’s long-time trainer Freddie Roach predicted the fight would be short and sweet but Horn – unbeaten in his 17 previous professional fights – applied pressure by winning some of the early rounds and Pacquiao needed treatment during the 6th and 7th rounds for a cut on the top of his head that resulted from a clash of heads.

The judges scored the fight 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113, with Horn immediately calling out Floyd Mayweather Jr., after the fight, declaring himself “no joke.”

Roach had said earlier in the week that he’d think about advising Pacquioa to retire if he lost the fight, but that would depend on how he fought.

Pacquiao’s camp had talked about a rematch with Mayweather if he got past Horn, hoping to avenge his loss on points in the 2015 mega fight. That seems to be a distant chance now.

Pacquiao, who entered the fight with a record of 59-6-2, 38 knockouts, was defending the WBO title he won on points against Jessie Vargas last November.

Mayweather vs. McGregor odds: Sportsbooks set betting lines, props for fight

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Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor stand to collect a massive payday whether their superfight is a charade or a combat sports classic, and there’s plenty of upside for bettors too.

With the bout set, Mayweather is a -600 moneyline favorite against the +400 underdog McGregor at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.  Mayweather will put a 49-0 ring record on the line in the August 26 bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, while McGregor, a UFC champion at two weights, might prove a point just by having a decent showing.

The moneyline has tightened considerably since the first rumors about the fight. Last November, Mayweather opened at -2250 and McGregor opened at +950. Evidently, many MMA fans found McGregor irresistible at that price, as it steadily dropped, falling to +450 by late April. That was also the point where the moneyline on ‘Money’ came down to -700.

The over/under on rounds is 9.5. A 10-round fight is uncharted waters for McGregor, but 13 of Mayweather’s last 14 fights have gone at least 10 rounds. Twelve have gone the full 12 rounds; the Mayweather-McGregor betting odds on whether the fight goes the distance pays +125 if it does, and -175 if it’s stopped early.

McGregor also pays +120 if he wins by decision, which is the standard outcome for his bouts against full-time boxers. McGregor’s method-of-victory props include +700 for a knockout and +3300 for victory by decision.

There is little in the way of past performance to go on here, since McGregor hasn’t boxed since he was a teenager in Ireland. Mayweather’s defensive skills should allow him to parry any early onslaught from McGregor, who is a knockout artist in the UFC octagon and rarely has fights go more than two rounds.

The round prices offer the most potential profit for Mayweather backers. One can assume that the skilled defensive fighter might dance around while McGregor goes out hard. It might be prudent to scale down expectations of a quick finish – +3300 for Mayweather winning in Round 1, +2500 for Round 2 – and look at the slightly later rounds. Rounds 4 through 6 are listed at +1600 and +1400.

While Mayweather’s round prices trace a reverse parabola, McGregor’s round prices are relatively stable. The Irishman offers +4000 for a win in Round 1, or each one from Rounds 4-7. There is a slight drop to +3300 for both Round 2 and 3.

Another way to bet on the Mayweather-McGregor fight is the 4.99 million total for pay-per-view buys. The over hitting would require beating the audience for Mayweather’s 2015 fight against Manny Pacquaio (4.6 million). McGregor also holds the UFC’s PPV record of 1.65 million, set at UFC 202 in August 2016

With boxing and MMA fans creating a larger fanbase and the event being scheduled for the dog days of late August – before the NFL and college football blot out everything else on the sports landscape – 5 million buys seems doable.