Mayweather vs. McGregor odds move closer to parity as fight nears

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While no one can say with certainty how Conor McGregor will fare in a boxing ring when it matters, his price is lower than that of Buster Douglas before his epic heavyweight upset of Mike Tyson back in 1990.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a -400 betting favorite to defeat the +300 underdog McGregor in their boxing match on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

A deluge of action on McGregor from bettors looking for a big payout has continually squeezed the lines closer and closer since the first rumblings about McGregor, the two-division UFC champion, making a combat sports cross-over to fight the 49-0 Mayweather. At one point, Mayweather was a -2250 favorite with McGregor coming back at +950.

It’s a scheduled 12-round match, with the fighters slated to compete at 154 pounds and wear 10-ounce gloves, which are 2½ times heaver than what McGregor wears in the UFC.

While everyone has an opinion about how the bout might play out, straight-up wagering might not be the way to go on Saturday. The 40-year-old Mayweather, who has been laid off just two weeks shy of two years, still has to show he has the timing that has made him one of the greatest defensive boxers of all time.

With McGregor getting mixed reviews on the boxing skills he’s exhibited in sparring sessions, Mayweather at -125 for a victory by knockout, technical knockout or disqualification on the betting props for Saturday’s fight offers a fair return.

Mayweather winning by decision – the way he wins most of his fights against full-time boxers  – pays +250. McGregor is at +350 on the KO/TKO/DQ prop and +1200 for a win by decision, which is far and away the least likely outcome.

McGregor, at age 26, is much younger and has fought much more recently than Mayweather and will also come in with a reach advantage. Mayweather has had some difficulty in the past adapting to southpaws, so there might be some openings for McGregor to land some shots early.

McGregor will also keep face if he goes the distance, win or lose, so that aforementioned +250 on Mayweather by decision could pan out as a safe play.

Those who are true believers in “Mystic Mac” can also take him to win in the first four rounds, which pays out at odds of +500.

As far as odds on how many rounds the fight will go, the under is plus money up until 6.5 rounds, and does not drop to 2/1 until under 4.0 rounds, which pays +200. There is plus money on the over starting at 8.0 rounds.

Boxer LaMotta, immortalized in ‘Raging Bull,’ dies at 95

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MIAMI (AP) Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life was depicted in the film “Raging Bull,” has died at the age of 95.

His fiancee, Denise Baker, says LaMotta died Tuesday at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia.

The Bronx Bull, as he was known in his fighting days, compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts.

LaMotta fought Sugar Ray Robinson six times, handing Robinson his first defeat. He lost the middleweight title to him in what became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

In his previous fight, LaMotta saved the championship in movie-script fashion against Laurent Dauthuille. Trailing badly, LaMotta knocked out the challenger with 13 seconds left.

LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before a U.S. Senate committee. He said he was promised a shot at a title.

On June 16, 1949, he became middleweight champion when Marcel Cerdan couldn’t continue after the 10th round.

The 1980 film “Raging Bull” was based on LaMotta’s memoir. Actor Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award for it.

Canelo and Golovkin fight to controversial draw

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Gennady Golovkin retained his middleweight titles Saturday night, fighting to a draw with Canelo Alvarez in a brutal battle that ended with both fighters with their hands aloft in victory.

The middleweight showdown lived up to its hype as the two fighters traded huge punches and went after each other for 12 rounds. Neither fighter was down and neither appeared seriously hurt but both landed some huge punches to the head that had the crowd screaming in excitement.

Golovkin was the aggressor throughout and landed punches that had put other fighters to the canvas. But he couldn’t put Alvarez down, and the Mexican star more than stood his own in exchanges with Triple G, from Kazakhstan. The two were still brawling as the final seconds ticked down and the fight went to the scorecards.

One judge had Alvarez winning 118-110, a second had it 115-113 in Golovkin’s favor while the third had it 114-114. The Associated Press scored it 114-114.

Golovkin, who has never lost in 38 fights, retained his middleweight titles with the draw. But Alvarez showed that he could not only take Golovkin’s punches but land telling punches of his own.

A frenzied crowd of 22,358 at the T-Mobile Arena roared throughout the fight as the two middleweights put on the kind of show that boxing purists had anticipated. They brawled, used sharp jabs and counter-punched at times, with neither one willing to give the other much ground.

“Congratulations all my friends from Mexico,” Golovkin said. “I want a true fight. I want a big drama show.”

There was plenty of drama late in the fight as Alvarez seemed to rally and rocked Golovkin with uppercuts and big right hands. But just as soon as he landed he often took one back from the slugger so feared that most other fighter avoided him.

“I won seven-eight rounds easily,” Alvarez said.

It was a battle from the opening bell as Golovkin tried to walk Alvarez down but often found himself getting hit from sharp counter punches.

“Today, people give me draw. I focus on boxing,” Golovkin said. “Look my belts, I’m still champion. I’ve not lost.”

Golovkin predicted before the fight that the late rounds would resemble a street fight, and in a way they did. Both fighters were willing to trade, and both had no problems landing hard shots to the head.

Golovkin had chased Alvarez for nearly two years, trying to get the signature fight that would pay him millions and make him a pay-per-view draw on his own. Alvarez finally agreed after Golovkin looked vulnerable earlier this year against Daniel Jacobs in a decision win that stopped his knockout streak at 23 fights.