In his second fight at 140 pounds, Floyd Mayweather steps into the ring in Miami against Henry Bruseles (21-2-1, 13 KO's), a Puerto Rican who currently holds the WBO Latino junior welterweight title. At stake is a shot at the WBC super lightweight (or junior welter, if you prefer) title, as this is billed as an 'official eliminator'. As such, both fighters had to make the weight. Mayweather and Bruseles are both 139 pounds.
Mayweather is not likely to be extended much in this bout, and the numbers at various internet sportsbooks reflect it. Among the sites we surveyed, Diamond Sports International appears to be the most generous to Mayweather backers, as you can lay 18/1 (-1800) on the former junior lightweight and lightweight belt-holder. Olympic Sports and World Sports Exchange have Mayweather at -2000 (lay 20/1), as does BetOnSports.com.
At Intertops, Mayweather is also listed at -2000, but the 'takeback' on Bruseles is just +600. Obviously, when you see a spread like that, it's the sign that says, 'We don't want you to bet on this fight'. Blue Square and Paddy Power require you to lay 33/1 on Mayweather, with Bruseles fetching a price of just 10/1.
In terms of the over/under action, there is limited availability. Diamond and World Sports Exchange have the number at 9-1/2 rounds, with WSEX, for example, shading the 'under' proposition (-140), with the 'over' at +110. Since there's little value to be gained playing the side in this fight, the total rounds is certainly a reasonable place to look. But this proposition is tricky, because your success depends on which Floyd Mayweather is going to show up. Will he be the guy who comes to search and destroy, as he did against Philip Ndou or Diego Corrales, or will he be content to skate through the fight and get a decision? What mood will the guy be in? Also consider that Mayweather has had hand problems in the past, has fought just once in the last fourteen months, and just once at this weight....................
Underneath the Mayweather-Bruseles bout, heavyweights Samuel Peter and Yanqui Diaz will battle for the USBA crown. Peter (21-0, 18 KO's) is a Nigerian native who is considered at the very top of the heap of heavyweight prospects, so he has a chance to move up fast in what is a thin division. In his last fight, which was just seven weeks ago, he scared everyone when he put Jeremy Williams down and out for several minutes with a left hook in the second round. He weighed in at 247, which is right in line with recent weights. Diaz, a 6'4" Cuban native, had 205 amateur bouts but only fourteen as a pro (13-1, 8 KO's). He shocked previously undefeated Juan Carlos Gomez with a first-round stoppage last August, and in his last fight won a split decision over former contender Vaughn Bean. Diaz' only loss was to the difficult Tony Thompson, but he'll encounter a much different style in this one.
Peter is the betting favorite - at Diamond he's -320, with +260 on Diaz. World Sports Exchange has a similar number, with Peter a -330/+270 choice. The best price on the favorite is probably at BetOnSports.com, where you can lay -300 on Peter. The total on rounds for Peter-Diaz is 8-1/2, laying -115 either way.
In terms of caliber of opposition, Diaz has a slight edge. But Peter has a decided advantage in raw punching power. In matchups like this, where clearly Peter is being 'steered' somewhere, it sometimes makes sense to trust the matchmaker a little.
Thus far, no expert I've talked to gives Diaz has very much of a chance. So on the Charles Jay Line, which you can play 'for fun' over through BetCharlesJay.com, I've posted Peter as the -500/+450 favorite, with a special knockdown prop - for 'under' 2-1/2 knockdowns, you lay 2/1, while getting +180 (9/5) on the 'over'. With Peter's power, none of this is a slam dunk. I do not have a straight price posted on the Mayweather fight, although it's -190/+170 that the fight WILL enter Round 10, and -160/+150 that there WILL be a knockdown. I've made numbers on a couple of fights that are 'off the board' - in Louisiana, heavyweight Oleg Maskaev (who has a KO over Hasim Rahman under his belt) continues his comeback against Quinn Navarre. The CJ Line makes it -130/+120 that the fight WILL end before Round 7. Johnny Tapia fights in Texas tonight against Nicky Bentz, and we have it -130 that the fight will not go the distance, with a 'takeback' of +120 that it will.
All information is presented for entertainment purposes only. Odds posted were current as of noon Eastern time on January 22. Odds naturally are subject to change, so check first with each individual sportsbook. And good luck.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV