LAS VEGAS -- As tonight's Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto fight draws near, the most recent odds from the MGM Grand sports book are reflecting moderate late action on the underdog.
Mayweather remains a lopsided favorite in the super welterweight title fight (9 p.m. ET, $59.95, HBO PPV), though the odds against Cotto have shortened to 5-to-1 at press time -- down from 6-to-1 earlier this week.
The trend should come as no surprise to anyone who attended Friday's weigh-in, where crowd support skewed heavily in support of Cotto. More than 6,000 fans booed lustily when footage of Mayweather's knockout of Mexican-American champion Victor Ortiz was shown on dual projection screens, stoking passions that had already been running high during Cinco de Mayo weekend.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, who opened as a 10-to-1 favorite against Shane Mosley in tonight's co-feature bout, was a 9-to-1 favorite on Saturday, one of the busiest days of the year at the 5,300-square-foot betting arena.
Hordes of soccer fans made for an energetic, standing-room-only environs Saturday morning, as Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup Final was broadcast in nearly half of the thirty-six 60-inch plasma televisions and twenty-four 42-inch screens. Even at 11 a.m. local time, the line of bettors extended far past the windows outside the state-of-the-art betting parlor, thanks to a full slate of events including tonight's fights, the Kentucky Derby, the NBA and NHL playoff and Major League Baseball games.
One middle-aged punter insisted the smart money on tonight's Mayweather-Cotto fight was the rounds proposition: If the fight ends before the 10th round, a $100 bet returns $190 in winnings. If the fight extends past the 10th, it requires a wager of $230 to win $100.
"Cotto's a bleeder and he'll be there to hit," said Stephen Thompson, a longtime fight fan (and Chelsea supporter) visiting from London. "I see cuts playing a role in the fight and the referee will have no choice but to stop it."
-- Bryan Armen Graham