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PACQUIAO, ALGIERI: A long fight looks likely. / Photo: Sumio Yamada
Pacquiao -750; Algieri +425
Over 9.5 -125; under 9.5 +115

The opponent he faces tonight is a capable and courageous one, but with all due respect to Chris Algieri, the fight the boxing world wants to see is Manny Pacquiao taking on Floyd Mayweather. 
 
Pacquiao against Mayweather would quite likely be the richest fight in boxing history. Although Pacquiao is promoted by HBO and Mayweather by Showtime, Pacquaio’s promoter, Bob Arum, doesn’t see this as an obstacle to the fight being made. It is Arum’s understanding that the two giant U.S. subscription TV networks would work together to make the fight happen. That is to say, each network would broadcast the event on pay-per-view and fans could choose which network coverage they wished to watch.

HOPKINS, KOVALEV: Win lose, Hopkins's legacy is assured. / Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Hopkins +170; Kovalev -220
Over 11.5 +120; under 11.5 -120

Time after time, fight after fight, fans and critics wonder if Bernard Hopkins will finally show his age and “grow old overnight” as the saying goes. And time after time, fight after fight, the answer is: Not this time.
 
Hopkins is a marvel of the ring, a unique fighter whose like surely will never be seen again. Now, just a couple of months before he turns 50, Hopkins seeks to demonstrate his ageless qualities once again when he faces Russia’s undefeated and powerful punching Sergey Kovalev in a light-heavyweight championship unification bout at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City on Saturday.
 

MAYWEATHER, MAIDANA; Challenger will give his all. / Photo: SUMIO YAMADA
Mayweather -750; Maidana +380
Over 11.5 -250; under 11.5 +185

When the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana rematch was announced, I struggled to get enthused. As always happens though, by fight day — today — I’m intrigued.
 
Last time the two met, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where the rematch will take place — Showtime PPV in the States and BoxNation subscription-TV coverage in the U.K. — Mayweather pulled away in the late rounds for what seemed to be a clear win. Hold on a minute, though. One judge had the fight a draw and there were observers who made this a close fight. So, here we go again.
 

KIKO seeks revenge, FRAMPTON guarantees a win.
Frampton -200; Martinez +160
Over 10.5 +105; under 10.5 -115

Carl Frampton, fighting at home in Belfast, is favoured to confirm superiority and take Kiko Martinez’s IBF junior featherweight championship in their rematch on Saturday (TV coverage on BoxNation in Britain and AWE in the U.S.),  but Martinez is fighting better than at any stage in his career, with three consecutive stoppage wins in title fights.
 
Although Frampton stopped the Spanish boxer in the ninth round in Belfast in February 2013, he will arguably face a much more formidable version of Martinez.

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BENAVIDEZ landed the bigger punches vs Herrera. / Photo: Sumio Yamada

I posted some of these thoughts on Twitter but I’ll repeat them here.
 
Disputed decisions have long been a part of boxing but they seem to coming thick and fast these days.
 
Some of these controversies are, I believe, TV-driven in that fans just go along with the commentaries.
 
I think too much attention is paid to the punch stats. These don’t measure the effectiveness of a blow and, as Al Bernstein has pointed out more than once, if a boxer lands several more punches in, say, three rounds, but his opponent outlands him significantly in another round, the stats are going to be skewed.