Floyd Mayweather Jr backs himself to beat Manny Pacquiao despite gambling losses

10/12/2009 13:04

Most people would struggle to know what to do with the amount of money that Floyd Mayweather Jr is set to make from his bout with Manny Pacquiao, although the man himself does not seem to have trouble spending it.

Mayweather, whose hobbies include throwing piles of cash into crowds in nightclubs, has also revealed himself as a big gambler. The American, 32, who calls himself “Money”, is understood to rake in a guaranteed $20 million purse (about £12.3 million) for the contest, which is expected to be on March 13. This is before they start counting the pay-per-view cash, which could comfortably more than double his earnings.

But the five-weight world champion likes a bet, particularly on American football and basketball, often driving after training from his home in Las Vegas to casinos on The Strip to place his bets in cash.

When he appeared on television this week, he revealed the enormous scale of his wagers. “I lost big this weekend, lost huge,” Mayweather said on Joe Buck Live on HBO. “Two weeks ago I won like a million [dollars], that was across a week of games, Monday night, Sunday and Thursday. I didn’t lose a million but I lost a couple of hundred thousand.”

He added that he lost the money on the New England Patriots, who were defeated by the Miami Dolphins, and then on Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, who scraped a win against the Washington Redskins. “Then I tried to get some get back and lost some more money on Brett Favre [of the Minnesota Vikings].” he said.

The undefeated world champion loves to flaunt his wealth, often showing off his enormous home and fleet of expensive cars to camera crews, while happily boasting of the huge price tags that came with the jewellery he wears.

He seldom leaves his house without tens of thousands of dollars of gambling money on him, which is usually carried by a member of his entourage, and he recently made a video — available on YouTube — that shows him counting out $1 million in cash from a bedside cabinet and putting it in a bag.

The bout with Pacquiao is expected to be formally announced on Monday, followed by a press conference in New York on January 6. No venue has been agreed, but Bob Arum and Richard Schaefer, of the joint promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy respectively, are considering Cowboys Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, the American football team, in Arlington, Texas. The stadium, which has a capacity of 80,000 and a retractable roof, was opened in May this year and cost $1.3 billion to build.

An alternative venue is the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, where both have had their recent bouts, although its capacity is under 20,000. Other possibilities include the Georgia Dome, in Atlanta, and the Superdome, in New Orleans, where Muhammad Ali became world heavyweight champion for the third time in 1978 by beating Leon Spinks.

Arum, though, has discounted the possibility of holding the contest outdoors in March, even in Las Vegas.

Mayweather has no doubts about the result of the bout, saying that he would knock out Pacquiao, the 30-year-old Filipino who beat Miguel Cotto for the WBO welterweight title last month to continue a remarkable move up the weight division. Pacquiao’s first world title was at flyweight and he now claims titles in seven weight divisions.

“Pacquiao’s a good fighter, but I’ve been around a long time and I’ve dominated boxing for around 15 years now,” Mayweather said. “No one has defeated me yet so we’ll have to see.

“The thing is, I don’t want the fans to be really shocked by what will happen when we do happen to meet up because it’s not going to be anything new — he’s been knocked out before and he’s taken losses. I’ll be victorious, you can believe it.”

Although there is said to be a strict confidentiality clause, various details of the discussions have leaked out, including that the two will box in 8oz gloves and that although Pacquiao’s title will be on the line, Mayweather negotiated to have his name listed first on the posters.

High rolling with punches

Kerry Packer The Australian media tycoon who took on the cricket establishment was a famed gambler. In one tale, he was annoyed by an obnoxious Texan, who bragged to him that he was worth $60 million (now about £37 million). Packer’s response: “I’ll flip you for it.”

Paul Merson The former Arsenal and England midfield player entered rehab in the United States after admitting to gambling addiction. He believed that he had lost more than £100,000.

Antoine Walker The former NBA star built up a reported $800,000 debt to Las Vegas casinos and was later arrested for signing three bad cheques.