Pacquiao remains favorite

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — EXACTLY a month before their much-awaited rematch, the odds remain stacked in favor of Manny Pacquiao..

The 28-year-old Filipino, universally considered the best fighter today in the super-featherweight division, is still a big 4-1 favorite to get past the gifted but ageing Juan Marco Barrera on Oct. 6 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

So far on-line betting has listed Pacquiao a negative-350 favorite against the Mexican warrior, meaning a $350 bet on the Filipino would only win $100.

Barrera, meanwhile, is a plus-275 underdog that for every $100 wager on him would win $275.

ESPN resident senior boxing writer Dan Rafael even predicted that after Erik Morales announced his retirement a month ago after losing to David Diaz for the World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight championship, the 32-year-old Barrera ?” considered as Morales’ greatest rival ?” “could be the next to call it quits if Pacquiao pummels him the way he did in their first fight in 2003.”

That 12-round slugfest in San Antonio, Texas was a no-contest, with Pacquiao, a heavy underdog back then, dominating Barrera for 11 rounds on the way to scoring a sensational technical knockout win.

The victory turned out to be Pacquiao’s ticket to stardom. While there are those who are not counting out a Barrera win, many boxing experts believe that the only way for the Mexican to win over his Filipino conqueror is for him to box Pacquiao, in the same fashion he did during his second fight with Rocky Juarez.

“If Barrera can keep his composure and prevent the boxing match from turning into a brawl, he may just have what it takes to score the most improbable of upsets,” commented Geoffrey Ciani of Eastside Boxing.

The results in Pacquiao’s personal website ‘Pacland’ may be biased, but at least 87 percent of those polled about their prediction on the Barrera rematch believed the native of General Santos City will win by knockout.

In contrast, only five percent see Barrera getting away with a win via knockout while two percent each are of the belief the bout will end in decision in favor of either the Filipino or the Mexican.

Only nine-tenth out of the 25,035 who voted said the bout will be a draw.

Meanwhile, the WBC has yet to conduct a mandatory 30-day weigh-in, but people within the Pacquiao camp said the Filipino won’t be having a hard time meeting the 130-pound limit come fight time.

American trainer Freddie Roach admitted the WBC has yet contacted him about the mandatory weigh-in, although Pacquiao confidante Rex ‘Wakee’ Salud said the Filipino ring idol is just six pounds over the limit.