THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
BOXING: MANNY PACQUIAO vs. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
Details/TV: At Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena, Saturday at 6 p.m., pay-per-view TV ($99.95 HD):
The New York Post’s George Willis wrote this weekend: “Let’s hope Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao wage an epic battle May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Otherwise, the Fight of the Century could be remembered as the Fiasco of the Century. Right now, it’s headed for the latter, leaving boxing fans feeling gouged, and excluded.” Here’s real fiasco: Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel brought Manny Pacquaio onto his show last Wednesday and floated the idea of letting him part of his ring-walk entourage, insisting that he would sing Pacquiao’s recently-recorded song “Lalaban Ako Para Sa Pilipino” (I Will Fight For the Filipino) while inside the ropes waiting for Pacquaio to enter. And if Pacquaio needed more incentive, Kimmel also said he would fight current Mayweather hanger-on Justin Bieber. It was lovely gesture, made more so by watching Kimmel and Pacquiao actually sang “Lalaban Ako” together before a swooning audience. Maybe it was also done for a strategic, karmatic reason. Since Pacquaio made his U.S. national TV talk-show debut on Kimmel’s show back in 2009, he has appeared nine times. And every time he sang a song in an appearance before a fight, he has won, going back to his KO over defending WBO welterweight champ Miguel Cotto. You don’t think Vegas noticed that coincidence? Some sports books say they have seen more money bet on a Pacquaio (57-5-2, 38 KOs), the lone congressional representative of the Sarangani province, since his Kimmel appearance. Still, Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) continues to remain the controversial favorite, just two wins shy of matching Rocky Marciano’s undefeated record of 49-0. Pacquiao’s Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach insists that won’t happen. “I can assure you Mayweather’s party will end on May 2 and Marciano’s record will remain just that — the record. And Mayweather will forever be known as ‘Mr. 47 and 1.’” Sounds like the possible title of the next song that Pacquaio and Kimmel can go all duet on.
ALSO THIS WEEK:
There’s heightened anxiety for the Clippers playing Game 5 of their NBA Western Conference quarterfinal series against San Antonio on Tuesday at Staples Center …. Bob Baffert’s American Pharoah and Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund are at the top of the betting board for the 141st Kentucky Derby (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Channel 4) … The NFL Draft has moved to Chicago for its weekend cheer-leading festival, starting with the first round on Thursday (5 p.m., ESPN) …. The Ducks have a date with their former goalie Jonas Hiller and the Calgary Flames as the second round of the NHL playoffs begin … More to read at this link.