Manny Pacquiao always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring.
Turns out a lot of other people are believers, too. And they're backing their opinions with real money.
A flurry of early action on Pacquiao already has narrowed the odds for the big fight in Las Vegas' legal sports books. By the time they get into the ring May 2, it's conceivable that Mayweather might not be favored at all.
"I've never seen Mayweather this low eight weeks out before the fight," said Jimmy Vaccaro, who has booked money on every big fight for the past four decades in Las Vegas. "This is as close as we get to a legitimate pick 'em fight since Mayweather fought [Oscar] De La Hoya."
Mayweather opened as a 2½-1 favorite in most sports books when the fight was announced, and at that price Pacquiao backers couldn't wait to get their bets down. At Vaccaro's South Point hotel sports book there were 150 tickets written on Pacquiao in the days after the fight was announced to just 10 on the favored Mayweather.
Over the weekend, Vaccaro said his book took a couple of $10,000 bets on Pacquiao, which prompted him to move the betting line closer to try and draw more action on Mayweather.
"It's a one-way attack on Pacquiao," Vaccaro said. "We're well into a six-figure loss right now if Pacquiao wins."
Uniforms cause team to forfeit
Only one thing could keep the Narbonne (Calif.) High School girls' basketball team in Los Angeles out of this weekend's city championship game: the color of its uniforms.
The Gauchos used a stirring come-from-behind victory over View Park on Saturday to improve their record to 23-5, gain a shot at the city title and earn an almost-certain berth in the coming state tournament.
But Narbonne was forced to forfeit all that because it wore the wrong color uniforms without permission. The Gauchos, whose school colors are green and gold, wore white uniforms with green piping but pink numbers and letters. Coach Victoria Sanders said her team was taking part in the "Play 4Kay" campaign, to raise awareness for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Yow, the longtime North Carolina State coach, died of breast cancer in 2009.
On Monday, league officials took away Narbonne's 57-52 semifinal victory over View Park and kicked the Gauchos out of the postseason for violating Article 1305 of the rule book.
"It had nothing to do with the color pink as far as the regulation," John Aguirre, commissioner of the Los Angeles City Section, said Tuesday morning. "What it had to do with was that they did not submit a request for wearing uniforms other than school colors. They just did it. And at the same time, they're on a probationary status for violation of rules for this past year."
Harbaugh rescues motorist
State police say Jim Harbaugh took a break from rescuing Michigan's football team to come to the aid of some SUV crash victims.
The Wolverine's new head coach and sports staff member James Minick were driving on Interstate 94 in Ann Arbor when they saw a Jeep Cherokee spin out of control, crash and overturn on the slippery roadway.
The station says Harbaugh and Minick helped a 73-year-old woman get out of the vehicle and used their coats to keep her warm until an EMS crew arrived.
WDIV says the men also helped the 53-year-old driver, who was partly ejected from the SUV. The driver and passenger were hospitalized with noncritical injuries.
... CBS hired former UCLA coach and Pac-12 Network analyst Rick Neuheisel to be a studio analyst on its Saturday pregame show. ... The NCAA lifted Idaho's football team's postseason ban imposed for failing to meet academic standards for the 2009 through 2012 seasons.