Irish bookmaker sparks outrage with 'always bet on black' Floyd Mayweather slogan ahead of Conor McGregor fight

Paddy Power paid out on Mayweather beating McGregor four days before the fight but in doing so claimed they "always bet on black" and some boxing fans are not happy

Jim Daly
Wednesday 23 August 2017 15:17 BST
Paddy Power have paid out on Mayweather to win already but added they "always bet on black"
Paddy Power have paid out on Mayweather to win already but added they "always bet on black" (Getty)

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has sparked outrage online after advising boxing fans to "always bet on black" in the upcoming Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor fight.

On Wednesday the bookie paid out on undefeated, five-divisions champions Mayweather to win the bout against first-time professional boxer McGregor on Wednesday, handing back £250,000 to punters four days before the highly-anticipated fight takes place in Las Vegas.

But in doing so they backed their decision to pay out on Mayweather and against their countryman McGregor by saying they "always bet on black".

Mayweather is expected to easily win the fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against UFC champions McGregor who is taking part in his first ever professional boxing match.

Bookmaker Paddy Power said on his company's website: "We’re spinning the roulette wheel a bit here – as getting it wrong would see a serious Mac Attack on my bank balance.

“But, when you’re backing Mayweather, you’ve basically covered the whole board anyway.

“Patriotism aside, we are paying out early on a Mayweather victory – because we checked, and only one of them is a boxer. We always bet on black.”

Unsurprisingly, plenty of Twitter users were not happy, replying to the bookmaker suggesting their choice of slogan was at best insensitive and calling on them to delete it.

"Bit racist" was one reply while another predicted "someone from the Paddy Power media team [is] gettting the sack for this one".

The bookmaker defended the advertising slogan, claiming the slogan is a reference to quote said by Wesley Snipes in the 1992 film, Passenger 57.

A spokesman said: "Like Wesley Snipes – who famously delivered the line – Floyd Mayweather is rightfully proud of his identity and, while the advert does reference his race, it does so in a manner which isn’t in any way derogatory or insulting.

"It’s also a betting-related pun which references a roulette wheel. Because we’re about gambling – get it? If people don’t like it that’s entirely their prerogative.

"Floyd Mayweather is black and we’re suggesting you should bet on him because we believe that he’s going to win. We wouldn’t be paying out otherwise."

Paddy Power has a history of paying out early on big betting markets, including wrongly backing Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 US Presidential election against Donald Trump and paying out on Celtic winning the SPL this season before a ball had been kicked.

Their Mayweather faux pas is just the latest controversy surrounding the fight which has already seen McGregor and Mayweather's entourages clash at Tuesday's Grand Arrival, where the Irishman squared up to former sparing partner Paulie Malignaggi.

Furthermore, Mayweather has also been forced to confirm the fight will go ahead regardless of whether McGregor makes the 154lbs weight limit and on Wednesday there were reports up to 7,000 seats in the 18,0000-capacity T-Mobile Arena could be empty come Saturday due to slow ticket sales.

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