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Why Conor McGregor knocking out Floyd Mayweather would be a disaster for bookmakers around the world

The odds of McGregor knocking out Floyd Mayweather have been slashed, but a victory for the Irishman would nevertheless spell disaster for the industry

Luke Brown
Las Vegas
Friday 25 August 2017 02:29 BST
Mayweather vs McGregor final press conference in 60 seconds

Bookmakers across the world have been left nervous by Conor McGregor’s recent prediction that he will knock out Floyd Mayweather in the very first round of their fight on Saturday — a result that would see betting companies lose an unprecedented sum of money.

When the markets opened on the fight over two months ago now, Mayweather was instated as the overwhelming favourite with McGregor a huge underdog, on account of his complete lack of experience in a boxing ring.

But that hasn’t cowed the Irishman, who insisted at the final press conference ahead of the fight that he would waste little time in knocking out his adversary.

His bold prediction was laughed off by Mayweather, but it seems as though the punters were listening.

Large sums of money have flooded in on McGregor — nicknamed ‘Mystic Mac’ by his fans for accurate predicting the outcomes of a number of his previous fights — winning via an early knockout, a result which the Director of Trading at one gaming company has admitted would be a disaster for bookmakers.

“Not only have punters been backing McGregor for victory, they have also heeded the words of the Irishman in his pre-fight press conferences when it comes to betting on the timing of victory,” Ian Marmion, BetStars Director of Trading commented.

“Similar to the lead up to his UFC bouts, McGregor likes to predict when he is most likely to finish his opponents, and in line with his predictions here we have seen a lot of money for McGregor to win in rounds 1,2,3 & 4.

“Any of those outcomes would be a disastrous outcome for the industry as his loyal fans continuing to wade in on his predictions in their droves.”

Marmion added that the unique nature of the fight — pitting the biggest star in the sport of mixed martial arts against an undefeated boxing legend — had made it an especially competitive market.

“The complete unpredictability of both men, in particular Conor McGregor is what has in essence transformed what should have been a completely lopsided betting market favouring the 49-0 unbeaten Mayweather, into a more competitive one as fight night draws in,” he added.

“Original odds of 1/20 Mayweather soon became a distant memory as all the money leading up to the fight has been for the charismatic Irishman (opening show 11/1) and as things stand the market gives him more than a punchers chance of ending Mayweather’s winning sequence in Las Vegas on Sunday morning.”

Older gamblers are backing Mayweather (Getty)

However, it appears older — and perhaps even wiser — gamblers are steering clear of putting their money on McGregor, with data from Betway showing that eight in ten customers over the age of 30 are backing Mayweather.

“Saturday’s fight continues to exceed betting expectations and despite the odds of a McGregor upset shortening dramatically in recent weeks, it’s the older demographic that have stayed true to Mayweather in the build-up,” Betway’s Alan Alger explained.

“The American continues to attract the interest of our elder customers in fight week, with punters over 30 refusing to overlook experience and buy into the hype of an Irish victory in Vegas on Saturday night.

“In contrast, Conor McGregor has become somewhat of a cult hero among the youth in recent years, and it comes as no surprise they continue to side with their man in the build-up to Saturday’s blockbuster showdown.”

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