Within minutes of the announcement of Floyd Mayweather’s boxing match against Conor McGregor, bookmakers had made the undefeated American the overwhelming favourite for the contest, which will be held on August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena.
With a flawless professional record of 49-0, Mayweather is widely regarded as one of the finest boxers to have ever lived. He needs just one more victory to surpass the record of the great Rocky Marciano and has been sent to the canvas just once in his career, in a fight he came back to win.
By contrast, McGregor has never been involved in a professional boxing contest. But he is still one of the biggest stars in combat sports, having defeated Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to become the first fighter in the promotion’s history to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously.
McGregor’s straight left is also regarded as the most destructive short in professional MMA.
Nevertheless, his lack of experience in the ring means he is the rank outsider to win in Las Vegas in little over two months’ time.
Oddschecker show that the majority of bookmakers have McGregor priced at 7/1 to win the contest, with Mayweather established as the overwhelming favourite with odds as short as 1/12.
Perhaps surprisingly, then, since the fight announcement McGregor has actually proven to be the more popular choice with bettors. Since Wednesday evening, 58% of the bets placed on the fight have been for McGregor to be victorious.
Oddschecker spokesman, Sam Eaton explained: “Expect the odds for Conor McGregor to shorten as we get closer to August, he’s a big price now but the media will hype up his chances, which will in-turn shorten his price. If you’re going to back the Irishman, I’d get on him now”.
Interest in the fight has been incredibly high, with extraordinary numbers being bet in the hours immediately after Mayweather confirmed the fight by posting a short promotional video to his official Instagram page.
In the 12 hours after the fight, Betfair Exchange saw £135k bet on the contest, which UFC president Dana White has described as “the biggest fight ever”. It would appear the bookmakers agree.
“Mayweather is widely considered the best boxer of his generation, while McGregor is the UFC’s biggest star, so it’s no surprise this could be one of the richest fights in history,” Betfair Spokesperson, Katie Baylis, said.
“And judging by the fact we’ve seen more than £100k bet on the fight in just 12 hours, we expect this to become the biggest boxing event of all time on Betfair Exchange.”
The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power have meanwhile priced up a series of specials – including on who McGregor might take on next once he’s fought with Mayweather.
UFC lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are the favourites, with odds of 6/4 and 6/1 respectively, with the boxer Amir Khan next on the list at 16/1. Khan has previously expressed an interest in moving into the sport of MMA.
Rather more fancifully, Ricky Hatton can be backed at 50/1 and Hulk Hogan at 100/1.
“After two years of trash talk it’s great news that the pair have managed to agree on a deal, and we’re expecting this one to break all sorts of records,” a spokesperson said.
“Ok, so the fight is going to land them millions, it could well be all over in under a minute, and we’ll all have to stay up to ridiculous o’clock and pay way over the odds for PPV – but we’re still going to watch it.”
(Odds correct at time of publication.)
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