This weekend’s long-awaited fight between undefeated boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Ultimate Fighting Championship star Conor McGregor is making bookies nervous.
After oddsmakers failed to anticipate that the UK would vote for Brexit, and that President Donald Trump would manage an upset victory in November's US election, Las Vegas's gambling professionals are afraid that McGregor could pull off an upset of his own. And thanks to a flood of last minute bets, bookmakers are facing historic losses - possibly the largest ever - if the Irish mixed-martial artist comes away with the "W," according to CBC Sports.
That's because McGregor fans have flooded bookmakers with small bets that will pay off heavily if he wins, and even more so if he does it early, or by knocking out his opponent. One oddsmaker said the betting slips received by his company were 18-1 in McGregor’s favor thanks to a flood of $100 bets.
“McGregor fans have flooded sports books with $100 bills backing the mixed martial arts fighter, and even a late surge of money on Mayweather might not be enough to balance the books.
"I'm OK now," said William Hill oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich. "But you might want to have a heart monitor on me when the bell rings and Conor starts throwing wild lefts."
Bogdanovich said his chain of sports books will suffer multimillion dollar losses — their worst ever — should McGregor win the fight in any fashion. If he wins early as he has promised, the losses would be even worse.
The big bettors are putting their money on Mayweather, who is a 49-0 as a pro. But so many McGregor fans are betting small amounts that the betting slips at William Hill were 18-1 in the Irish fighter's favour.”
However, the majority in a recent YouGov poll believe Mayweather is most likely to triumph...
You will find more statistics at Statista
There are some interesting parallels between this weekend's fight and November's election. According to one survey, 51% of McGregor fans identified as Trump supports, while 61% of Mayweather fans identified as Clinton supporters.
Oddsmakers have been steadily lowering McGregor’s chances of victory as training videos emerged that showed McGregor looking sluggish and clumsy. But thanks to an influx of bets from “regular Joes,” the money riding on a McGregor victory has steadily increased.
"This isn't professional money, just the regular Joe," Bogdanovich said. "The butcher and the barber are putting their $100 US on McGregor and it's added up."
The action is reflected in the odds, which bookmakers adjust either way as money comes in on the two fighters. Bookmakers have been lowering the odds steadily since the fight was announced, but even that hasn't stopped the deluge of McGregor bets.”
(Chart via Business Insider)
While Mayweather has a perfect track record and a lifetime of boxing experience in his favor, McGregor fans are hoping that his age advantage – McGregor is 12 years younger than Mayweather – and longer reach could be enough to help the Irish mixed martial artist clinch a victory.
Here’s a breakdown of both fighter’s stats, courtesy of the Bleacher Report.
Bettors hoping for an upset might have another reason to dream big. According to the New York Post, it could be in Mayweather’s financial best interest to lose Saturday’s fight. If Mayweather wins, he retires undefeated. But if McGregor pulls off the upset, it increases the likelihood of a rematch – and another $200 million payday to tide Mayweather over in retirement.
"“Some people around him are hoping Floyd puts on a good fight, but that he goes down,” a marketing pro headed to Las Vegas told us. “If McGregor loses, no one wants to see Floyd kick his ass again. If Floyd wins, there may not be a second fight to get another $200 million. If he loses, he’s guaranteed another fight, another payday.”
Mayweather’s money troubles, including his more than $20 million IRS lien, have been widely publicized. And while it’s been said that Mayweather would rather die than lose, a nine-figure payday could go a long way toward soothing the boxer’s bruised ego.
Like they say, anything's possible in the ring.