August is upon us and that means we have finally entered the month that will see Floyd Mayweather Jr take on Conor McGregor in the most lucrative fight of all time. The duo will pocket a combined $175 million from the fight purse and it is expected to break pay per view records. The fight is also set to eclipse the Super Bowl as the biggest single betting event of 2017 after a trash talking promotional tour from the two combatants sent pulses racing among fight fans. So who will win? And what options do punters have beyond outright betting?
Mayweather has never lost a fight and it is hard to imagine him taking the risk of tarnishing his legacy by coming out of retirement to fight unless he was 100% confident of his chances of winning. The fight will be on his terms as there was never a suggestion that this would be an MMA fight. His opponent has never fought a professional boxing bout and has made his name as the UFC’s standout star. In spite of that, most of the action is going on McGregor to pull off a shock victory. He started off at 11/1 in the early lines and has now gone all the way into 4/1 with Bet365 and various other leading bookmakers, although you can still get 9/2 with the likes of Paddy Power and Sky Bet, while a few smaller bookies are offering 5/1 or 11/2. The bookmakers will get absolutely killed if McGregor wins, but they are not sweating too much thanks to Mayweather’s perfect record. The Irishman has been full of bravado and has promised to knock out Mayweather in four rounds, but the American is so quick and agile that it seems highly unlikely. Bookies are starting to fear the worst though so they are making the odds on Mayweather increasingly attractive, with 10Bet now offering 2/11. If you are a high roller, that could be a great option due to Mayweather’s experience. In a street fight or MMA contest, McGregor would destroy him, but in 12 rounds of boxing, it is a monumental challenge for the Notorious.
Method of Victory
Mayweather has maintained his unbeaten record over recent years but has not won by knockout in any of his last seven fights. The last time he knocked an opponent out was all the way in September 2011, when he stopped Victor Ortiz with a controversial fourth round sucker punch. Exclude that cheap shot and Mayweather has not knocked an opponent out since a 10th round stoppage of Ricky Hatton in 2007, a full decade ago. Despite McGregor being untested in this arena, he is in phenomenal condition and is the younger fighter, and he is likely to go the distance. Mayweather to win on points at 11/5 with Betway looks a great bet. However, many McGregor fans are lumping on him to win in rounds 1-6 (9/1 with Unibet) after he promised to knock Mayweather out in four. If McGregor is to win it is likely that he will have to take his opponent by surprise and knock him out, as if it goes the distance Mayweather can just dance around and pick him off with his smart jab, so a McGregor early knockout might not be a bad bet either.
There are all the usual crazy specials being offered by bookmakers to drum up more interest in the fight, and they range from the bizarre to the foolish. Will Conor McGregor do the “billionaire strut” in his entrance? Will the fighters touch gloves? Will either test positive for performance enhancing substances? Will there be a
rematch? Who will Donald Trump pick to win? You can bet on all this and more. It all seems a bit risky as it is hard to ground your decisions in facts, but a more sensible one could be whether the fight will go the distance. Yes at 8/5 looks interesting as this could well prove to be a bit of a damp squib without a knockout after all the hype.