The boxing world has been scoffing at the notion that Conor McGregor can compete with Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring when the two superstars meet at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday. Experts in the media have pretty much, in unison, declared this bout the most lopsided high-end prizefight in the history of prizefighting.
However, despite the seemingly universal downplaying of the UFC star’s chances, the betting odds don’t really reflect this consensus opinion. Mayweather-McGregor betting odds listed online at 10bet show the five-division world champion and future Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather as merely a -400 favorite against the brash Irishman.
Now, -400 odds are pretty steep by normal standards. But we’re talking about a legendary undefeated 49-0 fighter and, perhaps, the best boxer of the last 25 years taking on a 0-0 boxing novice—in a boxing ring, under the rules of boxing.
McGregor seemed to do his part in making himself a longshot by releasing workout videos of himself looking fairly clumsy and, at times, downright odd in his preparation.
The boxing world has been laughing at McGregor’s chances since the bout was still rumored and that has not changed. Among some knowledgeable fight people, the pairing is such a mismatch that they refuse to even acknowledge it as anything other than a cynical cash grab.
So, what gives? If boxing common sense was prevailing, Mayweather would be coming in at -2000, at least. Maybe as high as -10,000. Some would argue for even steeper odds.
One factor is that Mayweather is coming off a two-year layoff where he was legitimately retired and enjoying the good life. It’s hard for a precision fighter like Mayweather to just jump right back into the mix, being a sharp as he was before becoming inactive.
Some could also be betting on McGregor’s size and awkwardness to team up and give him a real puncher’s chance against a rusty Mayweather.
Another solid theory is that “smart” fans who back Mayweather have stayed away from wagering on this fight, feeling that the odds were going to be so stacked in their favor that it would be hard to make any money with a bet on the favorite. Perhaps some adjustments have been made to encourage Mayweather bettors back into the mix.
Whatever the case, the betting world is clearly not as sold on Mayweather’s sure thing dominance as the boxing world is.
McGregor’s +300 underdog status doesn’t make him as appealing as he should be as a longshot selection, but the feeling among many is that pro-McGregor money will come in, regardless. His rabid fans are likely to want a piece of what could amount to the greatest boxing upset of all-time.
Only time will tell if the more conservative than expected odds on Mayweather are warranted. Ultimately, as is always the case in boxing, everything comes down to two men, in a ring, going to war.