How the Bookies See it:
- Winner: Floyd Mayweather 1/7, Conor McGregor 9/2 - Paddy Power
- Method of Victory: Mayweather by KO, TKO or disqualification 1, Mayweather by decision or technical decision 6/4, McGregor by KO, TKO or disqualification 11/2, McGregor by decision or technical decision 25/1 - Paddy Power
- McGregor to be Knocked Down - 4/6 - Paddy Power
- Mayweather to be Knocked Down - 7/2 - Paddy Power
- Mayweather to win in 60 seconds - 100/1 - Paddy Power
What’s The Story?
The two men have been verbally sparring for years, with UFC champion McGregor saying that Mayweather would be ‘afraid’ to go up against him in a ‘real’ fight and admitting they would have to compete under boxing rules. The speculation intensified late last year when McGregor was granted a boxing licence by the California State Athletic Commission to let him fight in the USA.
It was still unclear whether Mayweather could be lured to come out of retirement to fight McGregor, having hung up his gloves in 2015 with a perfect record of 49 wins out of 49. However, talks have continued and a fight at light-middleweight level has now been announced for late summer, with both men reportedly standing to earn as much as $100 million (around £78 million).
Who Would Win?
Boxing analysts have been quick to write off McGregor’s chances and the fight has been branded farcical in many quarters. Mayweather may have recently turned 40 but he is widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer of his generation and one of the greatest in history. McGregor, by contrast, has never boxed at professional level.
UFC president Dana White has insisted that Mayweather ‘has always had problems with southpaws’ and says McGregor should not be underestimated, but bookies agree that he is the underdog. Curiously, however, the odds are not as heavily stacked towards a Mayweather win as some punters might expect considering they have such contrasting backgrounds. This is perhaps because there is an element of the unknown about how McGregor would perform in a boxing ring rather than a UFC Octagon, but it also creates some good betting opportunities.
What Are The Best Early Bets?
Paddy Power has a host of early markets which look appealing, most notably the 100/1 price on Mayweather to win within 60 seconds. There is probably a feeling that, despite ‘Pretty Boy’s’ class, he is unlikely to be too aggressive in the early stages and that McGregor is tough enough to withstand some punishment.
The Irishman will perhaps opt for a ‘hell for leather’ approach to compensate for his technical deficiencies, but Mayweather’s ringcraft is so sophisticated that it is hard to see him being caught too often and a price of 5/6 on McGregor landing less than 50 punches looks incredibly generous. Paddy Power is even offering 12/1 that McGregor will throw a kick at some stage.
If McGregor was fighting a lesser opponent there would be a temptation to say he had a puncher’s chance, but this is his first top-level boxing fight and Mayweather has proved unbeatable so far, so a price of evens on the American to win by knockout, technical knockout or disqualification is too good to miss before the odds start drifting.