Floyd Mayweather Jr. has yet to taste defeat as a professional boxer. Neither has Conor McGregor. There’s a catch, of course: McGregor has never laced up the gloves in the squared circle. But the reigning UFC Lightweight champion is still pulling in most of the early betting for his August 26 superfight with Mayweather. At press time, McGregor has been wagered all the way down to +375, after opening at +950 when the first boxing odds hit the board.

To say this is remarkable would be selling it short. Mayweather (–550) retired as the lineal welterweight champion of boxing after beating Andre Berto by an easy unanimous decision in September 2015. That victory ran Mayweather’s record to a perfect 49-0. He was a –3000 favorite against Berto, a two-time champ in his own right. How can McGregor be such a relatively small underdog with zero pro boxing matches under his belt?

Reel My Irish In

Because that’s what the people want. McGregor has millions of ardent fans around the world, and many of those fans have already thrown down a few dollars each on their hero. There’s been a scattering of big-money bets on Mayweather, but it’s the sum of all those smaller wagers that has the betting odds where they are today.

Don’t call it “square” money, either. Of course McGregor isn’t expected to beat Mayweather when they meet at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But there’s no harm in betting a small amount on the popular Irishman, purely for entertainment value. And there’s a non-zero chance McGregor will pull off the upset. He’s a preternaturally gifted combat fighter who turns 29 next month. Mayweather is 40 years old, and hasn’t graced the ring since the Berto fight.

50 Mission Cap

That doesn’t mean Mayweather has been sitting around the house eating Ding Dongs the past 20 months. His “retirement” has always been in question, with his record sitting at 49-0 and a special place in boxing history waiting for Mayweather if he could make it to 50-0. Not only would that be a nice round number, it would put Mayweather one win ahead of Rocky Marciano; the heavyweight champ from 1952-56 retired undefeated at 49-0, and stayed retired despite contemplating a comeback in 1959.

No doubt there will be some more big bets on Mayweather as we get closer to August 26. In the meantime, there are plenty more ways to bet on this superfight at Bovada Sports. The total for this 12-round bout, which will be fought at 154 pounds and air on Showtime in the US, has been set at 9.5 rounds, with the UNDER favored at –175. Mayweather is also –175 to win by KO/TKO/DQ. If McGregor can somehow go the distance and pull out a victory by decision, he’ll pay out at a healthy +2000. It could happen.


*Odds as of June 19, 2017