Has the tide finally turned for Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Eager bettors have been waiting for a sign that the flood of Conor McGregor money has abated, and this might be it: McGregor’s odds for Saturday’s big fight in Las Vegas have just moved from +300 to +325 at press time. Mayweather was available as low as –400 before bouncing back to –450. In theory, his price will climb even higher as bell time approaches (main card at 9 PM ET on Showtime).

But will it? Saturday’s fight has already shattered expectations, both in terms of fan interest and handle. The reigning UFC Lightweight champion is about to make his professional boxing debut, and it’s against the undefeated Mayweather, one of the greatest boxers of all-time. Anything could happen with the betting patterns for this highly unusual fight. For that matter, anything could happen with the fight itself.

Money Said Knock You Out

That includes a McGregor victory. Approximately zero boxing insiders think it’ll go down that way, but McGregor is an uncommonly gifted martial artist, and he’s bound to throw a few curveballs at Mayweather. Heavy curveballs; the Irish superstar has a dynamite left hand, and now that the fighters will be wearing 8-ounce gloves instead of 10 ounces, McGregor will be able to deliver his payload more quickly.

It was a bit strange to see Mayweather agreeing, even calling for the 8-ounce gloves. Then again, Mayweather also predicts “100%” that he will knock McGregor out. If he does, he’ll pay out at –135 for winning by KO/TKO/DQ, one of over 130 prop bets available for Saturday’s bout. But Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) isn’t known for his finishing power. Each of his last seven fights went to the judges’ score cards. Victor Ortiz was his last KO victim, back in 2011.

It’s Legal in Nevada

As for McGregor, now that he’s got the smaller gloves, he’s revised his prediction for how Saturday’s fight will end. During their promotional tour, McGregor said he’d beat Mayweather inside four rounds; now he thinks he’ll put him away before Round 3. Even with Mayweather’s recent up-tick on the odds board, McGregor remains available at +500 for the “Inside 4 Rounds” special, down from +600 before the Nevada State Athletic Commission decided to permit the 8-ounce gloves.

Maybe all this talk about knockouts is just for show. If Mayweather wants to maximize his chances of winning Saturday, he’ll stick with the defensive game plan that has served him well during these twilight years. But this is not a normal fight, and if Mayweather is truly intent on giving the people what they want, he may end up doing just that – by giving McGregor the opportunity to knock him out (+325).


*Odds as of August 25, 2017