The world tour starring Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor certainly lived up to all the expectations in the good and the bad… and the ugly. The two fighters trash talked and taunted one another around the globe, doing the all-important job of selling their fight coming up later this year. Given the anticipation and years of wondering if it could ever happen, it’s important to remember that this “fantasy matchup” is actually taking place in reality. And the reality is that arguably the greatest boxer walking planet earth today will step into the ring against someone fighting his first professional boxing match. Usually that would take a pretty big effort to sell the public on. But obviously the press tour around the globe did its job.
However, it also showed both fighters at their most debased and most controversial. The tour was marred by McGregor stepping way over the line with racially charged comments on multiple days and Mayweather responding by using a homophobic slur. It presented the sport and the two fighters in the worst possible light while also building to the most anticipated event in the sport in a long time. If that isn’t boxing in a nutshell I don’t know what is.
Somehow though, the press tour appears to have changed the minds of some people because the betting odds for the fight have dramatically shifted. Per MMAfighting.com, McGregor has dropped from a 10-1 underdog all the way down to a 4-1 underdog.
McGregor, once listed higher than a 10-to-1 underdog on many betting lines, is now less than a 4-to-1 underdog, according to a Tuesday press release issued by Bovada, which announced McGregor at +350 odds and Mayweather at -500. The same press release quoted Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager of Bovada, as saying the books “will need Mayweather (to win) huge,” as an early-round KO for McGregor — just as the Irishman predicted — “would be a potential disaster” for oddsmakers.
Prop betting lines also opened for the total pay-per-view buys (over/under 4.99 million, a number that would beat the record set by Mayweather-Pacquiao) and whether McGregor will throw a kick during the 12-round boxing match (yes: +1100, no: -6500), among many others.
It’s impossible to get around the idea that Mayweather-McGregor is more or less an exhibition and an opportunity for these two guys to earn a massive paycheck and smash every single PPV record. Were McGregor to actually defeat Mayweather, it would be the biggest upset in the history of combat sports. It’d make Buster Douglas look like the Golden State Warriors going up against Mike Tyson. I can’t believe that anyone would have legitimately talked themselves into thinking McGregor has a real chance based on a couple press conferences, but stranger things have happened I suppose.
As demoralizing as their “world tour” might have been, and as much as the fight and the buildup and everything around McGregor-Mayweather is a car crash that you just can’t take your eyes away from, the two fighters seemed to have done their job. They’ve made their conflict believable, even if it still is really something you should see in a storyline from the pages of WWE Raw. And the more bets that come in, and the more PPVs that are bought, the bigger the victory it will be for both of them.