Floyd Mayweather revealed this week that he will indeed be betting on his fight against UFC champ Conor McGregor later this month at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
While that has shocked some in the media who were unaware boxers can bet on themselves, the Nevada State Athletic Commission nor the Nevada Gaming Control Board has any regulation that prohibits “Money” from doing so.
A perfect 49-0 during his boxing career, Mayweather, 40, is coming out of a retirement for a second time to accept 29-year-old McGregor’s challenge. Few boxing experts give the young mixed martial arts (MMA) star any realistic chance, but sports bettors have plenty of faith in the Irishman, and that’s forcing oddsmakers to shuffle their lines.
Mayweather remains the heavy favorite, but the line has tightened in recent weeks. The Westgate SuperBook has him at -500 to McGregor at +375.
Mayweather stands to make around $200 million from the August 26 fight, which begs the question just how much he will have to wager to make a trip to the sportsbook worth it? At -500, a winning $1 million wager would net just $200,000, pennies for one of the greatest boxers of all time.
McGregor reportedly said he too will be betting on the fight, and is readying to put over £900,000 ($1.15 million) on the outcome. At +375, he would win $4.41 million.
Despite the fact that he’s never competed in a professionally sanctioned boxing match, the vast majority of the general public is hoping for a McGregor victory. More tickets have been issued on the underdog than the favorite, as bettors hope to capitalize on the once-long odds, which even at +375 deliver a nice return.
Late to the party and want to put money on McGregor? The Wynn sportsbook currently has the best odds in Las Vegas at +425. A winning $100 ticket nets the gambler $425.
Mayweather at -500 is about as good as you’re going to do right now at a land-based book in Sin City. Online sites offer better odds, with some selling as cheap as -400.
Mayweather is notorious for placing high-stakes bets on sports. He routinely flaunts his winning ticket slips through his social media outlets, though his followers never see his losses.
Boxing and Sports Betting
Nevada sports betting law allows boxers to bet on themselves, but not against. It’s not too unlike a racehorse owner betting on their horse at the track.
Boxers are also barred from engaging in legal prop bets at sportsbooks. For instance, Mayweather can’t bet on which round he’ll win, or how many punches he’ll land on McGregor.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission says nothing in its Chapter 467 Unarmed Combat regulations that bars a contestant from participating in legal gambling, saying grounds for disciplinary action is only warranted if a boxer participates in an “illegal gambling activity.”
Still, critics say allowing boxers to bet on their performance compromises the sport’s integrity. Say Mayweather publicly reveals he put $1 million on himself to beat Manny Pacquiao, but only $100,000 to beat McGregor.
The bets show a lack in confidence, and therefore might influence betting.