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21 AUGUST 2018

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Could McGregor Cause Bookmaker Nightmare?

Image courtesy of Sky Sports
Image courtesy of Sky Sports

By Steven Bateson


With just two days to go until the "mega fight" between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, there is now a fear within the bookmaking community that McGregor could be set to cost the betting industry north of $250 million.


“We are fearing a McGregor win because people are backing him like he can’t lose,” said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly. “Around the world bookmakers are looking at taking around £100m which will far surpass the turnover of any fight before but the book is so one-sided that should McGregor win, the industry will end up handing over £250m to punters who have backed him.”


When the fight was first announced, back in June, McGregor opened up as a 7-1 outsider but a huge influx of money on the Irishman has seen his odds cut to 3-1 whilst Mayweather is now 1-4, which is a massive drop from the opening 1-10 standpoint. Put into context that only 2 of Mayweather’s last nine opponents (Pacquiao and Canelo) have had shorter odds to defeat "Money" than McGregor has, that statement alone is as ludicrous as they come.


It would appear that the media hype train and McGregor’s own showmanship and ability to sell has really convinced the general public that he can step into the ring with one of the greatest boxers of all time and defeat him on his debut contest.


Talk, as they say, is very cheap and McGregor has plenty of that to back up on Saturday night but it would seem his loyal army of fans, as well as some new converts, truly believe he can do what 49 previous opponents could not and end the 21 year unbeaten record of Floyd Mayweather.


Here in the UK, Sky Sports have done a tremendous job of selling a "competitive" fight and the All Access series as well as the new "Beats by Dre" promo on McGregor has really captured the imagination but I stick by my initial prediction that this is going to be a one sided demolition job and nothing more.


Press releases on the odds slash can be misleading, ticket sales are far away from being impressive, and in reality the majority of the general public have seen through the smoke and mirrors on this one. Sure McGregor’s odds are shorter than Buster Douglas’ were to defeat Tyson in ’91 (an insane 42-1 outsider) but Buster didn’t talk like Conor, didn’t come into the fight with a worldwide appeal from another form of combat sports and that is the be all and end all of it.


If McGregor does the unthinkable on Saturday night then it will go down in history as the biggest upset in sporting history and I’ll hold up my hands and admit to being drastically wrong. But if you have some spare change and are looking for a bet for Saturday night then my advice would be to lump it on Mayweather to stop his opponent within the first six rounds, there’s a reason Floyd has never lost and I don’t envisage him starting now against a man who has never boxed a competitive round in his life.

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