The world is just hours away from witnessing potentially the most lucrative boxing fight of all-time when the undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr goes head-to-head with UFC Lightweight Champion Connor McGregor.
If you still aren’t sure what time the fight is on where you are in the world, here’s a quick guide:
According to a YouGov poll, only 27% of the public think McGregor can win but Mayweather is 100% sure of himself and his own ability to win.
As tensions have spiked over the past few days, Mayweather cranked up the pressure by admitting he was planning to place a $5 million bet on himself to win the bout. Recent speculation has suggested that the Las Vegas native might not follow through on his promise before the fight though.
A History of Big Betting
The pre-match rhetoric used by Mayweather ahead of his fight with McGregor this weekend is a step up from his previous fights.
Mayweather has always been recognised as a betting man but never has he so boldly claimed to have the desire to place such a large bet on himself to win a fight.
Mayweather is often using his social media accounts to publicise his big wins. Between August 2010 and February 2012, Mayweather boasted of an exemplary run of 46 successful bets in a row that saw him earn $3,938,722 in winnings.
Arguably, the highest profile winning bet for the boxer came in 2013 when he bragged about placing a bet worth $5.9 million on Miami Heat beating Indiana Pacers in an NBA game. His bet allegedly won and he sealed a winning profit of $6.49 million.
In 2014, Mayweather once again caught the attention of the public by confessing to betting $13 million on Super Bowl XLVIII between Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
Mayweather backed the Broncos to not only win the game but also to go into half-time with the lead. It didn’t work out for Mayweather that time and, unsurprisingly, he refused to reveal if the bet he had placed was authentic or just PR.
Boxing has also provided a big bet win for Mayweather. In May 2015, he won $827,272 from a stake worth $350,000 on Kazakhstani fighter Gennady Golovkin defeating American Willie Monroe Jr. This proves that Mayweather does possess a sound knowledge of boxing betting.
Mayweather and The Money Team
Mayweather has earned a reputation for being an over-confident and outspoken boxer. He has actually won 49 of his 49 professional fights across five divisions at this point, so perhaps he deserves to be arrogant.
Mayweather has taken down some of the sport’s greatest names including Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, and Manny Pacquiao too.
Such is the dominance of Mayweather throughout boxing, he has managed to create a brand. Controversially, it is a brand that revolves around money.
If he isn’t bragging about how much his latest fight has generated on pay-per-view, then he is posting images across social media of himself splurging his cash on materialistic objects.
The brand has created the so-called “The Money Team” or “TMT”. A reference by Mayweather to his entourage and fans.
One of the common topics of conversation amongst Mayweather and The Money Team is known to be betting.
Boxing has never witnessed such an intense build-up to a fight. The bet comment by Mayweather is the latest by the two men to try and get into the head of their opponent. The duo have got in each other’s faces at the recent press conferences. Is it all for show or do these two genuinely despise each other?
It’s hard to tell. It is clear there is currently no level of respect between the fighters. Both men have stated respect is earned and not automatically given. This has led to the verbal jousting reaching insane levels. As Mayweather has claimed he has spent the week enjoying a party at his local strip club, McGregor has continued to doubt whether Mayweather has the legs for the fight any more.
Highlights of the pair’s world tour of press conferences included McGregor donning a pin-stripe suit that had the words “F*ck You!” printed on it, McGregor’s public roasting of Mayweather in Toronto, and Mayweather allegedly muttering a homophobic slur to McGregor in London. It certainly seems to have become personal.
Image Credit: footwearnews.com
The Odds Are A-Changing
Back when the fight was first announced, it was a match that was surrounded by cynicism. Many asked what chance a UFC fighter had against such a clinical boxer in a boxing ring? It almost seemed like an embarrassing mismatch.
Mayweather was originally offered at 1/25 but those odds have now shortened to as low as 1/4 with some bookies. Of course, the 40 year old American remains the firm favourite but support is growing for Irish fighter McGregor.
The punters sniff an upset. Can the impossible become reality on Saturday night? We don’t have long to wait and find out!