New kind of circus hits Vegas; Mayweather vs. McGregor
August 22, 2017 3:05 AM
by Alan Berg
Come one. Come all. Gleaming and glittering with gold and wondrous surprises for young and old. The giraffes have arrived, the trapeze has been hung, the tightrope has been tied tight and T-Mobile Arena is ready Saturday for its version of the modern day circus.
Floyd Mayweather puts his 49-0 track and field record up against a guy who has as many wins in the boxing ring as I do, UFC two weight champion Conor McGregor. The sarcasm is just dripping through the page, I know, but let me approach this from the betting aspect and the sport aspect.
Mayweather has rarely been touched by world champion boxers throughout his career and has been “knocked down” once – in 2006 by Zab Judah. It was not scored a knockdown but Mayweather’s glove did touch the canvas. From the replay you could clearly see it was a knockdown, but as they say, technically he’s never been down according to the books and that’s what matters.
McGregor has been a huge star in MMA, thanks in large part to his boisterous claims and packed personality. However, don’t think those attributes are all he brings to the table. Remember his 13-second knockout win over then UFC Pound-for-Pound No. 1 and Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. That victory shot McGregor into the stratosphere; he traded a win and loss with Nate Diaz and rose to Lightweight to stop Champion Eddie Alvarez, becoming the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously.
On paper these are vastly different sports. Those defending Mayweather say taking away so much of Conor’s fighting strengths, the ability to use kicks, elbows, ground and pound, etc., is far too much of an advantage for the undefeated 40-year-old boxer. The backers of McGregor say all he has to do is hit Mayweather once and he will win. He’s a martial artist so you can’t assume he isn’t capable of landing punches on a boxer.
The last point is the only aspect I could see being possible. Maybe we are all underrating martial arts as a striking game.
However, what trumps any aspect of this fight is Floyd Mayweather doesn’t take risks. He is 49-0 as a defensive boxer for a reason. I personally believe he finally took the Manny Pacquiao mega fight because “Money” knew Manny was hurt. And I think Floyd assumed Nevada Athletic Commission would deny a doctor needle to PacMan on fight night. He’s that calculated and that smart when it comes to the boxing business. It’s about finding any edge that leads to victory.
On to the betting… While the opening Mayweather-McGregor line was around Mayweather -2500/McGregor +1100, thanks to the unprecedented action this fight has received from the Mayweather haters, most books around town have Mayweather -500/McGregor +375. It’s possible to find Floyd lower offshore at -430. That is truly astonishing.
Now let’s try to find the best odds around town. Mayweather, from what I see at press time, is -500 at most shops I checked; McGregor you can get 4-1 at Wynn or William Hill. Mayweather by KO is -120 at William Hill, while Floyd by decision is +250 at Golden Nugget. McGregor by KO is +425 at Wynn, while Westgate has the Irishman at 25-1 by decision.
By the way, don’t forget about USFantasy, the pool for the fight has over $21,000 already with the gem on the board being Mayweather by decision at 7-1, well over sportsbook markets. Make sure to keep an eye on those odds on fight night.
Over/under around town has William Hill at 8.5 Over +110/Under -130; Station Casinos has 9 +120/-140 and finally Westgate is 9.5 +140/-160.
By the way, I’m not paying $100 to see this, nor will I have a bet. Hopefully Mayweather wins by DQ, thanks to a McGregor first round leg kick knockout or Conor wins by KO with the left hand.
Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 1:30 p.m., The Cromwell will have the grand opening of its new sportsbook and the ribbon will be cut by future Hall of Fame boxing champion Sugar Shane Mosley. It is an intimate setting with approximately 50 seats with a 32-foot by 9-foot LED video wall and 9-foot by 5-foot LED odds wall. Rumor has it the high rollers will have the ability to rent out the space so make sure to check that out.