By Matt Youmans
VSiN senior editor
It might be a lot of hype for no fight. But if Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor ever do get together in a boxing match, Mayweather will be a monster favorite.
Jimmy Vaccaro, a longtime Las Vegas oddsmaker, said he would consider posting Mayweather as a 30-1 favorite at the South Point sports book.
“What a circus,” said Vaccaro, who doubts the fight will happen.
Mayweather, 49-0 and retired for the time being, is arguably the greatest defensive fighter in boxing history. McGregor is the UFC lightweight champion. If the two meet under boxing rules, the mixed martial arts star figures to be outclassed and out of his element.
Vaccaro said a price of Mayweather minus-3,000, McGregor plus-1,600 would be the likely opening line.
“Nobody with any brains is going to lay $30,000 to win $1,000,” Vaccaro said.
Westgate sports book manager Jeff Sherman said he would open Mayweather as a minus-2,500 favorite.
“There will be ‘dog money,” Sherman said, “and I think there would be people out there who would be willing to lay big prices like that on Mayweather.
“It’s basically just a glorified exhibition where one guy doesn’t have much of a chance to win. McGregor can’t beat him in a boxing match, just like Mayweather can’t beat him in an MMA fight. It’s a joke.”
On a slow Tuesday in sports, the Mayweather-McGregor negotiations made headlines. According to comments from Mayweather and UFC president Dana White, no deal has been made. But the potential of the fight — or call it a carnival promotion — is creating wild speculation.
If the Nevada State Athletic Commission sanctions the event, it is presumed Mayweather and McGregor would fight by boxing rules. Assuming there would be no odd wrinkles to the rules, Mayweather, 39 and 11 years older than McGregor, would seem to have an insurmountable advantage. Financially speaking, both would make out like bandits.
“Now let’s speak of gaming integrity,” said fight handicapper Lou Finocchiaro (@GambLou on Twitter.) “I can see no way there are lines out on this fight without the rules questions answered. But I can tell you that I am deeply skeptical that this is going to be anything other than a media hype-driven spectacle that lures the public into paying to watch a ‘Dancing with the Stars’ charade.
“This is a dream matchup for the media. Mayweather has managed his career in precision fashion and has proven to possess business acumen. McGregor has burst on the scene with a youthful blind ambition and a keen eye for business, which is why there is no way that if each of these men showed up to fight for passion, for pride or for family in a back alley that this event would ever come off. To Floyd, this is a pure money grab, and in order for both to profit and make the ruse work, Conor will have to succumb to the old pro’s propositions.
“There are so many questions, but suffice it to say that if Floyd and Conor met on the street and Floyd did not have a weapon, he would get demolished inside three minutes unless he fled.”
Underdog bettors would hope McGregor can attack and land a big punch. Favorite bettors would bank on Mayweather’s superior conditioning and ability to win almost every round.
“It would be good for business,” Vaccaro said.