Aside from Floyd Mayweather Jr., the biggest winners to emerge from Saturday night’s superfight were Las Vegas bookmakers.
Mayweather wore down and defeated a fatigued Conor McGregor by TKO in the 10th round at T-Mobile Arena. It was a fight, not a farce.
Mayweather, who closed as a minus-500 favorite at the South Point sports book, lost the first three rounds to the UFC star before coming on strong and taking command. The Irishman gave underdog bettors a good run for the money. But in the middle and late rounds, Mayweather (50-0) proved why he deserved to be a heavy favorite.
It also will prove to be the biggest-bet boxing match in Nevada history, potentially approaching the $100 million mark.
“It was a really good result,” said MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood, who estimated the win in the $1 million neighborhood.
The final ticket count at MGM Resorts books, Rood said, was 17,273 to 1,531 in favor of McGregor, yet a majority of the money was on Mayweather.
At least six $1 million wagers were reported in Las Vegas — two at MGM’s books, two at the Wynn and one each at the South Point and William Hill books — and all were on the favorite.
“It’s mind-boggling to me the interest in this fight,” Wynn sports book director John Avello said. “It’s constant action. It’s quite a handle.”
The worst possible result for the books would have been a McGregor win, especially by knockout in the early rounds. Mayweather took his time, patiently waiting out an opponent who was inexperienced in the boxing ring, and that sent the fight over the South Point’s round proposition of 7½ but just under another prop of 9½. There were no knockdowns, though McGregor was wobbling when the fight was stopped 1:05 into the 10th.
“Mayweather is about a 90 percent sure winner, there’s no doubt about it, but the intrigue is there,” South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro said a few hours before the fight. “We could hit the $100 million mark. I really could see it.”
Nick Bogdanovich of William Hill described the action as “insane” and “ridiculous.”
“This has got to get to $80 million, and $90 million would not be surprising,” Bogdanovich said. “I could never dream we would be writing these kind of numbers on this fight.”