The public consider Conor McGregor one of the toughest challenges of Floyd Mayweather’s career

Conor Mcgregor has achieved unprecedented levels of success in mixed martial arts.

The Irishman is the first MMA fighter to hold titles in two UFC weight divisions concurrently. He is also in the midst of a seven fight win streak that includes wins from 145 to 170lbs.

His path of destruction is not limited to inside the Octagon. He has become an economic goliath shattering prevous pay-per-view marks. Becoming the first non-heavyweight mixed martial artist to generate over $60 million in pay-per-view revenue. Going on to replicate that feat on three more occasions.

According to these two metrics alone, Conor McGregor is one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.

But Saturday’s event will not allow kicks of any kind, wrestling to the mat, ground work or spinning back fists. His success in Saturday’s bout with Floyd Mayweather will be determined according to his mixed martial-arts framed interpretation of boxing.

And Floyd Mayweather’s success in boxing sees Conor McGregor’s in MMA and then raises the ante. He is the undisputed king of combat sports Pay Per View, having featured in the top three highest grossing events of all time. In the ring he’s a five weight world champion (also having held world titles in two weight divisions concurrently) and four weight lineal champion crushing a dozen future hall-of-famer’s in the process.

That’s why oddsmakers and experts are so perplexed by the continuing money pouring in on the Irishman.

Using’s preferred rating system (which measures a fighter’s ability at any given time against styles and levels of fighter) from the Boxing Bet Guru we have compared our projections for a selection of figurative opponents for a 40-year-old Mayweather with oddsmakers projections of McGregor chances.

BBG selected fighter projections vs Floyd Mayweather

fm probabilities

Our usual methodology does incorporate insider information from training camps (if available). So its accuracy is slightly compromised (2-3%). But it highlights not only that oddsmakers – who handicapped the original price – think Conor is 10 per cent more* likely to win than our model projects.

The public, who are responsible for the staggering line movement since the fight was announced, have scoffed even at 7/1. They believe Conor’s real probability is closer to 25%. Meaning the public believes a boxing debutant has a better chance of beating Floyd Mayweather than our model would give Keith Thurman (current 147lb Number 1), Kell Brook and Manny Pacquiao – if the Pac-Man were to get a rematch.

Considering bookies recently priced up Paulie Malignaggi (in response to their training camp tiff) as favorite in a prospective bout with Conor, they seem to be more inclined to side with our model than the public’s optimism.

Floyd Mayweather betting odds History

Historical odds vs Floyd

Things become even more perplexing when one compares the Notorious one’s odds with historical odds of Floyd Mayweather opponents.

Its strange enough that opening prices equated Conor’s chances as similar to that of first ballot hall-of-famer and four weight world champion, Miguel Cotto. But again, the public see things dramatically differently. They see his chances more on par with the man who defeated Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez.

As it stands, the public believe this to be the fifth toughest fight of Floyd Mayweather’s career. With the current McGregor line trending up its quite feasible that before first bell, the public may have bet McGregor down to 11/5 (+220), making him in theory,  the third toughest opponent of the ‘Money man’s’ career.

If we dig a little deeper, however, there is a trend that offers some insight into betting rationale. The top five names on that list: Oscar de la Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton, Saul Alvarez and Conor McGregor all share one similarity. Their ability to draw.

Oscar, Manny and Conor along with Floyd Mayweather combine to have featured in every non-heavyweight headlined event to have sold in excess of 1.5 million pay-per-view buys. Ricky Hatton meanwhile carried 40,000 patriotic brits to Las Vegas for his scuffle with Floyd Mayweather and in doing so generated the largest pay-per-view audience in UK tv history at 5am on a Sunday morning.

So sentiment and ignorance, not belief and intuition, seems to be guiding punters betting slips.


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