Reports of conflict between Conor McGregor and his sparring partners have grabbed the headlines in the weeks leading up to his highly anticipated fight with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr.
However, that has done little to impact the UFC lightweight champion’s odds of handing Mayweather his first-ever defeat, which have held steady at +375 (wager $100 to win $375) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Trash talk has been the hallmark of the promotional events they’ve held leading up to their Aug. 26 matchup at T-Mobile Arena. The two fighters did set the tone for their upcoming clash during a four-city tour earlier this summer, but even those outrageous events have been overshadowed by claims from former sparring partner Paulie Malignaggi, who spoke earlier in the month of McGregor’s weakness in the ring and mistreatment of his sparring partners.
Controversy is nothing new to “The Notorious”, who has previously engaged in wars of words with UFC rivals Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, and Eddie Alvarez. But McGregor has consistently put his money where his mouth is, winning nine of his 10 fights since joining the UFC in 2013, which includes four first-round finishes and a knockout of Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194 to claim the featherweight crown while rewarding bettors as a -105 underdog.
McGregor’s meteoric rise in mixed martial arts has certainly contributed to his steady climb up the odds from the distant +950 he was listed at late last year. However, McGregor is still back at +500 odds of ending Mayweather’s night by knockout or technical knockout.
Things have remained quieter in Mayweather’s camp, and the 40-year-old nine-time major world boxing champion continues to lead the way as a -550 favourite to improve his unblemished professional boxing record to 50-0.
Considered in some quarters as the greatest defensive boxer to ever don the gloves, Mayweather has been idle since successfully defending multiple world welterweight crowns with a unanimous decision win over Andre Berto as -3000 chalk in September 2015.
“Money” stated in a recent interview that he believes he has lost a step during his two-year layoff, but he’s demonstrated remarkable durability in the ring over the past decade. Mayweather has won 12 of his past 14 fights by decision, and is a +230 bet to win by decision or technical decision on the many prop wagers available for the fight.
Mayweather also has 26 career victories by KO or TKO to his credit and is a -150 favourite to finish McGregor inside the distance, with his last knockout coming in a 2011 clash with fellow welterweight Victor Ortiz as -625 chalk.