By David Z. Morris
August 26, 2017

The “Money Fight” between UFC champion Connor McGregor and undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather is just hours away. According to Nevada bookies, more money will be bet on the fight than on any boxing match in history, and though Mayweather remains a favorite, odds were getting closer as late as this morning as last-minute bets for McGregor rolled in.

Speaking to the L.A. Times, Westgate Superbook director Jay Kornegay said that he and other bookmakers believed total Nevada betting on the fight could reach $70 million. That could be a huge bump from the previous record, set in 2015 when the bout between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao attracted a reported $50 million in the state.

Fans of boxing have been generally critical of the Mayweather-McGregor fight. McGregor, though a titan in mixed martial arts, has never participated in a boxing match before, while Mayweather is at the end of an undefeated boxing career. Purists may be further dispirited by the huge betting volume which, according to Kornegay, is being driven partly by small bets placed on McGregor by UFC fans. But huge bets on Mayweather are also coming in, including at least two for $1 million or more, according to the Washington Post.

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While a McGregor win is still a longshot, his odds have improved drastically in the run-up to the fight. In November of last year, Mayweather was a -2250 favorite, meaning a bettor would have to put $2,250 on his victory to win $100. As of this morning, though, Mayweather was only a -375 favorite; a $375 bet on Mayweather would net $100 if he wins. The shift may be down to sentimental bets from McGregor’s fans, but there has also been increasing acknowledgment that McGregor’s size and age are advantages.

Regardless of the outcome, the match will make a lot of money for a lot of people. Tickets, streaming, and Pay Per View revenue is projected at $700 million. Mayweather will get at least $100 million for what will add up to just a few minutes in the ring. Even restaurants and other venues showing the fight are hoping for a big payday.

There are major risks, though, particularly if Mayweather loses. He’s said that this will be his last bout, and losing his undefeated status in such an unconventional match could tarnish the extremely valuable Mayweather brand. The other risk is to all those bookmakers: A vice president for MGM Resorts told CBS that a McGregor upset could be “the worst loss in history” for the company’s betting operation.

The fight starts at 9pm Eastern, and is available for around $100 on a variety of platforms.

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