Conor McGregor’s Loss Is A Win For UK Sports Books

Posted on August 31, 2017 - Last Updated on March 1, 2019

[toc]UK bookmakers heaved a sigh of relief Saturday night, as Floyd Mayweather beat Conor McGregor in a fight that saved them £250 million.

The blockbuster bout, which took place in Las Vegas, became the most-bet on boxing match in UK history. Wagers totaled at least £250 million, according to information provided to Business Insider.

That amount is approximately five times more than the money wagered on Mayweather’s fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2015.

With the pre-fight odds heavily in Mayweather’s favour, UK bookies could have been forced to fork out hundreds of millions in payouts had McGregor won it.

Fortunately for them, Mayweather improved on his unbeaten record. He defeated McGregor in the 10th round via a technical knockout. Mayweather now carries a professional boxing record of 50 wins and zero losses as he heads into retirement.

80 percent of bets were on McGregor

Boxing has long been one of the most bet on sports in the UK. In fact, only the Grand National horse race pulls in more bets across all sporting events.

Despite Mayweather being the undoubted favourite to win the fight, Ireland’s McGregor was clearly the fan favourite. A ballpark figure of 80 percent of all money bet on the fight came from bets McGregor would win.

Had the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter beat the undisputed best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, UK bookmakers would have paid out a staggering £300 million.

But as a result of Mayweather’s victory, the amount paid out came in at £50 million, saving them £250 million in the process.

One unfortunate punter in London wagered £100,000 on McGregor to win. On the other side, revealed that one gambler had money on Mayweather winning in the 10th round via TKO, winning that person an incredible £500,000.

The information provided by is spread across most major players in UK sports betting. The bookmakers the site works with include:

Why so much money Mayweather vs McGregor?

All gamblers hope to hit a big payout thanks to good odds. But why so much on such a big underdog?

According to‘s Alexander Kostin, Leicester City’s surprise Premier League victory in 2016 has a lot to do with it. When the football club won, people who had bet on them to win at the start of the season saw enormous returns of their betting investments.

Kostin said:

“The hit the bookies took back in 2016 has actually turned out to have been a great marketing opportunity for sports betting, as proven by the Mayweather vs McGregor fight, that ended up working in the bookies favour.”

It’s not just men who are gambling on competitors with the odds stacked against them in the hopes of a life-changing win, Kostin added:

“Furthermore, we’re also seeing more women than ever placing bets. In fact, nearly 20% of all bets placed on the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight in the UK were placed by women; something unheard of until now.”

With Mayweather retiring and McGregor likely to return to the UFC, it’s unlikely there will be a rematch between the two. However, it’s only a matter of time before the next big bout between a ‘favourite’ and ‘underdog’ takes place to attract more betting.

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Jack Stanton

Jack Stanton is a freelance journalist and marketing copywriter, specialising in the world of poker and online gaming. Jack's work has appeared on VICE, The Guardian, The Drum, PokerStars Blog, PocketFives, BLUFF Europe and more. As a live poker reporter, Jack has covered events in locations as far afield as the Bahamas, Chile, South Korea, Brazil, and all across Europe.

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