Kentucky

Bettors on sidelines for Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul


Floyd Mayweather’s last fight was likely the most heavily bet boxing match in history. He’ll be back in the ring Sunday, but bettors won’t be in his corner — or his opponent’s.

Mayweather is fighting YouTube star Logan Paul in an eight-round Showtime pay-per-view bout in Miami Gardens, Florida. Las Vegas bookmakers would be eager to take action on the match, but it is being fought under exhibition rules with no judges or official decision, similar to the recent Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. fight.

With no clear way to determine a winner other than a knockout, Las Vegas sportsbooks don’t have the bout on the board.

“Would love to book it. Mayweather a huge draw,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said via text message. “But no judges, no winner. It was impossible for states to sign off on it.”

Mayweather, 44, hasn’t fought since 2017 when he knocked out mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor. Las Vegas sportsbooks estimated that the betting handle was $100 million, putting it in Super Bowl territory.

That match was considered more a spectacle than a real fight with Mayweather, widely viewed as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world for most of this century, taking on someone making his boxing debut in McGregor. However, McGregor’s massive UFC fanbase piled in wagers on the fight, and sharp bettors were happy to scoop up value with Mayweather, even at the relatively high price of -550.

Sunday’s fight could have produced a similar situation. Paul, 26, is 0-1 as a boxer but has a massive fanbase, with more than 23 million subscribers to his YouTube channel. He is also 18 years younger, 6 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier.

Still, Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said he would be extremely comfortable needing Mayweather in the fight.

“We would definitely book it if we could,” he said via text message. “We would probably take a lot of money on Paul and scoop the pot when Mayweather wins.”

The offshore sportsbook BetOnline has Mayweather as a -800 favorite (Paul +500). The fighters must win by knockout; otherwise bets are refunded.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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