The word “Yes”. A small, simple word, but a word that could net Floyd Mayweather an astronomical sum of money when he fights Conor McGregor on August 26.
He twice answered “Yes” to Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday night when asked two key questions.
“Are you allowed to bet on yourself in this fight?”
“And will you bet on yourself?”
On the face of it, this could simply be a fighter who’s prepared to put their money where their mouth is, but could there be more to it than that?
Mayweather opened up as a -2250 favorite when the Vegas sportsbooks first offered odds on a McGregor matchup.
Mayweather's been active on social media ensuring that the fight not only happens, but also happens under conditions that, some believe, give McGregor more of a chance than many gave him at the start.
He’s been talking up McGregor, while also making a point of highlighting his own advancing years, telling ESPN: "I'm not the same fighter I was two years ago. I'm not the same fighter I was five years ago. I lost a step."
Mayweather said of McGregor: "He's a lot younger.
"When you look at myself and Conor McGregor on paper, he's taller, has a longer reach, he's a bigger man from top to bottom. He's a lot younger, so youth is on his side.
"And I've been off a couple of years. And I'm in my 40s. So, if you look at everything on paper, it leans toward Conor McGregor."
And yesterday his team, along with reps from McGregor’s side, successfully campaigned the Nevada State Athletic Commission to allow the pair to fight at 154lbs with smaller 8oz gloves - a concession Floyd is playing up as helping give the Irish knockout artist more of an advantage on fight night.
Maybe he was just seeking to convince wavering fans to buy the pay per view. But maybe he wasn’t.
The real kicker came during his interview with Kimmel, when he revealed that not only is he allowed to bet on himself, but he fully intends to do so.
Deliberate or not, it’s clear to see that the narrative of this fight has led to the odds on a McGregor win being slashed from an initial +950 to +325, while the odds on a Mayweather victory have come in from an unbackable -2250 to a far more attractive -450.
To put that into context, the odds on Manchester City keeping a clean sheet against Everton this weekend are -475 (Bovada). That means that, in betting terms, City are more likely to stop Everton from scoring than a Mayweather win over McGregor. Amazing.
And I’ll leave you with this remarkable little tidbit. Mayweather is longer odds to beat McGregor than he was to defeat Andre Berto, Marcos Maidana (in both fights) and Miguel Cotto.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Now ask yourself this. Did he manipulate the market deliberately so he can win big at the bookies? I’ll let you be the judge.
Whatever your viewpoint, it looks very much like Mayweather could be about to throw down some major $$$s at his favourite sportsbook(s) in the coming days.
[Photo credit: © Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports]