Rumors are swirling about a potential boxing bout between Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Khabib Nurmagomedov. We'd say, "in your dreams" but after last year's Mayweather-McGregor clash, anything is possible. Betting odds are even available, despite the fight not being confirmed. Let's play a little game of what if and preview the dream matchup!
Those are the words that ignited these talks about a possible fight between the two undefeated fighters. The 27-0 Khabib Nurmagomedov, fresh off his mauling of the UFC poster boy Connor McGregor, said that line in an Instagram video, while standing next to Floyd Mayweather's long-time manager Leonard Ellerbe.
Look, no one knows whether this is actually happening. The 50-0 and semi-retired Mayweather, after all, has a habit of keeping his name in the headlines and this could be another publicity stunt for all we know.
That hasn't stopped Bovada from putting up lines for a potential boxing match, though. Let's do our due diligence and break down the fight if it were to happen. Knowing Mayweather's insatiable appetite for money (and attention), it's a very real possibility.
Mayweather (-2000) vs. Nurmagomedov (+900)
To no one's surprise, Khabib enters as the overwhelming underdog. But it's worth noting, he opens with better odds than McGregor did at this same time two years ago. Back then, long before the fight was official, McGregor began at +950, while Mayweather was -2250. Right before bell time, hose lines nosedived to as little as +300 and -400, respectively, though.
On the surface, Nurmagomedov's odds make sense since he's coming off a fourth-round submission of McGregor. If he could beat the Irishmen, then he must have a better shot at Mayweather, right? Not so fast.
Stylistically, Khabib doesn't match up well with Mayweather, especially compared to McGregor. Nurmagomedov has made a career out of takedowns and ground-and-pounds — two barred moves in a boxing ring.
McGregor never really stood a chance against an all-time great in Mayweather, either. However, his strength in the UFC — a vicious left hook and stand-up offense — at least made things interesting. That goes out the window with Nurmagomedov.
If Nurmagomedov has a chink in his armor, it's stand-up fighting. Matter of fact, the only round he's ever lost in his dominating UFC career was a third-rounder to McGregor, which was fought mostly standing up. Khabib just doesn't strike the same amount of fear in an opponent if he can't wrestle you to the ground.
Making The Betting Pick
We don't have to spend a lot of time convincing you Mayweather would waltz over Khabib in a boxing ring. No matter Nurmagomedov's sheer dominance in mixed martial arts, boxing is an entirely different sport. You don't defeat one of boxing's all-time greats by picking up the sport at the tender age of 30 years old.
However, no smart bettor would look at Mayweather's -2000 line and think there's actual opportunity to make money there. Rather, you'd have to find a prop bet with far more reasonable odds.
How about betting the exact fight outcome? Bovada doesn't have these listed yet, but if this becomes official, you can't bet they will. Predicting Mayweather's method of victory — KO or decision — is a far more lucrative route to go.
In that event, a Mayweather decision seems the most likely. For one, Khabib has never been knocked down in his fighting career. He's far bigger and younger than Mayweather, too, so we can't imagine that happening despite being at a disadvantage in a boxing ring.
Mayweather beat McGregor by TKO solely based off McGregor gassing himself out, not Mayweather's power or speed which isn't getting any better at age 41. Conditioning has always been McGregor's big bugaboo, but Khabib doesn't have that same flaw, so he should be able to go the distance.
So there you have it. If this fight happens — which is entirely possible considering the amount of money both fighters would stand to make — a Mayweather decision win is the wager to make!
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