The historic fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr – considered by many to be the best boxer of his generation – and UFC champion Conor McGregor is less than 24 hours away, and Sin City is heating up.
Private jets are ferrying celebrities to the glittering Nevada city and bets worth more than a million dollars are being placed as the most talked-about fight of the year gears up.
And for the fighters, the preparations are underway – although for Mayweather that means ducking and weaving not in the ring, but on the dancefloor of his gentleman’s club Yahoo reported.
Floyd Mayweather Jr (left), 40, and Conor McGregor (right), 29, will go head-to-head in the mostly hotly ancitipated fight of the last two years in Las Vegas on Saturday
Mayweather, who is undefeated in 49 matches, has come out of retirement to fight MMA star McGregor. The fight is so hyped up that airports are expecting overcrowding by private jets
Mayweather, who has racked up an incredible 49-0 card and 23 KOs in his 40 years on the planet, has come out of retirement for the match.
McGregor, 29, is a fearsome fighter, having racked up 21 wins to three losses – including knocking out Jose Aldo – arguably the greatest MMA featherweight ever – in one punch in 2015.
But while McGregor is young and swift, he’s also fighting a different sport entirely, and will be robbed of the kicks, grapples and ground tackles that UFC allows.
Which might be why Mayweather – nicknamed ‘Money’ – feels confident enough to spend every night at Girl Collection, his Las Vegas gentleman’s club.
‘Nobody can beat me,’ Mayweather told Yahoo, adding that he would be in the club on Friday night, too – and stay out until 5pm.
Mayweather (left in 2015) is so confident he’s spending every night at his gentlemen’s club, while Irishman Conor (right, at a pre-match workout, August 11) has dismissed that as ‘b*****ks’
”I sleep nine or 10 hours,’ Mayweather said. ‘I sleep as long as I want to and then I get up and start my day. I let my body rest. I’m going to be in bed at five. So I’ll wake up at 1.30.’
It’s better than staying up all night watching TV – which is his only alternative – he argues. He’d rather be on TV, promoting the club on All Access.
McGregor was less than impressed when asked on Wednesday, saying: ‘He’s so cool, isn’t he, at the strip club a couple days before the fight?
‘Who gives a b*****ks, mate? I’d say the place stinks. Looking at it on All Access, it stinks.’
Mayweather is spending his time at his club, Girl Collection (pictured). He says he’ll be there at 5am the morning of the fight – then he’ll sleep until 1.30pm and get ready for the 9pm bout
Big money for big Money
That confidence is certainly contagious for everyone except McGregor, with Vegas bookmakers taking bets in the seven figures for the fight.
A VIP casino guest at the MGM Grand hotel put a $1 million bet down on Mayweather at -550 odds, ESPN reported.
If Money comes out on top – as most expect he will – then the guest will see a $180,000 return on their bet.
Even more impresssive betting followed soon after, with William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook reporting a cash bet of $1.2 million on -500 odds, which would pull in $240,000 in the event of a Mayweather win.
The flurry of bets – some of it made in cash – has upset McGregor’s odds.
Bets in excess of a million dollars have been made on Mayweather; McGregor has had a larger quantity of bets, but they are of much lower figures
That’s had the effect of bringing Mayweather’s odds up from below -500 last weekend to around -600 on Thursday.
Mayweather has also received a series of bets in the hundreds of thousands.
But McGregor has brought in some money himself, with the South Point sportsbook fielding a $50,000 bet at +450 on the Irishman that will bring in $225,000 if McGregor beats the odds.
Generally, bookmakers said, McGregor has pulled in more individual bets, but Mayweather gamblers go harder.
That suggests that the MMA fighter has the support of less wealthy folks who are hoping for the luck of the Irish to boost their funds.
The MGM Grand hotel (pictured) had $1 million put on Mayweather by a VIP guest. The odds were -550, so if Mayweather wins, the punter will get $182,000 in return
Regardless, the match is now on track to become the most heavily bet-upon event in boxing history – even beating the $60 million bet on Mayweather’s bout with Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
This despite ticket sales being sluggish – with 7,000 seats still to be sold as of Friday afternoon.
And Mayweather, win or lose, will continue living comfortably – with an estimated net worth of $340 million in 2016, according to Forbes.
As those bets show, Las Vegas has become a hub for the extremely wealthy this weekend – and the airports have been steeling themselves for it.
Officials at McCarran International Airport told the Las Vegas Review Journal that they had been preparing for an influx of very wealthy visitors.
They’re especially wary after the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight led to more metal in the air than the city is used to.
But it was the metal on the ground that was the real problem: The airport’s capacity was completely maxed out by more than 1,000 private jets.
The excess spilled over to Henderson Executive Airport, which had 282 planes, and North Las Vegas Airport, which had 80.
‘We’re trying to be better prepared and improve the guest experience,’ McCarran spokeswoman Christine Crews told the paper.
‘While this action appears to be favoring our wealthiest customers, this is really to the benefit of everyone using the airport.’
McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas (pictured) is expecting a massive influx of private jets – it was at capacity in 2015 when Mayweather faced Manny Pacquiao