If you followed the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight, you know that boxing punters do not play. They are willing to splurge thousands of dollars to back their favorites. Some do it for the money, while others are in it for the sheer adrenaline. How much money have boxing fans wagered over the years? More importantly, which are the biggest wagers bookies have ever seen?.
The Mike Tyson Vs. Lennox Lewis Fight
Before the 2003 fight, Mike Tyson had suffered a temporary ban from the boxing ring. It resulted from him having bit his opponent’s ear, which did not go down well with the game’s rules or judges. So, as part of his comeback, he was scheduled to fight boxers who were well beneath his prowess. Mike was a legend by that time, having won 50 fights, 44 of which had ended in a knockout. Most people referred to him as Iron Mike and praised his abilities. However, Lennox was not a small boxer either, having won 44 fights.
Even so, most people predicted that Mike was the clear winner, and the odds were at 13 to 8. Lennox beat down Tyson to their shock, much to the chagrin of those who had backed Tyson. One such punter had $24,000 on a Tyson win, and his loss goes down as one of the biggest in the history of boxing bets.
The Pacquiao Vs. Mayweather Fight
Mayweather fights seem to bring out the wagering spirit in boxing fans, and this fight was not an exception. Manny Pacquiao was not just any other boxer set to battle a heavyweight champion. Instead, he was also a skilled fighter and had just about the same chances of winning as Mayweather. Choosing a favorite became an arduous task for both bookies and punters as each tried to gauge the situation. This anticipation led to the dubbing of this fight as the ‘Fight of the Century.’ It recorded the most streams and watches globally, with even non-boxing fans tuning in to watch the live match.
On realizing what a big cash cow this was, bookies reveled in increasing the betting markets and playing around with the odds. Some people put down hundreds of dollars, others went for thousands of dollars, while others poured hundreds of thousands and millions. For example, 50 Cent, a renowned rapper, reportedly put down $1.6 million on Mayweather, citing that he could not lose. Luckily for him and others who had bet on Mayweather, Mayweather won by the judges’ decision.
The Marcantonio Vs. Woodhouse Fight
Interestingly, Curtis Woodhouse’s career was not initially in boxing. He had a long-standing career in football and a history with Sheffield United. Upon retiring from football, he decided to try boxing, seeing as he had always been interested in the sport. Gary De Roux, a featherweight titleholder, took Curtis under his wing and coaxed him into the ring. In 2006, Curtis was set to make his debut and battle Dean Marcantonio. Since he was a newbie in the ring, some punters felt that backing him would end in a sure loss. So, they sided with Dean, hoping that their judgment would not fail them. After all, the odds were 50 to 1, with Curtis as the underdog. Unfortunately, not many people were willing to take the risk.
However, as a show of confidence, Curtis bet $5,000 on himself. Most people thought that this money, and any other wagered in his favor, would end up in their pockets. According to them, they were backing the clear winner and were ready for a payday. It was a surprise to them when Curtis made a clean $250,000 at the end of the match. Not only had he won a match of a lifetime, but he had also multiplied his money. What a win!