- Celebrity boxing matches are seeing a lot of action being placed at sportsbooks.
- Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul was the most viewed boxing match of 2021.
- Mayweather promoted the fight through BetOnline.
LAS VEGAS – The boxing world has seen a new trend as of late, with celebrity and exhibition matches taking over the mainstream media.
Sports betting fans who bet on boxing matches have been embracing this trend, with millions in wagers going to these celebrity fights.
With all the attention surrounding these celebrity boxing matches, is this the new trend in legal sports betting… or is this just a fad soon to end?
Big Money On Celebrity Matches
— Hard Rock Stadium (@HardRockStadium) June 4, 2021
Sports betting fans may have noticed the increased attention these exhibition bouts have been getting. Part of the reason is, that casual fans are really invested in these big events.
Logan Paul and Jake Paul have ballooned this industry each time they step in the ring, initially starting with Logan Paul fighting fellow YouTuber KSI.
This fight saw over 2.25 million live viewers at its peak, including 1.05 million coming from pay-per-view (PPV) buyers. This was a big deal, as most professional boxing matches fail to cover over a million in PPV buys.
The Paul brothers continued to win, fighting everyone from professional athletes to retired MMA fighters, generating heavy attention and viewership along the way.
— ESPN (@espn) November 29, 2020
The hype surrounding these events only continued, intensifying with the Logan Paul and Floyd Mayweather fight.
This matchup again surpassed 1 million PPV buys although official numbers have not yet been released. So far in 2021, this is the biggest fight of the year in terms of media attention and PPV buys.
Most of the betting splits were in Mayweather’s favor, with the undefeated champion seeing as much as -5000 or higher at online sportsbooks.
The fight was a big draw for boxing betting fans, so much so that Mayweather himself was promoting the fight through legal sports betting sites.
Another big fight that saw a lot of attention this year was the celebrity match between retired NBA Champion Lamar Odom.
Long one-sided betting lines were being placed on this fight as well, with most of the action being placed on Odom to take the win.
Since these fights usually involve one-sided matchups, the likelihood of upsets happening rarely. Despite this, sports betting fans still place a lot of action on these events.
How Much Is Wagered On These Fights?
Coolbet sportsbook in Canada saw a lot of action on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul match, with last-minute bettors jumping on the +1400 odds for Paul to pull the upset.
While most of the money was going to Floyd, enough wagers were being placed on Paul to affect the sportsbook should an upset had happened. Coolbet stood to lose $50,000 on payouts if Paul won.
“Since Floyd’s number has come back to Earth, we’re seeing a number of people come in late with bets on Mayweather,” said Kris Abbott, Country Manager of Coolbet. “Fifty-eight percent of total tickets and 79 percent of total money are now on Mayweather, in a dramatic reversal from what we saw (Friday). Risk is dropping fast on Logan Paul as people are hitting the Floyd line heavy.”
With these betting splits, it shows that sports betting fans are actually jumping heavily on these celebrity fights. However, this may not continue to be a big trend, as regulated sportsbooks aren’t hosting these lines.
No Regulated Action
The Mayweather and Paul fight alone saw a lot of action at online sportsbooks, but US-regulated books didn’t host any odds.
The reason being that the rules were not released early enough for sportsbooks to generate odds, and once the rules were set, there was a way for there to be no clear winner. No odds were available for the Carter and Odom fight either, possibly due to the same factors.
Without options at regulated sportsbooks, it doesn’t matter how big these events are since professional boxing matches are always available to be wagered on.
Even with the bigger media attention coming from these celebrity matches, the sports betting world may simply stick to what works.
Additionally, draws like Mayweather will not come with every bout. On top of that, the Paul brothers are the only influencers that draw this level of attention from casual fans.
While these exhibition matches are big events, they probably won’t be changing how fans bet money on entertainment boxing matches.
Coming from a background in narrative-based writing, Giovanni strives to write stories that will keep the reader engaged. Although he does pride himself in being accurate, how the story is told is also very important to him. When he’s not keeping readers up to date on sports betting laws and legislation, you can find him writing and recording music, playing videogames, or engaged in heated sports debates with his friends.