Conor McGregor called the fighters to bet their purse, a practice that has been going on for a while. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
One of the most popular trends in the world of combat sports is for fighters to bet on the outcome of a match. Objecting to a bet is an admission of weakness and lack of self-confidence, which puts the respondent in a difficult predicament.
Fighters never follow through on betting
Conor McGregor recently questioned the tradition and said that combat, as much as it is a battle of skill and will, also includes elements of luck. He also said that fighters never follow through with betting, so there’s no point in it.
Regardless of whether the participants (often the losers) endorse the end of the bet, this makes the stage interesting during the pre-fight period and creates the best headlines in the sport.
Fighters love to bet their wallet
McGregor’s ruling on betting the purse was made in anticipation of a lightweight bout between two undefeated heavyweight knockout performers, Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia. The pair agreed to bet their wallets on the outcome of the fight, which ultimately ended with Davis’ seventh-round shot to Garcia’s liver.
Davis had the right under the goodwill of the bet to claim the purse in the aftermath, but mercifully allowed García to escape the public shame of his loss or his refusal to send him the money. He and Garcia also embraced each other after the fight and poured cold water on the pre-fight jitters that had grown, which likely factored in his decision.
But while two contemporary boxing stars came to a decision, two others — Jack Paul and Tommy Fury — didn’t. Paul loudly challenges Fury repeatedly to a bet, saying he will double his pay if Fury wins, but keeps all the money if he wins himself. Fury went on to win the fight on points and turned the scenario on its head.
A handshake is as good as a contract to us.”
“At the end of the day, we were live on TV and shook hands,” said Fury. Good morning Britain. “A handshake is as good as a contract to us.”
Paul claimed to have earned $30 million from the fight, but there are no reports that he paid Fury what he owed under the terms of the bet.
Portfolio betting stretches back years. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. shook hands. Bet all of their winnings in a pre-fight press match prior to the May 2017 bout known as the “Mexican Showdown”. Alvarez was promised $5 million and Chávez Jr. $3 million just to enter the ring.
Canelo easily defeated his compatriot in a lockout unanimous decision. All three judges scored the 12-round bout 120-108, and Chávez Jr.’s reluctance to step forward to try and match his opponent’s skill was met with jeers from the crowd in the later rounds.
Justin Gaines and Charles Rosa took the high-stakes bet on the octagon when they put their entire purse on the line at UFC Vegas 30. To Rosa.
Lando Vannata, UFC featherweight fighter, took to Instagram after the result to say, “Justin [is] We regret everything now.”
If anyone thinks that losing this bet will ruin me, they are sadly mistaken.”
Gaines responded via Twitter, “No regrets.” “If anyone thinks that losing this bet will ruin me, they are sadly mistaken.”
While McGregor, a man known to talk trash to the best of them, disapproves of fighters like Gaines forgoing paychecks over a bet, even he couldn’t stop himself from turning down an old opponent.
One of his Twitter followers said he still owed Khabib Nurmagomedov his briefcase after a lopsided defeat, to which McGregor replied “Khabib is fat fat now, boy”.
This kind of self-centeredness is why it’s hard to see fighters ending the practice of betting their wallet anytime soon. But at least it’s entertaining!