The aggressive betting trend continues in The Bubble.
Mikaela Mayer is the latest to have drawn the confidence of an enthusiastic gambler. The 2016 U.S. Olympian and unbeaten 130-pound contender emerged victorious in a 10-round virtual shutout win over Helen Joseph in Tuesday’s main event live on ESPN from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Enough faith was placed in the Los Angeles product—who is now based in Colorado Springs—for one bettor to lay down a $200,000 wager on the 11-1 favorite through BetMGM Sportsbook at Luxor. The gamble literally paid off, producing a total return of $218,181.82 and a profit of $18,181.82.
There was never any concern over cashing in a winning ticket, as Mayer (13-0, 5KOs) posted her most convincing win to date since turning pro in 2017. Joseph (17-5-2, 10KOs)—a veteran contender from Nigeria now based out of New Haven, Connecticut—was far more competitive in a 10-round loss to former lightweight titlist Delfine Persoon last November in Belgium, but had little to no response against Mayer in Tuesday’s main event.
The bout was originally due to take place in this very venue on June 9, only to be delayed by five weeks after Mayer registered the equivalent of a false positive from a coronavirus test upon arriving in Vegas. With the delay came an unexpected upgrade, as it was promoted to main event status—the first time ever where a female bout has topped a boxing telecast on ESPN’s flagship network.
While the sizable bet is the largest to date for a fight to appear on Top Rank's current closed-doors summer series, the action is merely the latest in a recent trend of eye-catching sportsbook action.
Gabriel Flores Jr. entered the ring as a 45-1 betting favorite for a June 18 bout versus Josec Ruiz in the very same venue. Like Tuesday’s show topper, Flores’ bout also received an unexpected upgrade when the originally scheduled main event fell prey to COVID testing. Regardless, its headlining status had little to do with the same sportsbook fielding a wager of $187,847.35 placed on the 20-year old from Stockton, California.
Flores (18-0, 6KOs) also won via 10-round shutout that evening, leaving the bettor to collect an additional $4,173.95 for a total payout of $192,021.30.
One week later came an attempted parlay on undefeated featherweight prospect Orlando Gonzalez and unbeaten heavyweight Sonny Conto, with a bettor investing $192,001.30 in hopes of collecting an additional $25,107.85 for wins by both.
Conto never made it to the June 25 card, as he was a medical scratch. The ticket was transferred to a straight bet on Gonzalez (15-0, 10KOs) who scored two knockdowns en route to an eight-round decision over Luis Porozo. The victory provided a profit of $14,763.33.
A July 2 show saw undefeated 130-pound prospect Albert Bell (17-0, 5KOs) overcome a pre-existing injured hand to soundly outbox Philippines’ Mark Bernaldez (20-4, 14KOs) in an undercard bout. The 27-year old from Toledo, Ohio entered the ring as a 20-1 betting favorite, still enticing enough for one bettor to place a $150,000 wager. The verdict produced a total payout of $157,500 and a profit of $7,500.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox