By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer
Gavin and Joe Maloof are so confident Floyd Mayweather Jr. will beat Conor McGregor that they bet $880,000 on it.
And if the Maloof brothers are big winners along with Mayweather on Aug. 26, they are giving the proceeds of their whopping wager to charity.
The wealthy entrepreneurs and former Sacramento Kings owners revealed their extraordinary bet to The Associated Press on Sunday, two days after they placed the wager at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The bet is thought to be the biggest yet made on the fight, which is expected to be Vegas' biggest spectacle in recent years.
The Maloofs will make a $160,000 profit if Mayweather — a minus-550 favorite Friday — remains unbeaten against McGregor, the UFC champion making his pro boxing debut.
"I know a family that's going to be watching this fight very, very closely," Maloof said with a laugh.
Gavin Maloof told the AP that the family will donate the proceeds to multiple charities in Las Vegas and in Los Angeles, where sister Adrienne Maloof is active in charity work, in the name of Never Too Hungover, their widely distributed hangover prevention drink.
"We have a huge opportunity to help a lot of people in charities, so we decided to do it," Gavin Maloof said. "It's a neat way to enjoy the fight, and it's a fun way to promote our product."
Mayweather and Gavin Maloof are longtime neighbors, living down the street from each other in a tony Las Vegas suburb. Gavin went to a recent workout at Mayweather's gym and emerged with overwhelming confidence that age hasn't eroded the 40-year-old unbeaten champion's skills, even after a two-year layoff.
"So I called my brother, Joe, and said, 'We should put a wager on Floyd, because I don't think he's going to lose,'" Gavin said. "Not to take anything away from Conor. He's good. But I just like Floyd a lot."
The Maloofs spoke to the South Point sportsbook and settled on an $880,000 bet — a number that was initially too big to display properly on a betting ticket. The casino rewrote the bet into two $440,000 tickets that will pay out a total of $1.04 million if Mayweather wins.
The Maloofs are actually going against the betting trends on this potentially one-sided fight. Roughly 95 percent of the tickets and 85 percent of the money has been bet on McGregor in recent weeks, and Vegas sportsbooks likely are hoping many more bettors will follow the Maloofs' lead to offset their extraordinary liability in the event of a shocking upset win by McGregor.
Gavin has attended Mayweather's last dozen fights in person and watched everything the champion has ever done, so he feels confident in his bet. Yet he also sees how an upset could happen — which only makes it more exciting.
"Floyd is the greatest counterpuncher that probably ever lived," Maloof said. "I know Conor is a great puncher, and I'm not taking anything away from the UFC. Conor is probably going to be the aggressor. Floyd will wait until he punches. You have a guy switching sports, and that's not easy, and then you're taking on the greatest boxer of all time. Now on the reverse side, you have Conor who's much younger, and maybe that will affect Floyd. It's a good fight."
The brothers conceived the bet purely for the gambling thrill of it, but quickly realized they could make it even more important. They decided to select several charities to distribute their profits to charity on behalf of Never Too Hungover.
The Maloofs sold the Kings to Vivek Ranadive in 2013 for $534 million, an NBA record at the time. The brothers will be near the ring at T-Mobile Arena on Aug. 26 to see whether their big bet pays off.
"It should be a great event for everybody," Gavin Maloof said. "We'll be able to do a lot of good things."
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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