Over the last few days, Hollywood has become the “Wild West” of celebrity showdowns as we had two major challenges thrown out via social media. Each fight challenge created a buzz that rocked the gossip sites and “A-lister” TV shows. The media frenzy began with Justin Bieber challenging veteran actor Tom Cruise to a fight in the octagon. And if that weren’t enough to make Hollywood heads explode, Conor McGregor jumped on board this hype train and challenged Mark Wahlberg to a fight on the undercard of Bieber vs Cruise.
Entertainment betting sites have listed odds for both fights and the possibility of this event even happening. Let’s dissect this mega-star fight madness, explore the betting odds, and examine the facts on whether or not these fights will even happen.
On a rather mundane week of celebrity news, Justin Bieber shook things up when he came out of nowhere with a challenge to Tom Cruise for a fight inside the octagon. Last week, Bieber took to social media to blast Cruise, challenge him to a fight and said that Cruise was scared if he didn’t accept:
“I wanna challenge Tom Cruise to fight in the octagon. Tom if you dont (sic) take this fight your (sic) scared and you will never live it down. Who is willing to put on the fight?”
Up to this point, there wasn’t any bad blood between the two celebrities who are decades apart in age. Additionally, there’s really no crossover between the careers of these two entertainers. But, for some reason, Bieber felt like a keyboard warrior and challenged Tom Cruise.
Bieber just turned 25 years old in March, but isn’t acting like another year on this earth has brought any intelligence. Instead, he’s playing social media samurai with an actor who actually played a samurai. Although Bieber has the youth advantage, Cruise will have the weight advantage in any fight.
Bieber is younger, faster, and more athletic at this point in life than Cruise, but don’t count the Top Gun and Last Samurai actor out just because Bieber might have these advantages and because online betting sites favor Bieber in a fight. Almost immediately after Bieber challenged Cruise, BetOnline released the following odds on who would win the fight:
On the surface, oddsmakers really believe in Bieber’s chances of winning. Nevertheless, I feel that they’re overvaluing the singer. Tom Cruise offers fantastic betting value at +150 odds. Let’s take a look at how these two measure up to see why I believe oddsmakers have missed the boat on these betting lines.
Tom Cruise is a physical actor who keeps in shape and does his own stunts. A Google search will show us the height and weight for each celebrity and give us a better idea of this matchup. Cruise is 5’7”, just a half-inch shorter than Bieber who is 5’7 ½” at most. Cruise is listed at 148 pounds and Bieber is said to be around 145 pounds. Bieber will have the reach advantage, but Cruise will have the experience advantage.
In my opinion, Cruise wins this fight easily. He’s a wily veteran and a physical actor with “dad strength.” He would be the heavier fighter, which would help if the fight ended up on the mat. It could also help with putting more weight and force behind a punch. And, let’s face it, Bieber most likely has a glass jaw. He’s a talented singer, but I doubt he has ever been in a fight in his life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe Tom Cruise is an MMA star, but Bieber makes him look like Conor McGregor.
If we’re getting the Tom Cruise from The Outsiders and Jack Reacher, then I believe he finishes off Bieber in the first round of an MMA or boxing fight. If we’re getting the Cruise from Risky Business and Cocktail, then I think he wins in two rounds. Either way, Cruise beats down Bieber like he’s a signing Rainman.
Sports betting sites didn’t waste any time listing betting odds on whether or not this fight even takes place or if the McGregor vs Wahlberg fight takes place:
It’s clear that most online betting sites don’t believe this fight will happen as 90/1 odds (+9000) is extremely high. Obviously, not as high as who would host the fight.
Before fans and sports bettors could really place any substantial wagers on this fight, Justin Bieber has backed out of it. In typical “fake tough guy” behavior, Bieber told TMZ that he was only messing around and wasn’t serious about actually fighting Cruise:
“The story is, I (saw) an interview with him, and it was just on my mind. I don’t know why I thought about… It was just a random tweet. I do that stuff sometimes.”
Ironically, we can understand what Bieber is saying about the randomness of this tweet occurring because of seeing Cruise on TV. I feel the same way whenever I see Bieber on TV or online, as I want to challenge him to a fight. With that said, Bieber went on to tell TMZ that Cruise isn’t in his weight class because he’s really skinny. As for who would win the fight, Bieber said that Cruise and his “dad strength” would “probably whoop my *** in a fight.”
As much as many of us would’ve liked to see the Top Gun star come out on top of a Bieber bashing, we’ll have to just imagine the scenario or hope that someone makes a fan-film and posts it to YouTube.
McGregor’s social media prowess was on display in full force when he quickly hopped on this celebrity gossip express. At first, McGregor publicly questioned whether or not that Cruise would even accept the challenge. Then McGregor, in typical “Notorious” form, would go on to challenge Mark Wahlberg to a fight on the undercard of Bieber vs Cruise. He also said that his sports and entertainment company would host the fight event.
At first, McGregor’s challenge seemed about as random as Bieber’s. However, after a little digging, there might be a small nugget of reasoning for McGregor’s challenge.
In the tweet above, you can see that McGregor referenced taking his UFC shares back. A few years ago, Mark Wahlberg said that he would give Conor McGregor a piece of the UFC shares that he owns. Wahlberg agreed that McGregor deserved to be paid more by the UFC and largely because Conor was the face of MMA at that point.
Well, that love fest didn’t last long because last year, Wahlberg stated that he rescinds his offer to McGregor:
Whether or not this is the reason for McGregor’s challenge is unclear. However, online betting sites didn’t waste any time listing odds for this fight just like with Bieber vs Cruise. BetOnline has McGregor as a large favorite:
When just comparing physical builds, the fight is closer to even than one might think. McGregor is 5’9” and Wahlberg is one inch shorter at 5’8”. The weight class for this fight would be interesting to hash out. Since both men have no problem cutting weight or stacking on some size, a catch weight could be agreed upon. McGregor fights at 155 pounds, but he walks around at a weight near 165 to 170 pounds. Wahlberg, especially when he is ripped, walks around at a weight of 170 to 175 pounds. Neither fight has an advantage in the physical measurements.
Despite Wahlberg’s athletic build and background, McGregor has a huge advantage in a fight. Inside the octagon, Wahlberg wouldn’t last beyond two minutes. In a boxing match, Mark Wahlberg might survive a few rounds before losing via TKO.
For this bet, it’s clearly Conor McGregor at -500 odds. Speaking of those odds, they are incredibly low for one of the top MMA stars against an actor and former hip hop artist. In reality, this should be closer to 100/1 odds. I was a huge fan of Marky Mark as a hip hop artist and I enjoy him as an actor, but he has no chance at beating McGregor who is 18 years younger than him.
A funny thing happened on the way to Father’s Day weekend, McGregor’s challenge to fight Wahlberg didn’t go unnoticed by other combat sports athletes. Former MMA star Nick Diaz ripped McGregor via social media due to his challenging of Wahlberg:
“Why would you wanna fight someone who can’t fight? What a piece off sh*t! Same as beating someone with handcuffs on.”
Nick Diaz is a former MMA champ and the older brother of Nate Diaz who has split two fights with Conor McGregor in the UFC.
Nick’s criticism of McGregor was rather tame compared to what current boxing champ Regis Prograis had to say. And take note of the irony when using Nick Diaz and “tame” in the same sentence. For many years, there was nothing tame about Diaz. With that said, Prograis didn’t stop with criticism, he actually challenged McGregor to a fight. In fact, Sporting News reports that Regis Prograis challenged Conor to a boxing match and then an MMA match:
“So, look, I’m hearing that Conor McGregor is trying to fight my man, Mark Wahlberg. Don’t call out no actors, dawg. Call out a real world champion. I’m a hurt you’re a**! We’ll do a two-fight deal. I’ll fight you in the ring first, and I’m definitely going to whoop you’re a**. Then, I’m going to fight you in the Octagon, and whoop you’re a** in there! Don’t call out the actors. Call out a real world champion.”
For those that don’t know, Prograis (24-0) is the current WBA light welterweight champ and set to fight Josh Taylor in the World Boxing Super Series Final match. If he wins the tournament, Prograis will also collect Taylor’s IBF world title. Prograis is considered the top light welterweight or junior welterweight fighter in the world and fights at a weight of 140 pounds. I’m sure he and Conor McGregor could fight at 147 as a compromise since Conor fights at 155 pounds.
It should be noted that Prograis isn’t one to make silly or entertaining challenges like McGregor. Regis is an intense athlete and he’s sticking up for his manager Mark Wahlberg. Prograis’ promoter Lou DiBella believes that Prograis would beat McGregor in six rounds inside the boxing ring, and that Regis would do better in an MMA fight than McGregor would in a boxing fight between the two.
Prograis’ challenge to McGregor comes about three weeks after current WBA super welterweight champ Keith Thurman grew tired of Conor’s antics and challenged him to a fight:
“He would be annihilated by the fourth or fifth round. Conor, box me, baby! Conor, box me! Box me, Conor! You know you make more money in the boxing ring anyway. Box me, Conor! Next pay-per-view (PPV) fight after Manny Pacquiao.”
Thurman takes on Manny Pacquiao July 20th. We’ll have plenty of coverage on the website and our YouTube channel for this title showdown.
I had no doubt that Bieber would show his true colors and back out of a fight. That’s the kind of person that he is. As for the McGregor drama, I think it would be awesome if he took up Prograis on the two-fight challenge. Let’s face it, McGregor can pretty much fight whoever he wants right now except for Khabib Nurmagomedov because the UFC lightweight champ is scheduled for a fight and doesn’t want to rematch McGregor yet.
As for the bets listed above, neither prop bet will payout as I expect them both to be removed from online betting sites sooner than later. Bieber’s chickening out of the challenge that he originally threw out there has already led to some sportsbooks dropping the lines. As for McGregor vs Wahlberg, this bet could last longer, but the fight will never happen. Keep an eye out for any betting odds on a potential fight between Prograis and McGregor. If Regis wins the WBSS tournament and collects another title, I wouldn’t be surprised if he called out McGregor after the fight.
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