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British bookmakers win millions with Hatton Mayweather fight

The U.K. bookmakers breath easily after Ricky Hatton suffers defeat in Las Vegas.

British bookmakers win millions with Hatton Mayweather fight Bookmakers who stood to lose over £10million if Ricky Hatton had won his showdown fight against Floyd Mayweather, were breathing a massive sigh of relief after the biggest ever gamble on a British sports star was stopped in its tracks. "Up to £20 million was gambled on the fight - easily a boxing record" said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe. "Ricky's fans forced his odds down as short as 11/8 at one point and staked hundreds of four figure bets on their hero in what was the greatest gamble ever on a British sporting figure, outranking any past patriotic plunge on the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Tim Henman, Frank Bruno, Joe Calzaghe, Lennox Lewis, Colin Montgomerie or Paula Radcliffe" said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.

 The biggest bets for Hatton were £12,000 and £10,000, but Mayweather also attracted some big cash, with one William Hill London-based customer landing a £94,000 payout after staking £60,000 on the American at odds of 4/7, and another bet of £35,000 landing a payout of £55,000. "We haven't seen boxing action like this since Muhammad Ali's heyday" said Sharpe. 'It had threatened to be our worst day's sports betting business since the legendary occasion when Frankie Dettori won all seven races at Ascot in 1996. Even we bookies were shouting for Ricky with our hearts, although our heads and wallets dictated that a Mayweather win would win us millions."

 Ricky Hatton has been backed from 10/1 to 7/1 third favourite with William Hill to win THIS year's BBC TV Sports Personality of the Year Award, despite his knockout defeat - and Hills have also installed him as a 10/1 chance to win NEXT year's Beeb Award. "Ricky's popularity will not have been dented at all by his defeat and he could also win the sympathy vote for the 2007 award - while a high profile, wining retirement performance next year could easily land him the 2008 title" Hill's spokesman said.

 Published on 12/09/2007

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