Boxing Wagers Prompt Sports Betting Integrity Probe

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US Integrity confirmed to LSR Saturday that there is an ongoing investigation into alleged suspicious sports betting activity surrounding the Dec. 15 fight between boxers Yoenis Tellez and Livan Navarro in Orlando, Fla. 

US Integrity CEO Matthew Holt declined additional comment given that the sports betting investigation, which reportedly includes multiple six-figure wagers, remains ongoing. 

Paul not thought to be involved

The fight served as an undercard for Jake Paul

However, Paul, a celebrity boxer who co-founded Betr, is not believed to have been involved in any nefarious activity, LSR confirmed.

LSR also reached out to the Florida Athletic Commission and Seminole Tribal Gaming Commission for comment. 

Why sports betting suspicions arose

As earlier reported by The Sports Daily, “a large influx” of six-figure bets came in on the super-welterweight fight between Tellez and Navarro to last over 5.5 rounds, which drew suspicion. 

Tellez, 23, was a heavy favorite, and improved to 7-0 by knocking out Navarro (15-2) in the 10th round. However, only one of Tellez’s previous six fights had advanced to the fourth round. 

Additionally, one of those six-figure wagers was apparently made by one of the corner teams for one of the fighters involved. 

Previous sports betting issues in MMA

This is just the latest incident for combat sports.

MMA coach James Krause is currently serving an indefinite suspension. Krause had served as the trainer for Darrick Minner, whose Nov. 5, 2022 bout drew suspicious betting patterns. The bout has also drawn an FBI investigation. 

An ESPN report also stated Krause worked as a sports betting agent for an offshore sportsbook. He also had a betting podcast. 

MMA hired US Integrity in 2023

In January 2023, the UFC hired US Integrity

The UFC has also imposed stricter regulations, telling its fighters they cannot bet on UFC bouts anymore

The Ontario sports betting regulator briefly banned UFC offerings before reinstating wagering on the sport.