Boxing continues to be one of the most popular sports on the planet, and it remains one of the most popular sports to bet on, too, with bookmakers offering a vast selection of markets and special offers for every major fight.
And while their attention is understandably focused on those big bouts that get the world talking, that does not get their sole attention. Not only do undercard fights on these big nights of boxing get priced up, but the bookies also offer odds for a whole host of bouts taking place across the globe on an almost daily basis.
If you’re looking for a leg up and the inside track on how to beat the books when it comes to betting on boxing, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, we will cover everything that you need to know to improve your boxing betting strategy.
We’ll start by talking about where you should be betting, and then we’ll get into the particulars of what you should be looking at strategy-wise, starting with the big picture factors and then looking at the individual fighter factors. Finally, we’ll close the guide by giving you our expert tips to bring everything together and give you the best chance of walking away from the book a profitable winner.
In the US, boxing betting is a huge industry, with millions of dollars being bet on each event. In fact, in 2012, about $2.5 billion was wagered on boxing matches alone. In addition, it’s estimated that approximately $250 million is placed in bets on any given fight between two well-known fighters.
Most fights take place over the weekend, and for these, we aim to give our tips by Thursday to give you plenty of time to back them.
Boxing is unusual in that it has no recognised season or regular schedule. Still, we aim to cover all the big bouts taking place among the WBO, WBA, WBC and IBC organisations and the best of amateur events.
Before making any boxing bets online, you have to sign up at a sportsbook first. Then, it will only take two minutes to enter your name, birthdate, email address, and deposit info. Once you make a deposit, you can place your boxing bet. Just pick the fight, the boxer, bet type, and dollar amount.
Round betting is backing a fighter to win a specific round. Given how specific this type of bet is, returns can be huge! If you feel one of the fighters will deliver a first-round knockout, this is the wager for you. But be warned, these are devilishly difficult to win. This means if there was ever a bet to follow our boxing betting tips on, this is the one!
Two boxers will enter, one will (usually) leave victorious. If you bet on the winner’s Moneyline, you’ll win your wager. A panel of three judges score every bout, so even if both boxers are left standing at the end, a decision will be rendered, and one will usually be declared the winner.
Betting Tips For Boxing
Boxing is one of the most popular sports on the market to bet on, with its enticing nature appealing to all of us punters. The sport’s popularity on the betting market is why we’ve produced a page devoted to it, where you’re able to view some insightful boxing betting tips for all of the biggest fights coming up. Of course, any bets added to this page will be put up in advance to help any boxing fans interested in joining in with what we’re predicting.
Unlike sports that appear every week, the enormous boxing bouts are dotted around the sporting calendar throughout the year. So whether it’s the larger bouts or, the smaller undercards, we’ll consider all boxing betting tips that could be worth staking money on, even including them into a set of boxing accumulator tips if there’s enough to go by.
Choose A Good Place To Bet
Everything we’re about to teach you about betting on boxing is pretty much useless if you don’t have somewhere reputable to place your bets for two reasons. One, if you don’t have somewhere to take your action, you can’t turn your predictions into cash. No one is going to pay you for being a genius unless you put your money where your mouth is. Two, if you’re betting with a shady sportsbook or a backroom bookie, you can’t be sure that your funds are safe. So, you can win all the bets you want, but it’s not going to mean anything if you can’t get your money.
If you want to be your boxing somewhere that you can trust, check out one of the top-rated and reputable sportsbooks we have picked out for you below. You don’t have to worry about the security of your account, personal information, or money. Instead, you can focus on what is important – picking winners and cashing tickets.
Focus On Styles
Fighters often have many common opponents. We sometimes mistake using those results as a guide to predicting future fights. Perhaps in no sport is the importance of stylistic match-ups more critical than in boxing. George Foreman, who blew out Muhammad Ali-tormentor Joe Frazier, was expected to worsen Ali. We know that didn’t work.
When handicapping a fight, you must pay special attention to stylistic concerns. Take Manny Pacquiao, for example. He has been going through recent opponents like a knife through butter. However, if we thought back less than two years ago, we remember him struggling mightily with clever counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez. His recent opponents bear little resemblance to the crafty Marquez.
If Pacquiao fights another boxer with the same skill-set as Marquez, we should not expect him to be as dominant as he was against the more face-first fighters he’s been fighting recently. This is why despite far greater recent form and productivity, Pacquiao opened as an underdog against master boxer/counter-puncher/defensive wizard Floyd Mayweather.
When the old-timers say styles make fights, they are not whistling Dixie. It is the guiding light of all successful boxing bettors. If you are betting on a fighter, pay attention to what styles trouble him and then bet accordingly. It can also help you make some successful underdog selections. If a little known and uncelebrated fighter just so happens to have the same style that tends to trouble the favoured fighter, it might be worth a tickle.
The Promotion’s History And Goals
We aren’t fans of talking smack about boxing, but unfortunately, we need to address it after so many questionable decisions throughout the past few years. You need to take some time and look at which promotion is putting on the boxing event you are looking to bet. We’re not going to call any promotions out by name, but some seem to have a bad history of some questionable decisions.
In boxing, there are many different ways to bet on a fight. Some people might bet on who they think will win, while others might bet on how the fight will play out. Regardless of how you choose to bet, it’s important to have a general understanding of the sport and the strategies that fighters use to give yourself the best chance at winning some money.
Make sure that if you’re betting on one of those promotions, you at least take a minute and consider the goals of that promotion. Is one of the fighters their own that they’re trying to prop up and get hyped up for a future big fight? We’re not saying that they are automatically going to be doing anything shady, but we do think it’s something that you should at least be aware of and take a minute to look into.
Do Not Ignore Form
Sometimes we don’t acknowledge that a fighter is washed-up until thoroughly beaten. The signs were often there long before that. It is very human to lock onto a perception and stick to it despite damning evidence. We remember athletes at their best and are maybe unconsciously unwilling to notice their demise. Admitting your favourite fighters are not what they once were is saying we are not what we once were. To acknowledge the passing of time is to acknowledge our aging process.
Do not ignore the signs. We tend to make excuses for fighters who have so thoroughly entertained us. We will often disregard a series of bad performances by chalking it up to poor motivation, a funk, outside-the-ring distractions. While fighters are always capable of reversing form, more times than not, a string of bad performances is usually a strong indication that a fighter is approaching the end.
The Impact Of The Fight On Each Fighter
The motivation of a particular fighter is important to know because it can have a big effect on how hard they train and how seriously they take a fight. If they’re jumping in there to get a paycheck and call it a day, then you can’t expect them to be dedicated to training as hard as they can. But, if the fighter is a young up-and-coming talent looking to grow their career and potentially position themselves for a title shot, you can probably assume that they will be training their brains off.
Just because a fighter is motivated does not automatically mean they are a better fighter. So, make sure you don’t get carried away with this. But, you do need to factor this in, especially if you think a fighter is on the side of not taking things very seriously. With no motivation to win, it’s hard to compete in such a competitive sport.
Always Shop For The Best Available Odds
Not all bookies are created equal. We’ve seen fights with the favourite at -400 odds, and across the street, at another online sportsbook, they were -300! This is HUGE because if you happen to be betting the fav. in this match-up, you’d be saving yourself $100 just by taking a few minutes to check around to see what the best available odds are!
Each Fighter’s Record
You’ll certainly want to take a look at each fighter’s record coming into the fight. But don’t make the common mistake of just looking at their win/loss total and calling it a day. The problem with doing this is that it can be misleading, and you won’t draw the necessary conclusions without looking a little deeper.
First, you want to look at their most recent wins. In boxing, promoters will often set up a promising fighter with many easy wins early in their career to pad their record. You might see a fighter who is 15-0, but all 15 of those wins were against chumps that were easy wins. You rarely see fighters these days who take on challenging matches early in their boxing careers.
So, because of this, you’ll want to pay most of your attention to their most recent wins. But, you’ll also want to take the time to look through the quality of those wins. Were they against good opponents, or are they just starting to transition out of their “beefing up” period?
Additionally, you’ll want to see if they have any experience against similar opponents. Are they fighting a southpaw? Have they fought southpaws before? Are they fighting a brawler? How’d they do against other fighters that fight that way? So many of these questions and this research will roll right into the last big picture factor we want you to look at.
Tips for Profiling Fighters Before Betting
The best strategies for betting on boxing advocate using statistics, information, and other data.
In the modern game, it’s more important than ever to consider these factors before you bet on boxing. It would help if you formed a complete profile of both boxers to make logical predictions about a fight.
One of the best boxing betting tips for beginners is to research fighters. You can use many resources to do this, and it will prove invaluable.
Here are a few important pointers to consider.
- Accomplishments – What do they bring to the ring? Is this fighter a world champion or an emerging prospect? Are they ranked highly by the WBC, IBF, WBO, or WBA?
- Record – The record of a fighter tells their personal story. But more than anything, it reveals if they have beaten anyone of note or simply crushed tomato cans to get where they are. Use sites like BoxRec and The Ring to help you.
- Technical Ability – Everyone loves the heavy hitters and the boxers that throw bombs to try and knock out their opponent. But, the problem with these types of fighters is they can get themselves in a lot of trouble against a talented and technical fighter. Make sure that you don’t get carried away with an exciting fighter because if they are outclassed, they’re going to get picked apart slowly and either get worn down and defeated before the last bell or easily beaten in a judge’s decision. To judge technical ability, you will have to know boxing beyond what the casual fan knows. We’re not saying you need to get in the ring, but it certainly would help. You can watch some free training videos on YouTube and start to get more educated with what proper technique looks like.
- Career Length – Are they a once-great fighter still hanging on or a hungry young lion looking to pounce? A fighter with extended wear and tear often buckles against younger, fresher opponents.
- Damage Taken – How many times has the fighter been stopped? Have they recently suffered a knockout or a string of stoppages? This could be a sign that a fighter’s chin has gone.
- Speed and Power –Two of the most important factors you need to look at are speed and power. Faster fighters will be able to get in, land shots, and get out. More powerful fighters might lack in the speed department a little bit, but they’re going to be able to land significant damage to make up for any speed deficiency. Most of this is pretty common knowledge. But, we brought it up because there are a few side notes we want to make that are important. First, make sure that you are not confusing strength with power. Just because a boxer is strong and can lift a lot of heavyweights does not necessarily mean that will translate into power in the ring. Power comes from harnessing that strength and using the technique to turn it into a powerful punch. Just being strong does not automatically grant a fighter power.
- Lifestyle – It’s almost always best to avoid fighters that bloat up between bouts or have a propensity for the party lifestyle. Target the cleaner, more disciplined boxer.
- Decline – Most boxers decline with age. Sometimes it’s sudden, but for the most part, it is gradual. Learn how to spot the wane of a fighter by studying their output and damage in previous performances.
Tips for Better Boxing Betting Results
If you’re looking to bet real money on boxing matches, chances are you’ll start with betting on the outcome of the bout.
As part of your system for gambling on the fights, you will often find yourself focusing on the popular bets and markets in the sport. These bets are relatively straightforward, but that doesn’t make them easy to win money from.
What we’d like to do now is give you our list of tips to help improve your results and bring together everything that we’ve been talking about thus far in this strategy guide. We regularly add to this list of tips, so feel free to bookmark the page and periodically check back to see what we’ve added.
Trust in Reach Advantage
The fighter with the longer reach will, more often than not, hit more and get hit less. So picking up on this early in the match could be conducive to your success when gambling on boxing bouts.
Understand the Scoring System
Not all boxing bouts end with a knockout. Instead, a ton of them will end up in the judge’s hands, which means that when you’re making your picks, you need to be thinking about who has the better shot of getting a decision. But you can’t do that if you don’t completely understand the scoring system.
Hungry Fighters are Dangerous
Backing the hungrier fighter can prove to be a promising move. When considering your strategy for betting on boxing, consider the fighter that wants it more.
Utilise Statistics to Your Advantage
For some reason, many newer boxing bettors forget that there are plenty of statistics they can look up to help them make their predictions. While stats are not always going to tell the full picture, they can go a long way to help back up or disagree with what you think you see. Look at things like punch totals, significant strikes landed, the percentage of strikes landed, and where the strikes landed. Of course, you shouldn’t make your picks solely based on statistics, but the one thing that will never lie to you are the numbers.
Bet Against Weaknesses
All fighters have their weaknesses. For example, speed might be their kryptonite. You could enhance your chances of profit if you know the Achilles heals of each competitor.
Be Careful of Heavy Favorites
It can be tempting to want to bet heavy favourites in boxing. Everyone loves getting that win and cashing a ticket. But, before you make any bet, you need to make sure you see if the bet has value. Is the amount of money you have to risk to win a significant amount worth it? The bigger the favourite is, the more you’re going to have to bet to get any respectable return.
Does this mean you should never bet any favourites? Of course, it doesn’t mean that. We’re saying that you have to be careful and make sure your bets have value. The temptation to take bets with no value is much bigger for heavy favourites.
Back the Southpaw
In a fight between two boxers of similar styles, you might want to bet on the southpaw with the best gambling sites. Studies show that southpaws win more fights than orthodox boxers.
Don’t Bet Every Fight.
Boxing action can sometimes feel like it’s hard to come by. Especially if you’re only looking to bet fights with value, you can find yourself looking for opportunities to force bets. What we’d like to remind you is exactly that. It would help if you only were betting bouts where you are confident in your pick and think the pick has value. This means you should not be betting every single fight on the card, even though it’s going to be tempting to do so. Stick to only betting on the fights that have value, and your bottom line will thank you.