If you asked a hundred people which sport was most closely linked with betting, more than fifty would come back with the obvious answer: Horse Racing. That said, there is a definite history between betting and boxing, one which goes back to the bare knuckle days and which has survived through to the present day and more organised battles between top names. Easier online betting in the modern age lets fight fans in Nicosia bet on fights within Cyprus and beyond, while Vegas casinos continue to open books on title fights held in the city. If you want to bet on boxing, it’s not hard to find a way.
So it’s clear enough that we all know we can bet on boxing, but there is more to know before you should bet on the sport for the first time. Pugilism is still a massively popular sport worldwide, and you’re certainly going to be able to find betting sites offering odds on any big bout. To increase your chances of success, though, it would do you some good to understand how best to bet on boxing.
Shop the lines
The key to maximising your betting success is to ensure that when you place a winning bet, you get your just reward. You can find wildly differing odds at different sportsbooks, and betting at the wrong one can mean you win less than if you’d looked elsewhere. Depending on where you are betting, odds or lines are listed in different ways, and knowing how to read them is essential too.
American or Moneyline odds use a plus or minus sign – if it’s a minus, it will show you what you need to bet to win a hundred dollars, while a plus sign shows how much you would win if you placed $100. Decimal odds, when multiplied by your stake, show you how much will be paid back to you if you win. Fractional odds – popular in the UK, show you what your winnings will be when multiplied by your stake (which you also get back).
Know what you want to bet on
A boxing match will usually have a favourite and an underdog, and even if you back the favourite and they win you will usually only earn a small amount back. You can find better value by betting on things like whether the fight will go to a points decision, or end in a knockout or TKO. You can mix the two and bet that the underdog will win by KO, or any other combination. That particular example is a tempting choice if you know that the underdog is raw but has a powerful punch.
There are also plenty of proposition bets, which cover questions such as “Will there be a knockdown in this fight?” or “Will [Fighter X] win a round?”. If the value isn’t there from a straight Win/Loss bet, then look around for better odds in the side bets that come along with it.