Boxing betting is hugely popular across the world, particularly for major events. In fact, one UK bookmaker reports it took 18 bets a second in the lead up to the May 2015 fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.
Boxing has its origins in the bloody bouts of ancient Greece, where it was part of the original Olympics, returning to the fold in the modern era at the St Louis games of 1904. The eighth Marquess of Queensbury, John Douglas, supervised the drawing up of the rules that created the sport of boxing as it is known today. His 1867 guidelines included the introduction of boxing gloves and the development of three-minute rounds.
Professional titles are now sanctioned by four bodies: the World Boxing Council (WBC), the International Boxing Federation (IBF), the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the World Boxing Association (WBA), all of whom ratify thousands of bouts every year.
You can bet on boxing at all major sportsbooks, with William Hill offering comprehensive markets on a large number of fights around the world.
The most popular boxing bet is on the eventual winner of the bout, although for well-matched competitors the odds are usually pretty short. Draws are possible but are rare in boxing.
You can increase your payout if you also predict the winner’s method of victory. Usually knock outs, where a fighter is down for a count of ten, technical knockouts, where the referee decides a boxer cannot continue, and a disqualification, where one competitor breaks the rules, are lumped together as one market.
Decisions, where the judges’ points are used to settle a fight that has gone all the way to the end of the last round, and technical decisions, where the points are used to settle a fight that was stopped early due to any reason other than a knockout or technical knockout, such as an accidental injury, make up another market together.
Many punters also like to test their powers of prediction by betting on the round in which the bout will be decided, while other bettors like to place wagers on the fight “going the distance”, meaning that it is not stopped before all 12 rounds have been completed.
It is worth trying to block out the trash-talking that goes with any major fight as it has absolutely no influence on what happens in the ring. A fighter can talk a good bout, but as soon as the seconds are out, they have to rely on their pugilism skills, which are completely separate from their ability to insult their opponent.
Roughly a third of professional boxing matches are decided on points, which means that the fate of your bet will often sit with the judges. You have to work out whether they may be influenced by the home crowd backing their own fighter or that they might be distracted by a flamboyant fighter who actually isn’t as effective as he makes out, given that they do not have access to the up-to-the-minute stats enjoyed by viewers at home. It is worth considering the fallibility of the judges when you wager.
Studying form is key to betting on boxing, particularly researching a fighter’s past performance against similar opposition in similar environments. That is where you’ll find the best indicator of what could happen come fight night. If you keep an eye on the latest boxing news, you may find helpful information to guide your wagering. For instance, if a boxer has been working on his aggression, that could mean that this particular fight will be wrapped up earlier than his previous efforts.
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