Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world, one long tied to the equally ancient world of sports gambling. Boxing betting is a fun way to expand a betting portfolio, but knowing how to decipher boxing cards is an important aspect of being ready with your boxing betting strategy for fight night.
Boxing is an outlier when it comes to how sports normally operate. Unlike other major sports, there is no professional boxing league where all fighters fight under one umbrella organization. Instead, boxers are represented by various promoters and managers who negotiate fights with one another.
Moreover, there are various sanctioning organizations littered throughout the world who all claim to crown world champions. It’s important to note that of the many sanctioning organization that exist in the world of boxing today, only the champions designated by the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO are considered legitimate world champions by those who follow the sport.
Moreover, two media panels are also recognized as championship designators: _The Ring_ and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB). While all six entities publish top 10 rankings for all 17 weight classes, only _The Ring_ and the TBRB are considered representative of reality by the general boxing public because neither entity is known to be subservient to promotional or political influence.
Boxing cards are dependent on the main event. The main event is the only reason the card exists, and promoters use the undercard to match lower level fighters against each other to build careers. If baseball were like boxing, then gamedays would start with low A minor league teams competing and each level up going on until the main event of the evening was the major league team playing its game.
As such, boxing cards are mostly full of fights for which top boxing bookmakers don’t offer odds. Only compelling undercard fights with fighters who have already been main event attractions (or are already close to becoming them) are offered by bookies, which can make boxing parlays for a single night difficult. While there is sometimes value in betting on these fights, there's a difference betting main event vs undercard because these are one-side bouts where odds are so in favor of one side that it makes little sense to bet on them unless one just happens to be absolutely certain a favorite is misjudged by the bookmakers. This doesn’t happen often.
There’s an old saying on press row that goes “always bet on the red corner.” When looking at a boxing card or even watching fights on TV, you will almost always see the bout favorite in the red corner and the underdog in the blue corner. This is especially true in undercard fights: betting the red corner for an outright win is never a bad option when the bouts are less about competitive matchups and more about building one fighter’s resume.
Main events are the best fights to bet on in boxing because one can expect a reasonable amount of competitiveness between the two fighters there – betting a fight to go the distance isn’t uncommon for main events. Moreover, when a fighter reaches main event status there have usually been plenty of chances for punters to see the fighter in action. This helps them judge how the fighter might matchup with others.
Fights to avoid are cases where bookies might be overvaluing a fighter with name recognition over someone simply based on the star power as well as situations where a popular fighter is fighting in front of his home crowd - especially if the opposing fighter is from another country. Sometimes method of victory doesn’t matter, but boxing history is littered with examples of judges being swayed by the crowd and awarding fights to a home fighter with little by way of objective reasoning to back it up after the fact.
The best way to get an edge over the bookies in boxing is by watching as many fights as possible. The more fights one sees, the more one can see the little things that make a fighter great. Things like how a fighter’s feet moves, how balanced the fighter is when throwing punches and how the fighter reacts to different situations are not apparent to most when first getting into boxing. But as one accumulates enough data by watching the sport over time, a smart punter will start to recognize what traits winning fighters have over others.
Moreover, with all the information available today about what a fighter does outside the ring, it’s important to not overlook how a boxer treats his body and mind when not fighting. In many cases, a fighter who lives an undisciplined life outside the ring - such as large fluctuations in weight between or binge alcohol consumption - will eventually succumb to those negative habits and forces. Therefore, following fighters, promoters, managers and media members on social media can help take any boxing betting strategy to the next level because it’s a good way to get as much information as possible.
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