Boxing is sporting art at its finest. Each bout is a unique and enthralling contest of speed, strength, technique, reflexes, endurance and willpower. Boxing has long been a sport that has been linked with betting. Boxing betting requires plenty of research, but it can prove highly lucrative to the smart punter. In the modern age of technology, it is possible to find videos of virtually every boxer on the internet, allowing you to study their style and their technique to try and analyse where the value lies in the market.
Many of today’s fights are mismatches, and one fighter is usually heavily odds-on, making it relatively fruitless to back them outright to win. As a result, bettors are forced to look deeper into the markets to find worthwhile odds. A common problem with betting on boxing is that there is so much hype around fighters that it’s difficult to know just how good a boxer actually is - and even a boxer's record can be misleading. Fighters can build a good reputation without having proved much.
Boxing nowadays is as much about theatre as it is about brutality and skill. It's one of the few sports that recognises the need to engage the public by building up an edge to a clash, drawing punters into taking sides and backing their favourite fighter in the boxing betting markets. Fans yearn for genuine dislike between boxers, and fighters pander to that, dishing out as many verbal assaults before a fight as they do physical ones once in the ring.The boxing betting conundrum is a simple one. Many of today’s fights are mismatches, and one fighter is usually heavily odds-on, making it relatively fruitless to back them outright to win. As a result, bettors are forced to look deeper into the markets to find worthwhile odds, and there are a few good ways of doing just that.
A more attractive boxing betting market is Method of Victory, which involves predicting how the fight will finish: either KO/TKO or points/decision. A heavy favourite is normally still odds-on to beat the underdog by way of knockout, but that means that the win by decision is pushed out to far more rewarding odds - and unless it’s a heavyweight bout or the favourite is renowned for his big KOs, a number of today's fights still go the distance despite a difference in class.
A fighter wins by KO when their opponent fails to get back to their feet within 10 seconds of being knocked down. A stoppage generally denotes the same amount of domination, when the referee will stop in if he feels that one fighter is unfit to continue.
An encounter is won by decision when, with both fighters still standing at the end of the allotted rounds (these vary depending on the fight, though traditionally you can expect a 12-round fight), a three-judge panel awards the win to one of them based on the number of points scored throughout the bout.
Boxing betting odds in these scenarios are often set according to which fighter has the more aggressive style and powerful punch. A fast-moving counter-puncher may be judged to have less chance of knocking someone out, relying instead on their agility and pace to outfox their opponent.
Betting on a fighter to win by KO or stoppage is recommended for fights that see one of the two contenders judged as overwhelming favourite by bookmakers, as their opponent will invariably be unlikely to survive the length of the bout.
Conversely, if a knockout is likely, the best way of getting more rewarding odds is to choose the round in which it’s likely to happen. Paddy Power Boxing offers a Group Rounds boxing betting market where you can pick a fighter to win within a set range of rounds. For example, in rounds 1-3, or 4-6, with odds often drifting out to beyond 10/1 for each option.
A common problem with betting on boxing is that there is so much hype around fighters that it’s difficult to know just how good a boxer actually is - and even a boxer's record can be misleading. Fighters can build a good reputation without having proved much, especially when a successful amateur makes the step up to professional, for example. Others might boast impressive unbeaten records when in reality they have just been well protected by their promoters throughout that run, with promoters and fighters averse to losing unblemished records as it would give them less bargaining power when it comes to arranging future fights.
This means, however, that with a little in-depth research or good background knowledge, you can pick out winners who are less fancied by bookies, or spot favourites who flatter to deceive. A good example of this was Lucian Bute, who boasted a 30-0 record and was considered heavy favourite to beat Carl Froch (28-2) in May 2012. The Romanian was ultimately outclassed, with his faultless record blinding bookies and critics, despite many of his previous fights not being too testing. Spotting an undeserving favourite like Bute can make for good returns on exchange sites like Betfair, where you can often lay favourites at as short as 1/8, meaning minimal liability and potentially big returns.