Boxing Betting Guide: How to Bet on Boxing

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Boxing dates back as far as the year 3,000 BC, when ancient Egyptians participated in fights. This sport is still going strong today and has become very popular for betting purposes at sportsbooks. Millions of people worldwide gamble on boxing every year.

If you're interested in wagering on this sport, then you should check out the following boxing betting guide. It covers all you need to know on how to place wagers, different bet types, selecting a sportsbook, and much more.

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Boxing Betting Tips

 

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Best Boxing Betting Sites

Many online sportsbooks feature boxing betting. Therefore, you'll have no shortage of options to choose from when wagering on professional boxing. If you need any help finding a quality sportsbook, though, you can start with the following best US betting sites.

Unlike team sports such as baseball, basketball, or football, boxing doesn't have a set season. Nevertheless, it does feature something of an unofficial season.

Many fights take place between April and September. While bouts still happen outside of these months, the majority occur between spring and the early fall.

The number of fights that each pro boxer takes varies from case to case. Newer pros might have a boxing match every 1-2 months. After all, they typically only fight between four and six rounds.

More-experienced fighters have bouts lasting between eight and 12 rounds and only fight 2-3 times per year. These same athletes are generally in the biggest boxing matches in terms of fanfare and betting action.

Professional boxing features 18 weight classes. Eight of these are known as “glamour divisions” because they're part of the sport's “Original Eight” classes.

You can see all 18 weight classes along with the glamour divisions in bold:

The highest-profile boxing fights happen in the “glamour divisions”. These divisions draw the vast majority of boxing bets.

 

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How to bet on Boxing

Boxing odds come in three main forms, including American, decimal, and fractional. Given that this guide is focused on North American bettors, we'll stick with American odds for examples.

These odds indicate the favorite with a minus (-) sign and the underdog with a plus (+) sign. They use $100 as a standard for how much you can win on the favorite or underdog.

Here's an example of how American odds work:

In this instance, you'd need to bet $195 to win $100 (profit) on Fury. Meanwhile, you'd wager $100 to win $160 (profit) on Joshua.

Boxing betting doesn't work much differently than team sports regarding the odds. The wager shown in the example is common throughout sports gambling. As explained in the next section, though, sportsbooks modify certain bet types to fit the parameters of boxing.

Most boxing bets take place online these days. After registering and depositing, you can browse an internet sportsbook's list of available boxing betting lines.

From here, you choose one or more wagers to put on a betting slip. Once you've confirmed the slip, your wager(s) will be live and can't be changed later.

That said, one of the simplest boxing betting tips is to double-check your slip before omitting it. This practice ensures that you'll only place desired boxing bets rather than accidental ones.

 

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How to Gamble on Boxing

Placing wagers on fights can range from very straightforward bets on who will win outright to more complicated propositional bets involving rounds, methods of victory and fight-specific outcomes. Boxing wagers are placed on a moneyline. A moneyline is a number set by bookmakers which determines winnings based on a $100 bet. The negative number indicates which fighter is favored to win the fight and is the dollar amount one must wager to win $100. The positive number indicates who the bookmaker considers the underdog and is the dollar amount one wins when placing a $100 wager.

More About Boxing Moneylines

There are two distinct moneylines in boxing, and understanding the difference between the two is important before placing a wager with top boxing betting sites. The most common moneyline is a 2-way moneyline. In a 2-way moneyline, a wager is placed on either fighter winning the fight and if the bout ends in a draw, the bet is cancelled and the wager is returned as a push. Take the following as an example of a 2-way moneyline:

Mayweather is the betting favorite, so a $400 dollar bet on Mayweather yields $100 if Mayweather wins. McGregor is the underdog, so a $100 bet on McGregor takes $300 if McGregor wins. If the bout ends in a draw, the bout is declared a push and a wager on either fighter is returned. However, a 3-way moneyline includes odds on the draw. Take the following as an example of a 3-way moneyline.

A 3-way moneyline pays out the same for either fighter on a winning bet, but because the draw is listed as a betting option, only wagers placed on the draw will return winnings. So if Mayweather and McGregor fought to a draw, wagers placed on either fighter to win are lost and a $100 wager placed on a draw wins $1200.

Bout Betting (Outright Win Market)

The most straightforward bet in all of boxing is placing a wager on the bout market. This is also known as the outright win market. A wager placed in this market simply involves determining which fighter will win the fight. No matter what method of victory, whether a knockout or decision, naming the fighter who wins the bout in the outright win market wins the bet. A winning wager’s payout is based on the moneyline set by by the bookmaker at time of bet. Other kinds of wagers in boxing are proposition based. The most common types of prop bets in boxing are about rounds, methods of victory and whether the fight goes the distance.

Round Market

Round market bets include naming the fighter who will win the fight as well what round the fight will end. This allows wagers placed on 2-way moneyline favourites the chance to return huge dividends so long as the person placing the wager is able to pinpoint when the fight will end exactly. For example, a straight bet on Mayweather at -400 is paltry compared to a round-specific bet on Mayweather winning specifically in round 10 at +2200.

O/U Total Rounds Market

Betting on the over/under total rounds market is placing a wager on whether the fight will go past a certain number of rounds. The over/under market is set by bookmakers and offers moneylines for both sides of the equation. Using Mayweather/McGregor as an example again:

Betting on the O/U market does not depend on naming the winner of the fight, only how long the fight will last.

Rounds Group Market

The rounds group market offers similar plays to the O/U market, except wagers are placed on groups of rounds. Common rounds groups include rounds 1-4, rounds 4-8 and rounds 9-12. Other common round groups include even vs. odd round numbers.

Method of Victory Market

The method of victory market is played by selecting the fighter who will win the fight as well as the method of victory. This market is similar to the round market except instead of pinpointing the specific round one wagers on the specific method. Methods can be grouped together (e.g. Mayweather by KO, TKO, or DQ -135) or more specific (Mayweather by KO +1600, Mayweather by TKO +240, Mayweather by DQ +800) based on the bookmaker’s preference.

Fight to Go the Distance Market

In boxing’s fight to go the distance market, wagers are placed on whether the fight will last the full number of scheduled rounds. For example, if Mayweather-McGregor was scheduled for 12 rounds and ended anytime before the conclusion of the twelfth round for any reason, the fight did not go the distance.

Other Boxing Props

Depending on the magnitude of the fight and the number of wagers placed on it, bookmakers will create other prop-based odds categories to entice more bets and more lucrative payouts. Common prop bets such as these include betting on what minute a fight will be won, number of total punches landed by a specific fighter and whether the fighters will touch gloves before the bout begins. As with all wagers, always read the bookmaker’s instructions and payout instructions carefully before placing any bets.

Betting Strategy Overview

There are many important factors to consider when placing wagers on fights. Boxing is unlike any other sport, and digesting all the different weight classes, rankings systems, statistics and world championship data points in the sport can be a daunting task to the uninitiated. The most important things to consider when placing a wager on any fight are the accomplishments of the participants, the fighters’ styles as well as their overall talent levels and abilities.

Additionally, Gambling.com offers a comprehensive boxing betting strategy guide to help you make the most out of every wagering opportunity.

Understanding Today's Boxing

Unlike other popular American sports, such as Major League Baseball and the National Football League, fighters compete under various promotional banners instead of just one entity. Top level promotional companies include Top Rank Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events.

Before fighters can compete against each other, negotiations must take place between the managers and promoters of the fighters and a contract must be agreed to and signed by all parties. Fights take place under the supervision of state-level combat sports commissions who provide the officials for the bout including the judges and referee.

History of Boxing

Boxing is one of the oldest sporting fixtures in the world. The earliest discovered depiction of boxing comes from a relief sculpture found in Iraq dating back to the third millennium BCE. The sport was developed by the ancient Greeks and appeared in Greek culture with regularity beginning with the 23rd Olympiad in 600 BCE. It was a popular sport with the Ancient Romans but was abolished during the fourth century after becoming excessively brutal.

The modern form of boxing traces its roots back 1867 when a formal set of rules was introduced to the world of prizefighting under the patronage of the Marquess of Queensberry in London. The sport continued to evolve through the years mostly outside the confines of governmental oversight as it was outlawed in England and the United States. Boxing became a legitimate sport in the early 20th century and has since become a multi-billion dollar industry.

Common Boxing Betting Options

You can enjoy a variety of boxing bets at land-based and online sportsbooks. Everything from moneylines to live wagers are available.

If you're an experienced sports gambler, then you may already be familiar with some of these bet types. Moneylines and live bets are especially common throughout the industry.

Some wagers are unique to boxing (and the UFC), however, such as round totals and method of victory (MOV). Therefore, you may be less familiar with these bet types. If so, you'll find the following information on different boxing bets to be helpful.

Boxing Moneyline Betting

Most boxing matches end in a victory for one of the fighters. Moneyline betting involves selecting which of the fighters will win the bout.

Sportsbooks use moneyline odds to encourage gamblers to wager on both sides of betting lines. With the favorite, you'll be risking more money relative to the potential winnings. In contrast, underdogs pay more relative to the stake.

Here's how moneyline betting works:

Andrade is slightly favored in this boxing match—hence how the potential winnings are lower than the stake. Meanwhile, you stand to win more on the underdog Murata with a smaller wager.

Moneyline bets are the most popular in boxing. You'll find these wagers available at literally every boxing betting site.

Boxing Round Totals

Normally, totals betting involves the combined score of two teams. Two basketball teams, for example, might have a total of 201.5. You'd wager on whether the combined score will be over or under this line.

With boxing, however, totals betting works differently. It provides an over/under on how many rounds a fight will last.

Here's an example:

If you take the over here, you'll be banking on the match lasting 10 rounds or more. With the under, you'll be hoping that the bout ends in nine or fewer rounds.

Assuming you like employing boxing betting strategy, then you can research history on the two fighters. You want to specifically look at the average distance that each fighter's matches go—especially the most-recent bouts.

Method of Victory

Boxing matches can end in a variety of ways. Possible outcomes include knockout (KO), technical knockout (TKO), a unanimous decision, split decision, draw or a fighter retiring.

Some boxing betting sites offer wagers on the method of victory. They don't, however, list all of the potential outcomes as bet options. Instead, they focus on outcomes like KO/TKO and unanimous/split decisions.

Here's an example on how a MOV wager looks:

Draws rarely happen in boxing fights and carry long MOV odds. A KO/TKO or decision are the likelier outcomes and offer more-realistic odds.

Just like with round totals, you can employ plenty of boxing betting strategies on MOV wagers. One good approach involves studying each fighter's number of knockouts and decisions recently. You can make a more-informed wager by focusing on the two fighters' last 5-7 matches.

Floyd Mayweather, for example, took many fights to the distance during his career. He was usually a good bet to win by decision.

Boxing Round Betting

Round betting sounds similar to round totals. However, it differs slightly by revolving around the exact round that a fight will end.

Boxing betting sites have multiple ways that they can present these wagers. The simplest method involves asking you to pick the fighter who'll win in a certain round.

A more-complicated method requires you to choose the fighter and MOV in a specific round. For instance, you might have to guess if a fighter will win by KO or opponent disqualification.

The following example shows the simpler route:

Round wagers involve even more boxing betting strategy than round totals and MOV bets. You can pour considerable time into researching the rounds where fighters normally win.

Boxing Futures Betting

Futures revolve around an event that'll happen in the distant future. For example, you might wager on which baseball team will win the World Series months in advance.

Futures aren't a big part of boxing betting. However, you might consider any bet placed shortly after a fight is announced to be a future. Major fights are announced several months in advance.

Here's an example of a futures wager:

If you pick one fighter immediately after the press conference, then you're wagering on a distant event. Much can happen in between the announcement and fight night. One of the fighters could get injured during training and, thus, foil early bettors.

The upside to placing a futures bet on boxing, though, is that you benefit from favorable early odds. In the above example, Lewis might show that he's in better form than everybody expects. Early Lennox backers would then gain more value from their wagers.

 

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Boxing Prop Betting

Proposition bets revolve around outcomes that aren't associated with a fight's winner. They can include a number of scenarios and are only limited by a bookmaker's imagination.

Here are some examples of boxing prop bets:

Prop betting can be tricky because some of the propositions are unknown entities. Generally speaking, weirder prop bets leave less room for intricate boxing betting strategies. A wager regarding the color of a fighter's trunks might not always offer much concrete information.

Nevertheless, propositions do pose an interesting way to bet on boxing. You'll especially enjoy a wide variety of prop bets for the major fights.

Boxing Live Betting

Live betting has become all the rage in sports gambling. It gives you an opportunity to place wagers as a match is happening in real-time.

Many live wagers involve updated odds on pre-match bets. For example, sportsbooks will update the moneyline and package it as a new wager following each round. They'll use the momentum of the fight to determine who's gaining ground and losing it.

Here's an example:

Pre-match line

Online sportsbooks provide more live-wagering opportunities for the biggest fights and world-title bouts. Referencing Floyd Mayweather again, his matches inspired hundreds of live bets.

Boxing Parlay Betting

Parlay betting includes two or more outcomes on the same ticket. You must win all outcomes on the ticket for a successful bet. Just one loss will result in a losing parlay wager.

Parlay payouts vary based on the odds behind each selected outcome. In any case, you stand to win more with parlays than single wagers.

When placing a boxing parlay bet, you might make the following selections:

Normally, a wager at -1000 would pay very little. When packaged with a parlay, though, it can be more lucrative.

You want to be careful with these bets, though, because they give sportsbooks a big advantage. In fact, one of the most-common boxing betting tips is to avoid parlays. However, you might successfully develop a betting strategy for parlays over time.

 

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Choosing a Sportsbook for Boxing Betting

Numerous boxing sportsbooks exist throughout the industry. You might not even know where to begin when looking for the best online sportsbooks for boxing betting.

However, you can make this matter easier by focusing on the following aspects. Odds, mobile gambling, bonuses, and safety/security are all crucial when seeking the best boxing betting sites.

Competitive Boxing Odds

Handicapping and other boxing betting strategies can only take you so far. Eventually, you also need to find fair odds (a.k.a. prices) that provide stronger long-term chances of winning.

Some online sportsbooks have a reputation for offering more-favorable odds than the competition. They don't take as much juice (a.k.a. vigorish) from the losing side of a wager. This lower juice means that the operator is also collecting a smaller cut of the overall action (a.k.a. “overround”).

Here's an example to illustrate this point:

WynnBET line:

DraftKings line:

  • Mauricio Lara -175
  • Kid Galahad +140
  • Overround = 5.32%
  • WynnBET is offering the better price for this particular wager. Assuming you find a sportsbook that consistently provides more-favorable odds, then you stand to win additional money over time.

    Mobile Betting on Boxing

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    You no longer have to travel to Las Vegas or another physical location to bet on boxing. Instead, many states now offer legal-and-regulated mobile wagering.

    Most bookmakers realize that they need quality mobile service to remain competitive. Nevertheless, you can't take anything for granted.

    You want to ensure that a boxing gambling site has a quality mobile app or browser-based wagering. Any boxing betting app should run smoothly and be easy to navigate.

    Browser-based betting refers to when you make wagers directly through a mobile sportsbook's website rather than an app. It should also offer a clean interface and run without any hiccups. Caesars Sportsbook, for example, consistently draws praise for its high-quality app.

    Too many quality boxing mobile sportsbooks are available. You don't have to settle for anything less than the best when betting on boxing.

    Free Bets or Boxing Bonuses

    You don't need to rely on winnings alone with boxing betting. Instead, you can also take advantage of bonuses and other promotions.

    Common boxing betting bonuses include:

    Boxing bonuses are no doubt enticing. However, you don't want to lose sight of the terms and conditions (T&C's) involved.

    Rollover is one of the most important terms. It refers to the multiple times that you must wager before cashing out bonus winnings. If your bonus is worth $50 and rollover is 6x, for example, then you'll have to wager $300.

    Of course, rollover is just one part of earning boxing bonus funds. You should carefully review what other terms are involved as well.

    Safety and Security

    Any decent online sportsbook will offer a secure website. After all, bookmakers need to ensure that hackers can't steal data from their customers.

    Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology is the ideal method of website protection. It encrypts information exchanged between bettors and online sportsbooks.

    Web browsers provide an indication on which sites are secure. Safari, for example, places a lock symbol next to a website's URL to show that it's safe.

     

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    Top Online Sportsbooks for Boxing Betting

    If you're like most boxing bettors, you don't have time to thoroughly evaluate each potential betting site. Therefore, you may experience difficulty in finding the absolute-best online sportsbooks for boxing betting on your own.

    However, you can take a shortcut by checking out our reviews at Gambling.com (GDC). The GDC staff thoroughly evaluates online bookmakers by focusing on the criteria discussed above.

    To recap, our main focuses include:

    We also consider other important factors, such as banking options, customer support, markets and betting variety. Sportsbooks that excel in most/all of these categories earn the highest rankings on our list.

    You're welcome to do your own research on internet sportsbooks too. Again, though, you can rely on GDC when looking for a shortcut to the top boxing betting sites.

    More Boxing Tips

    Contributors

    Contributors

    Hi, I'm Dan Kilbridge

    "An experienced bettor with a decade writing about sports and gambling, Dan's expertise includes college football, college basketball, golf, the NFL and more."

    Interests
    • Sports Betting
    • College Football
    • Political Betting Markets

    Reviewer since September 2019

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