Best Boxing Weight Classes for Bettors to Consider

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Best Boxing Weight Classes for Bettors to Consider

Astute boxing betting players are always looking for more ways to make sure they get the most value out of their boxing wagers. Knowing as much about the sport of boxing as possible is a vital aspect of any winning boxing betting strategy.

Boxing is a complicated culture with 17 different weight classes, which can make deciphering a boxing card difficult. Knowing which divisions are the best boxing weight classes for bettors, or at least understanding which divisions are the worst, can help anyone enhance their personal boxing betting strategy.

Why Weight Classes Exist in Boxing

Professional boxers compete in weight classes in order to ensure the fights are competitive and so that the fighters in such bouts are protected from finding themselves in the ring against someone simply too large or heavy for them to fight.

As of 2018, there were 17 total weight classes in boxing, ranging from the diminutive fighters in the 105-pound strawweight division to the larger-than-life heavyweight boxers who only complete prefight weigh-ins ceremoniously as the division has no set weight limit.

Understanding How Weight Classes Work

In order for a professional boxer to compete in any weight class (besides heavyweight), the fighter must make weight under the divisional limit on the day prior to the scheduled fight. The official prefight weigh-in conducted by the athletic commission under the advisement of any applicable sanctioning bodies.

Professional boxers agree to weight limits for bouts during negotiations between camps and the fighters from each camp are contractually obligated to make the contracted weight. If a fighter does not make weight, the fighter risks losing the fight altogether along with any associated purses and titles.

Sometimes, fighters agree to meet each other at what people in boxing call a catchweight, something that means the two will fight at a different weight limit, one not defined by the 17 existing weight classes.

For example, if a welterweight agrees to move up in weight to face a junior middleweight but agrees to meet the junior middleweight halfway at a catchweight between the 147-pound limit for welterweights and the 154-pound limit for junior middleweights, the two might agree on a bout at 150 pounds.

In this case, the fight is still technically a junior middleweight bout because it is under the 154-pound limit. However, depending on what the contract states, any fighter not making the agreed upon catchweight limit could still be in jeopardy of losing the bout for missing weight.

Best and Worst Weight Classes for Bettors

Bet what you know is good advice for any betting endeavor in any sport. But beyond being an expert at watching any one particular boxing division (and knowing all the different fighters competing in that weight class inside and out), it makes reasonable sense to stick to the fights and fighters competing in the most popular and highly-paid divisions.

Boxing’s most historically celebrated weight classes are the upper five divisions of the original eight weight classes in the sport. These divisions are heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight and lightweight. Boxing, as we know it today, originally spanned these five divisions along with three more smaller weights before they were slowly expanded to make room for the 17 total divisions that exist today.

However, these five weight classes still get the most media coverage and attract the best boxers to them for competition. Like betting main card instead of undercard fights, the fighters in these weight classes are easier to analyze and much more about them overall is known than the fighters in most other divisions. Since successful betting – be it an outright win, a fight going the distance, or a boxing prop bet – is about attaining and sorting through as much relevant information as possible, focusing on these five weight classes is best for punters looking for an edge.

The worst weight classes to bet on are the five smallest weight classes. Any division starting at bantamweight and below is difficult to follow unless one happens to be connected in some way to Asia. The lower weight classes might have rankings in the transnational boxing rankings board, but those fighters and weight classes are much more popular in the East than they are in the US and UK. The language and cultural barriers make getting news and content on those fighters extremely difficult for the average boxing bettor.

List of All Weight Classes in Professional Boxing

Division NameAlternate NamesLimit (lb)Limit (kg)
CruiserweightJunior Heavyweight20091
Light Heavyweightn/a17579
Super Middleweightn/a16876.2
Junior MiddleweightLight Middleweight, Super Welterweight15470
Junior WelterweightLight Welterweight, Super Lightweight14063.5
Junior LightweightSuper Featherweight13059
Junior FeatherweightSuper Bantamweight12255.3
Junior BantamweightSuper Flyweight11552.1
Junior FlyweightLight Flyweight10849

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