How To Bet on Boxing: An Online Guide for Beginners

Knowing where to start out with a betting strategy for boxing can feel daunting and overwhelming at first. It’s a safe bet (no pun intended) that you won’t become a hustler overnight and that mastering the game is surely a long-term goal. In this online guide we’ll talk you through the basics of what boxing betting terms mean and how to dip your toe into the water so you can feel comfortable working with the bookmakers’ odds. As they say, bet with your head not over it.

It is true that the sport we know today as boxing is derived but far removed from the all- action, bare-knuckle brawls which have been taking place for hundreds of years before Las Vegas bouts. While fights were known to go 40 rounds and above years ago, a championship fight these days has a 12 round limit. With the safety of fighters paramount these days, the sport has evolved tremendously from the blood and guts pummeling fests of yesteryear.

What old-school prizefighting and its modern-day successor have in common these days is that spectators still love a bet on watching two men go to war, using brains or brawn, inside the ropes.

Getting Started – Choosing a betting website

If you are an absolute beginner when it comes to betting on boxing or betting in general, fear
not; we got you.

Unless you are happy to bet among your friends. you’re going to need an account with a betting site. When it comes to choosing a site, there are many out there, but you want to choose one which has a good reputation and is safe. The sites to look for also have good odds and value when it comes to boxing bets. Once you have found your site and signed up, you can then get down to business, and choose your bets.

Some popular betting websites to explore are:

  • Bet365
  • Ladbrokes
  • William Hill

Before you place your bet, it is a good idea to understand how odds work.

Boxing betting odds

Boxing is a funny old sport. At the elite levels, fights between two A grade champions rarely fight. The quest to hold on to the 0; as long as possible is one reason that the old days of Leonard vs. Duran, Ali vs. Frazier, and Tyson vs. Holyfield are so fondly remembered.

What does this have to do with odds, you might ask? Well, as the majority of fights you come across these days have discernible favourites, it is worth noting just how much you stand to make on choosing a winner. For those who aren’t exactly boxing superfans, the assumption that two fighters are evenly matched is easy to understand.

When it comes to the odds, there are three main ways that they are advertised by bookmakers. These are decimal, fractional and U.S./Vegas odds.

Decimal Odds:

Decimal odds are favoured by bookmakers in Canadians and Australians, among others. The best way to find out what you stand to earn when using decimal odds is to multiply the odds by your stake.

So, if you have picked Anthony Joshua (2.87) to beat Deontay Wilder (3.45) and placed a bet of £10 on the Brit, you will win £20.87 plus your stake back. If you chose Wilder at the same stake, your winnings would be £30.45 plus your stake back.

Fractional Odds:

These are the odds which are most popular among UK bookies and bettors. The easiest way to understand fractional odds is to break down the numbers either side of the / symbol. If there was a theoretical fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia tomorrow, and you wanted to bet on one, you will see odds against their name.

Things might look this way:

4/7 Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Mikey Garcia 2/1

Lomachenko’s odds of 4/7 indicate that the bookmakers will pay out £4 (the odds to the left are what you can earn) for every £7 you bet (the odds to the right are what you need to stake).

Garcia’s are more simple: put down £1 and earn £2. U.S./Vegas Odds: Vegas odds are the most complicated to understand at first, but are far from difficult once you know what to look out for. The – symbol means how much you need to bet to make $100, while the + means how much a $100 bet would make you.

For example:

A $100 bet on Manny Pacquiao (+150) to beat Terence Crawford (-250) will be a bet on the underdog. The + means that there is less chance of him winning, while Crawford’s odds of – 150 mean that he is the far away favourite. A $100 bet on Pacquiao pays $250 in this example.

Top Tip: Check the website for a function which will let you change the odds to the format of your choice.

Weighing up the odds

Boxing may not have great odds in the majority of fights you come across. Yes, it is a fight, not a game of conkers so anything can happen inside the ropes. Just ask anyone who remembers the biggest shock in the history of the sport, where James Buster Douglas knocked out the seemingly invincible Mike Tyson in Tokyo in 1990.

Las Vegas odds were as high as 42-1 for Douglas to win. In reality, this was almost 30 years ago and we’re still talking about it. In other words, it doesn’t happen a lot.

As such, it is a good idea to know how to bump up your odds without backing massive underdogs and losing a lot. If there is a fight between an A grade boxer and a tomato can, taking odds thinner than a 90’s fashion model is not fun nor profitable for the risk. In this case, you can look bets other than a straight bet on a winner.

Round betting:

If you predict what round the fight ends, you can earn some great odds. There are 12 rounds and two boxers, so the risk is significantly higher than simply picking a fighter to win.

Method of victory:

Will Dillian Whyte beat Joseph Parker? If you are confident enough to back a KO/TKO or fancy it to go the distance, you can potentially win big.

Group round betting:

Maybe your spidey senses aren’t at full strength, but they are almost there. Betting the range of rounds that you believe the fight will be won (by which fighter) will guarantee better odds.

Know Your Fighters

One way to improve your chances of being a successful punter when it comes to bets on boxing is to know the fighters you are backing. Just because a fighter has amassed a record of 25-0 prior to the biggest bout of his career does not mean they are unbeatable. The level of opposition they have faced prior to their big fight may have not been the best, so do your homework, and stay in the know.