Betting on boxing: 11 things you need to know

Betting on BoxingBetting on boxing has always been popular and now with the arrival of Pay Per View we have the chance to see the very best fights on the planet wherever they are held. Gone are the day when people had to wake up in the morning and listen to the news to see who won the big fight held in America overnight.  Now even massive fights such as the upcoming Mayweather v Pacquiao mega-fight can be seen live and gamblers will have the opportunity to bet on the match every punch of the way.

1. Types of Boxing Bets Available

As with all sports the number of bets that can be placed on boxing has increased greatly in recent years. It used to be that  when betting on boxing, you just placed a bet on who would win and in what round the fight would end. Now you can place a wide range of bets with over 20 different kinds of bets available for the biggest fights that take place.

2. Win

This is the most straightforward of bets when betting on boxing. If you are looking to place a bet on the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight, you simply decide whether to bet on Mayweather winning or Pacquaio coming out the winner.

The problem with this kind of bet when betting on boxing is that quite often the odds are extremely unattractive. Mayweather is around 4-9 to beat Pacquiao which isn’t too bad. But if you were to place a bet on Nonito Donaire winning his next fight against William Prado the odds are 1-80. Do you really fancy putting on 80€ just to win 1€?

Of course the flip side of all this when betting on boxing is that while you have one boxer at ridiculously short odds, his opponent will be attractively priced. Prado is 14-1 to beat Donaire and even Pacquiao is 2-1 at Skybet to beat Mayweather. If you fancy an upset then there are some big priced winners out there for you to bet on.

If it’s a fight between two well-matched boxers then the odds will be much better. But these seem to happen rarely.

3. Draw

When betting on boxing  you are always guaranteed excellent odds on a fight ending in a draw. You can get 22-1 on the Mayweather v Pacquaio fight ending that way and it’s not uncommon for the odds on a draw to be as high as 33-1.

Draws aren’t too common in boxing but they do happen. I remember one night on Sky Sports when both the main fights on the card ended in draws. If you think a fight could be close then a small bet on a draw is a good idea. Also fights can end in technical draws if for example one of the fighters suffers a cut due to a head butt.

4. Round Betting

While the odds on a boxer winning, particularly the favourite, aren’t always that attractive you can get some good odds by betting on which round the fight will end. Will there be a stoppage or is the fight destined to go the distance?

In the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight a win for either boxer in the first round is available at around 80-1. Here’s an interesting fact, it’s a 12 round fight and if you believe it won’t go the distance then that’s a maximum of 24 bets (either boxer winning in rounds 1-12). If the fight doesn’t go the full 12 rounds and you stake 10€ on each bet you’re guaranteed at least 90€ profit if either of the boxers get stopped. That’s because the minimum odds are 33-1.  Not bad odds seeing Pacquaio was knocked out in one of his recent fights. So you can see that when betting on boxing, placing money on which round the fight ends can result in some decent wins.

5. Group Betting

Sometimes when  betting on boxing you don’t have to name the exact round in which a fight ends to get a winner. There’s plenty of bets availlable now. There’s group betting where you can bet on a boxer winning between rounds 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 or 10-12. The odds aren’t so good but for the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight the minimum odds are 12-1 at Skybet and the highest 28-1.  Bookmakers also offer grouped betting for 1-4, 5-8 and 9-12 and 1-6 or 7-12 so there’s plenty of choice.

You can bet on the winner and how they’ll win the fight – will they win on points or inside the distance?

Not sure on who’s going to win? Well there are bets available in which you don’t even have to name the winner. For example in the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight you can get 33-1 on either boxer winning in round one.

6. Over/Under Rounds

With this bet you have to decide whether a fight will go under or over a given number of rounds. For example, will the fight end in under or over six rounds?  Again this can give some reasonable odds but also some pretty short ones. It depends whether bookies are certain a fight will end early or go the distance. Putting a bet on an outsider to last into the seventh round can produce a decent result, the same if a fight expected to go the distance ends early.

Other special bets include odds on the fight ending inside the first minute – a whopping 250-1 in the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight. You can even bet on whether the fight will end in an odd or even round.

In fights where the favourite has almost unbackable odds, round betting is your only way of getting some decent odds. In a fight where the favourite is, say 1-14 to win, a first round knockout might still be available at odds as high as 25-1. A lot depends on whether the favourite is a big puncher or not.

7. Tips on Deciding Who’s Going to Win

When betting on boxing you need to take a close look at a fight before deciding who’s goiing to win. Obviously there are times when the favourite goes off at a price heavily odds on and then you need to work out just when he might win the fight.

A highly recommended site is This site gives you the fight records of all the active boxers in the world. It’s full of useful information so you can see the current form of boxers, who they have been fighting against and how they won.

8. Weight

Boxing is made up of several weights and often boxers move up and down these weights. It’s really important to know what weight a boxer has been fighting at. Take the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight for example. It’s a fight in the welterweight division and Mayweather has been fighting at that weight since 2006. His opponent was still in the super featherweight division in 2006 and began his career as a flyweight. So Pacquiao has moved up through more divisions than Mayweather. That probably explains why at lower weight divisions he won a lot of fights by knock-out but in recent years at heavier weights usually wins on points – he last won a fight inside the distance six years ago and that was in the last round.

If you are betting on boxing, keep an eye on the news, is a boxer struggliing to make the weight? If that’s the case then he may be worth opposing as he goes through hell to make the weight and that won’t help him in the fight.

Boxers who drop down a weight can often be opposed. Dropping weight isn’t always a good idea and they can be weaker at the lower weight. Sometimes though it can work. Again check the record of the boxer concerned. Nathan Cleverly was world champion at light heavyweight but then moved up to cruiserweight and it didn’t work for him. Now he’s returned to his original division so might be worth backing next time he sets foot in the ring.

9. Is a Boxer on the Decline?

Not every boxer can last forever and sadly many carry on fighting when their best days are long gone often for financial reasons.  Again take a look at for help. Has a boxer who a few years ago was winning lots of fights suddenly started losing a lot. Look at the rating of the boxers they’ve been facing, that will give a few clues.

Boxers move from being up and coming prospects to world title prospects to champions to former champions still in title contention. Then in time they become a boxer those up and coming prospects face to get more experience.

10. Sometimes Unbeaten Records mean Nothing

Just because a boxer has an unbeaten record it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a world beater. It can be easy to build up a long run of wins without beating anyone of significance. When Anthony Joshua made his pro debut in October 2013 he took on Emanuele Leo who came into the fight with an 8-0-0 record with four wins in the first round. Sounds good doesn’t it? He looked a good test for Joshua but then take a long look at that unbeaten record. Three of his wins had come against the same opponent who by the time of his third loss to Leo had lost 31 of his 38 fights. Another one of his ‘victims’ had lost 67 fights.  Leo lasted just 167 seconds against Joshua and hasn’t fought since.

As you can see when betting on boxing it’s a good idea to take a look at who an unbeaten record has been compiled against before deciding whether that unbeaten run is going to last. American heavyweights and boxers from Eastern Europe are renowned for having boxing records that aren’t quite what they seem.

11. Does a Boxer Suffer Cuts?

There are some boxers who are prone to suffering cuts that end fights early. Henry Cooper is a prime example and once a boxer gets cut badly, there is always the chance that old injuries will re-open again. So take a look at their record and look at how their fights have been ending. They may well be able to take a punch but if they have problem with cuts, betting on them losing inside the distance can pay dividends.


Betting on boxing can be really exciting. Just one punch can win you lots of money and it’s great to watch a fight that you have a bet on. Think how more exciting betting on the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight would be if you’ve had a bet on it.

As with betting on any sport you need to carry out some research beforehand. Look at their records, the weights they have been boxing in, how do they win their fights, what level of oppponents have they been facing and what stage of their career are they in.  With research you can win some hefty amounts betting on boxing especially if you manage to predict what round a fight will end in.

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