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The sweet science of boxing is a brutal and demanding sport with a rich history dating back to the days of Ancient Greece. Understandably, it comes as no surprise that boxing has a dedicated following among bettors, and, for many, gambling on boxing is the ultimate test of skill and knowledge.
To succeed, punters must wager with a strategic understanding of the sport.
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Although boxing is relatively easy to understand, newcomers may be overwhelmed by the many betting options.
From the various types of bets to reading boxing odds and finding the best boxing betting sites, first-time gamblers can struggle to grasp the depth of knowledge needed to win a profit. Fortunately, though, with some research, anyone can learn the skill.
This guide is designed to provide a comprehensive primer on boxing betting.
In it, we’ll explain how boxing betting works, introduce the most common types of bets, discuss how to read boxing odds, and share a handful of the best online sportsbooks for placing bets on boxing matches.
So, if you’re ready to win money off the next fight, keep reading.
In the simplest terms, boxing betting is a way to gamble on the outcome of a boxing match.
Bettors can choose to wager on which fighter they think will win the match outright, or they can bet on other aspects of the fight, such as how long the match will last, what round the match will end in, or whether or not the match will end in a knockout.
There are two types of boxing matches—professional and amateur.
For the most part, professional matches are far more common and, as a result, receive the most betting action.
For example, the 2016 fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather was one of the biggest boxing matches in recent years and received roughly $65 million of wagered money.
The vast majority of professional matches are governed by one of four major boxing organizations:
- The World Boxing Association (WBA)
- The World Boxing Council (WBC)
- The International Boxing Federation (IBF)
- The World Boxing Organization (WBO)
These organizations each have their own rules and regulations governing the sport and, as a result, the betting.
For example, the WBA permits the use of eight-ounce gloves, while the IBF requires the use of 10-ounce gloves.
These minor differences can significantly impact the outcome of a fight and, as a result, the betting.
When you’re ready to start betting on boxing, the first step is to find a reputable online sportsbook that offers boxing betting.
Once you’ve found a site you trust, the next step is to create an account and fund your account with an amount of money you’re comfortable losing.
With your account funded, you can start placing bets on boxing matches.
Types of Boxing Bets
The most common type of boxing bet is a straight bet, a wager on which fighter will win the match outright.
For example, if you bet on Canelo Alvarez to beat Gennady Golovkin, you’re placing a straight bet.
If the fighter you bet on wins the match, you’ll win your bet and receive a payout.
In addition to straight bets, several other types of bets can be placed on boxing matches.
The most common are listed below:
- Round betting: Round betting is a wager on which round the fight will end in. For example, if you bet that a fight will end in the fifth round, you’ll win your bet if the fight ends in the fifth round, regardless of which fighter wins.
- Method of victory: A method of victory bet is a wager on how the fight will end. The most common methods of victory are knockout (KO), technical knockout (TKO), and decision.
- Total rounds: A total rounds bet is a wager on how many rounds will be fought in the match. For example, if you bet that a fight will go the distance (i.e., 12 rounds), you’ll win your bet if the fight goes to a decision.
- Prop bets: Prop bets are wagers on aspects of the fight that are not directly related to the match's outcome. For example, a prop bet might be a wager on how long the match will last or on whether or not a fighter will be knocked down during the match.
Reading the Odds on Boxing Betting Sites
As mentioned, the sportsbook betting odds represent how likely a fighter is to win a match and are expressed as a ratio.
Depending on the sportsbook, the odds can be either fractional (e.g., 3-to-1) or decimal (e.g., 4.00).
The most important thing to remember about odds is that they represent the probability of an event occurring.
In other words, the odds are not an indication of who the sportsbook thinks will win the fight but rather an indication of how likely each fighter is to win based on the bets that have been placed.
For example, if more bettors place bets on one fighter to win, the sportsbook may adjust the odds to encourage more betting action on the other fighter.
To calculate your potential payout, you need to know the amount you’re betting and the odds of the fighter you’re betting on.
The amount you’re betting is your stake, and your potential payout is calculated by multiplying your stake by the odds of the fighter you’re betting on.
For example, if you’re betting $100 on a fighter with odds of 3-to-1, your potential payout would be $400 ($100 x 4).
If the fighter you bet on wins the match, you’ll receive your stake back and winnings. If the fighter you bet on loses the match, you’ll lose your entire stake.
Finding the Best Boxing Betting Sites
When you’re ready to start betting on boxing, the first step is to find a reputable online sportsbook that offers boxing betting.
There are several factors to consider when choosing an online sportsbook, such as the sportsbook’s reputation, the odds they offer, the types of bets they allow, and the deposit and withdrawal options they offer.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of a few of the best online sportsbooks for betting on boxing.
BetNow is one of the largest and most popular online sports betting platforms in the United States, with a wide array of betting options, including boxing.
The site exclusively follows professional bouts and offers competitive odds on matches hosted by all four of the leading professional organizations:
This includes women's boxing matches and events in the United States and overseas.
With so many selections, boxing fans have a nearly endless list of bouts to bet on and are guaranteed to find exciting matches to wager on, regardless of the time of year.
BetOdds.ag is a relatively new online sportsbook that has already made a name for itself in the industry.
The site offers betting markets, including boxing, and provides competitive odds on WBC, IBF, WBA, and WBO matches worldwide.
The site also offers several promotions and bonuses that can be used to increase your bankroll, including a 100% welcome bonus worth up to $300 and an additional 50% bonus worth up to $250 for referring a friend.
BetOdds.ag also offers several other promotional offers that change regularly, so it’s always worth checking the site to see what’s currently available.
3. Bovada Sports
Bovada is another leading online sportsbook with some of the industry's most competitive and wide-ranging markets.
For boxing fans, the site offers betting on matches from all four major professional organizations and provides several different betting options, including straight bets, round betting, and prop bets.
The site also offers several promotions and bonuses that can be used to increase your bankroll.
New members can take advantage of a 50% welcome bonus worth up to $250, and the site also offers a refer-a-friend bonus worth up to $275.
In terms of value and sheer quantity, BetOnline has one of the most comprehensive menus of boxing odds, covering both the domestic and offshore markets. Additionally, BetOnline offers odds on pay-per-view and standard TV broadcast fights.
New members can benefit from a 50% welcome bonus worth up to $1,000, one of this list's most substantial promotions.
Sign up today and enjoy the full range of BetOnline’s promo content.
BetUS is another top contender for boxing fans, with a broader range of betting lines, futures, and prop bets than most other sportsbooks today.
This makes it a popular choice for fans who want more than just straight bets, opening up a world of possibilities for those who like to live on the edge.
In addition to its broad range of boxing markets, BetUS offers some great promotions and bonuses.
New members can take advantage of a 100% welcome bonus worth up to $2,500, which is by far one of the largest sign-up bonuses in the industry.
The site also offers regular reload bonuses and referral programs that can be used to increase your bankroll even further
MyBookie might not be as old as other options on this list, but it’s made a name for itself in the past 8 years for its range of live betting options.
Unfortunately, it’s rare to find live boxing odds, even on MyBookie.
Additionally, the odds on MyBookie aren’t as competitive as other options on our list, so we’ve ranked it slightly lower.
Nevertheless, MyBookie continually updates its betting lines and offers comprehensive bets for all four major professional boxing organizations.
WagerWeb is one of the oldest online sportsbooks to operate in the United States, dating back nearly 30 years to 1994.
It offers straight bets, props, and live betting options, providing a comprehensive package of choices for boxing fans.
The only downside to WagerWeb is that it sets a $500 maximum deposit limit, which is relatively low compared to other platforms established as WagerWeb.
Xbet is similar to other sportsbooks on our list in that it offers odds for all the major boxing organizations.
However, it offers odds for some minor, obscure boxing leagues.
For boxing fans who like to bet on the sport no matter who is fighting, Xbet is a perfect choice.
Although there’s a lot to learn, anyone can master the art of betting on boxing.
The trick is carefully picking your bets and placing them using a well-respected and reputable online sportsbook.
We recommend sticking to verified sites, such as those listed above, and, in no time, you’ll be winning a profit off your favorite fighters’ performance in the ring.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is round betting in boxing?
Round betting is a type of wagering that allows bettors to pick the winner of a particular round in a boxing match.
For example, if you bet on Floyd Mayweather to win in Round 5 and he does, you will win your bet.
How do betting odds work in boxing?
The odds for boxing matches are typically displayed in the format of American odds.
This means that the odds represent how much money you would need to bet in order to win $100.
For example, if the odds for a particular fighter to win are +350, this means that you would need to bet $350 in order to win $100.
How to make money betting on boxing?
There is no surefire way to make money betting on boxing, but there are a few things that you can do to increase your chances of winning.
First, do your research and only bet on fights that you know something about.
Second, try to find finding fighters who you think are being underestimated by the oddsmakers.
Finally, stick to major fights as these usually have more accurate odds.
Can you bet on bare-knuckle boxing?
Generally speaking, no, you cannot bet on bare-knuckle boxing. It’s a relatively new sport and since it’s unregulated, few online betting platforms offer odds for the events.
Can a boxer bet on himself to win?
Yes, a boxer can bet on himself to win, but it is generally not advisable to do so.
This is because there is a potential for conflict of interest if the boxer is also responsible for setting the odds for the fight.