How Does Boxing Betting Work? Everything You Need to Know

How Does Boxing Betting Work? Everything You Need to Know


It surprised many that boxing ranked as America’s 4th favorite sport in a recent poll, with 33% reporting they are fans of the game. Of course, the sport has experienced many ups and downs through the centuries. Yet, the resurgence of boxing’s popularity owes a lot to betting.

Many years ago, boxing earned a reputation as the sweet science, with many drawn to the most basic competition between two individuals. Then, when rules became standardized globally, boxing grew in popularity for betting.

Today, there are more opportunities than ever for several types of boxing betting. If you love the thrill and fast-paced action of boxing, you might be interested in learning the advantages of boxing betting.

So if you ever wondered how boxing betting works, keep reading. This guide provides a detailed breakdown of the nuances of boxing and strategies for boxing betting.

What is Boxing Betting?

It’s difficult to determine an accurate timeline for the history of boxing betting. But, the sport has roots dating back to the 18th century. Before the emergence of Las Vegas, the types of boxing betting differed around the globe. The sport suffered a decline in interest for most of the 19th century, but boxing betting has existed since the sport’s beginnings centuries ago.

Then, in the early 20th century, boxing began to gain popularity with bookmakers and casinos. Oddly, the surge in boxing betting coincided with the outlawing of the sport during the same period. Besides horse racing, bookmakers started reaping the benefits of boxing betting over team sports when Jack Dempsey became World Champion in the 1920s.

By the time Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) won the title from Sonny Liston in 1964, boxing betting had earned a reputation for ties with organized crime. Yet, as fighters started seeking title matches rather than fast money, the sportsbooks of Las Vegas took charge of regulating boxing betting.

Standards got developed for systematic betting as the sport gained interest with Liston, Ali, and other influential figures. Gamblers developed strategies for boxing betting based on rules set by reputable oddsmakers. Soon, boxers enjoyed the advantages of boxing betting with larger purses.

How Does Boxing Betting Work

Sportsbooks generally feature various types of boxing betting around the outcome of the main event. The last fight on the boxing card generally gets fought for a title or chance to advance to a championship match. Fighters in these matches represent the top contenders in their weight division.

Each fight consists of twelve rounds lasting three minutes. However, a boxing match can end before the twelve rounds get completed through various means. For example, matches can end with knockouts where one opponent cannot get up after landing on the canvas.

A technical knockout gets awarded to a winner when their opponent is deemed unable to continue or stops on their own accord. On rare occasions, fights get stopped when one fighter gets disqualified for using illegal moves during the match. Unless the match gets stopped early, all fights get scored with a points system.

Scoring Points

A bout that does go the distance of twelve rounds gets scored by three independent judges who use a standard scoring system for each round. The winner of each round gets awarded ten points against a points scale determined by the action in the round.

For example, in rounds where a boxer appears to have a slight edge, the fighter will receive a score of 10-9. A more dominating performance in the round gets a fighter a 10-8 score. If one fighter gets knocked down at least once in a round, the winner will receive a 10-7 score for that round.

Scoring Rules

Referees can affect the scoring if they feel one fighter has broken a particular rule. For example, some fighters use the strategy of holding on to an opponent to last the round. If excessive holding interrupts the flow of a fair bout, the referee can order the judges to remove a point from the offender’s score.

Boxers can also lose points during the round by hitting their opponent below the belt or using tactics outside the rules of fair play. For example, hits to the back of the head or head butting are considered illegal moves.

Odds For Betting

Sportsbooks will provide odds for several different possible outcomes of a single match. Of course, the most common odds will get based on the eventual winner. Yet, betting on a round-by-round basis with some sportsbooks is also possible.

You can also choose odds for matches ending in draws or by disqualifications. Oddsmakers offer lines on various scenarios regarding the round number the fight will end.

Types of Boxing Betting

Besides the main event, secondary matches are worth studying to lay a bet. Sportsbooks offer odds on matches where the contenders have more at stake than a paycheck. In addition, taking a look at the evening’s boxing card will reveal bouts with varying degrees of skill.

Fights on the lower end of the scale usually don’t get offered for betting from sportsbooks. These fights generally involve new boxers or winding down a lackluster career.

Yet, some middle bouts involve young fighters trying to establish themselves against veteran opponents that have peaked in skill. Any of these types of boxing betting will offer lines in several ways.


Much like lines offered on the outcome of team games, the Moneyline bet is a straightforward choice on the winner of the bout. All Moneyline values get based on $100 bets, but you don’t have to bet that amount. All sportsbooks list their minimum and maximum bet amounts.

As the oddsmakers determine, the favorite is represented by a minus sign and a value. For example, Mike Tyson might be -150 to win against Evander Hollyfield. The simple math on this wager is you would need to bet $150 to win $50 back plus your original bet.

If you wanted to bet $100 on Hollyfield as a  +180 underdog, a winning bet would pay $180 plus your original wager. However, you sometimes see fight odds with significant ranges like -1200 or +2000. The oddsmakers feel the level between these boxers is so broad that you might want to try another form of betting.


When the highest quality fights occur, many expect the match to last the distance. So you can handicap the fight with spread bets. For example, you might feel Sugar Ray Leonard will win on points against Roberto Duran.

Oddsmakers set the spread at -3.5 to win the fight. As the favorite, Leonard would need to outscore Duran by four points or more to win the bet. In a twelve-round fight, a score of 120-116 will pay a bet on Leonard. On the underdog side, Duran could lose 120-117 on the scorecard, and your bet will still pay off.

Win Type

There are two other types of wins a boxer can score with an opportunity to bet. Technical Knockouts (TKOs) and Knockouts (KO) produce higher odds for the bettor. If you know the combatants well, you can enjoy the benefits of boxing betting with payouts of 2-1 or more.

Disqualification is another form of wager you can make. But you are likely betting on a guess or a whim even with high odds.

Betting On Rounds

Many sportsbooks will give you odds on a victory within a specific range of rounds. If you have a good idea, a fighter will score a win in the 7th round at 4-1 odds, and your $100 will pay you a $300 profit. It is also possible to get odds for a fighter only to go the distance.

With online betting becoming more common, some sportsbooks let you bet on rounds as they happen. In addition, live betting in other major sports has influenced the advantages of boxing betting during the action. However, it’s critical to remember that sportsbooks can cancel bets anytime when fight outcomes become imminent.

Using Stats for Advantages of Boxing Betting

Beginning at the top with the featured match on the card, you will find matches with a declining scale of interest for the advantages of boxing betting. For example, the fight before the closing main event could be a match between two rising stars who look to make names for themselves within the division.

Not every bout on a card is worthy of betting, and many don’t get the attention of oddsmakers. Therefore, choosing two or three matches where the contenders are known to the public is best. Once you determine which matches interest you, gathering information is critical for the benefits of boxing betting.

There are several reliable sources for getting data about boxers and the trends involving their careers. First, learn the fighter’s stats like height, weight class, and boxing style. Crucial nuances about each boxer might be the difference in whether they can win their next bout.

There are fighters with physical attributes that give them distinct advantages. For example, arms reach and height can play a significant role in a fight against a smaller opponent. Yet, some boxers struggle against other fighters using a specific style.

In general, a fighter with superior skills will find ways to beat their opponent on points. But there is an element of danger to boxers prone to knockout artists. With these punchers, look at how deep they can go in a fight.

Conditioning plays a critical role in the outcome of many fights. Every fighter gets gauged for speed and power with their punches. Boxers also get judged by their movement in the ring.

Here are most of the critical elements to look for in boxer stats:

  • Punching power
  • Punch output per round
  • Footspeed
  • Boxing style or stance
  • Left or right-handed
  • Reach
  • Body type
  • Career record
  • Percentage of wins by KO or TKO
  • Complete bout record
  • Injuries
  • Disqualifications
  • Sparring partners
  • Coaches

Boxing Institutions And Divisions

Understanding the different sanctioning bodies and weight classes can create confusion for new boxing bettors. The essential thing to know is that boxing cards covered by the media are always sanctioned by one of these professional boxing institutions. So you will see that all types of betting boxing are legal with fights sanctioned by:

  1. World Boxing Association
  2. World Boxing Organization
  3. World Boxing Council
  4. World Boxing Federation

You can also find sportsbooks to wager on popular tournaments like Continental Championships and World Youth Championships. Women’s boxing plays a prominent role in many cards, so there are plenty of options for enjoying the benefits of boxing betting.

If you don’t know the differences in weight classes, there are many sources for learning the restrictions. There are several standard weight classes, and within each, there are subdivisions of weight. A few of the most prominent weight classes found on boxing cards are:

  1. Flyweight = 108 – 112 lbs
  2. Bantamweight = 115 – 118 lbs
  3. Featherweight = 122 – 126 lbs
  4. Lightweight = 130 – 135 lbs
  5. Welterweight = 140 – 147 lbs
  6. Middleweight = 148 – 160 lbs
  7. Light Heavyweight = 175 lbs
  8. Heavyweight = Unlimited

There are degrees of weight classes that overlap in these groupings. For example, a Super Featherweight can be slightly heavier than a Junior Lightweight. Fighters will move between weight classes to get the matchups they desire against opponents.

Strategies for Boxing Betting

All of the factors listed must be weighed against the boxer’s opponent. Note the last two items on the list. A coach’s win/loss record is as vital as the fighter’s in getting benefits from boxing betting.

The best coaches choose sparring partners for upcoming fights that mirror the opponent’s style. Often, these fighters have career records to check. But, first, decide if the fighter is getting a workout with a worthy sparring partner.

A boxer’s fighting style can work in their favor or against them in certain circumstances. For example, a fighter might have an enormous physical advantage with knockout power. Yet, if the boxer has to chase a quicker opponent around the ring for twelve rounds, ask yourself if the boxer can finish the fight.

Put all the data you have collected together to determine the best value for your wager. Some of the best strategies for boxing betting have nothing to do with who wins the match. You might find better advantages of boxing betting with wagers on total rounds.

There are occasions in some lower weight classes where the two opponents lack the power to score a knockout. Study the form and history of each boxer to bet on a points total. Lower odds on a complete match prop bet indicate a fight is likely to go the distance.

Other Types of Boxing Betting Strategies

Statistics aren’t the only factors to consider when betting on boxing. For example, the location and venue of a match may have a bearing on a fight’s outcome. If one fighter has traveled to a different time zone for the first time, it could affect their performance.

Boxers, like all people, are creatures of habit, so if their routine gets upset, they might have issues with the fight schedule. Some boxers perform better in different atmospheres. The venue’s location and style might be concerns for betting on a fighter.

Psychology can also play a critical role in a boxer’s success. A single loss may not cause concern in a boxer’s career. Yet, patterns can start developing where fighters begin to doubt themselves.

Injuries are a part of sports, but some may interfere with a boxer’s ability to perform at a peak level. So try to learn if a fighter has sufficiently recovered from an injury. And don’t rely on rumor mills for information about fighters.

Another factor to consider is whether a fighter has a history of working outside the rules. For example, if disqualifications or in-match penalties are evident, you might want to consider a bet against that fighter.

Dig deeper into the history and tendencies of boxers, and you will likely find better value for your bets. The benefits of boxing betting become more apparent in the small details. Then, look for odds that provide a slight edge for betting.

Choosing A Sportsbook

Boxing betting has existed for as long as sportsbooks have operated. Many major boxing cards get hosted by Las Vegas casinos and sites where betting is prominent. Yet, legalized online sportsbooks have added immensely to the advantages of betting on boxing.

The world’s best-known sportsbooks provide odds for professional boxing events and post odds well before the contests. It’s best to shop around online sportsbooks to get your best odds for any fight.

When looking for an online sportsbook that offers the advantages of boxing betting, begin with checking licenses and reputation. The competition is fierce for online betting, so make sure you bet with a legal site in your region. Legal sportsbooks will have security systems in place to protect your money and your information.

Next, you will want a sportsbook that accepts deposits in different currencies. Several of the best betting sites allow deposits with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Of course, better sportsbooks provide their customers with welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions. There are lots of variations to choose from, so read the fine print on every offer before depositing.

Where to Bet On Boxing

Unfortunately, not every bookmaker sees the benefits of boxing betting, so look for trusted sportsbooks with a wide range of sports. Test customer service to see if they give you the answers and respect you deserve. So feel free to ask how does boxing betting work on each site.

Some sportsbooks have unique types of boxing betting. Here is a list of some of the best-known and reputable sportsbooks for boxing betting.


One of the largest online sportsbooks in the world provides an unequaled experience for enjoying the benefits of boxing betting. The interface is fun and easy to navigate, and boxing has long been a featured sport on the site.

DraftKings offers a broader range of betting markets for boxing than any other site. In addition, many events that other sportsbooks don’t offer are available for betting on DraftKings.


The advantages of boxing betting are central to one of the most trusted sportsbooks in the industry. As a result, you will not only find excellent odds on plenty of available markets.

FanDuel covers every major boxing event with odds available in advance. In many cases, you can get odds for fights over three months away. Yet, you will gain more advantages of boxing betting by watching changes to lines as fight schedules get closer.


This bookmaker is positioned as an outlier in the gambling industry because it is both a sportsbook and a betting exchange. With a betting exchange, you get a chance to wager against other gamblers, thus reducing the vig taken by the sportsbook.

On this kind of betting site, players can make agreements on their own odds and lay bets with each other. If your boxing knowledge is superior, you can enjoy the advantages of boxing betting here for better odds and more consistent wins.

Betting exchanges have not found a foothold in the United States yet. But you can still join offshore betting exchanges like Betfair for the advantages of boxing betting.

Enjoy the Benefits of Boxing Betting

Now, if friends ask how does boxing betting work, you will have the information to guide them. The boxing industry is enjoying a resurgence lately, so there has never been a better time to get involved. In addition, every generation produces some athletes worth following and placing a bet.

Unlike team sports, boxing has fewer variables involved in handicapping a match. Yet, there are always times when a boxer meets with a surprising opponent.

So use your knowledge of the advantages of boxing betting, and join the action with confidence. And for more insights into sports betting, come back to our website for great insights and practical information.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.